Google Devaluing DMOZ and Yahoo! Links?

Removes Webmaster Guidelines

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Google is no longer suggesting that you should be listed in relevant directories. In fact, they’ve even removed the suggestion from their webmaster guidelines, as Brian Ussery noticed. The page used to have bullet points for:

– Have other relevant sites link to yours.

– Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites.

Those points are now gone in what would appear to be a slap in the face of directories, but SEO folks are the ones really irritated. Google doesn’t appear to see it as a slap in the face so much, but more of simply a non-needed guideline.

Barry Schwartz points to a quote from Google’s John Mueller in a Google Groups thread:

"I wouldn’t necessarily assume that we’re devaluing Yahoo’s links, I just think it’s not one of the things we really need to recommend," said Mueller. "If people think that a directory is going to bring them lots of visitors (I had a visitor from the DMOZ once), then it’s obviously fine to get listed there. It’s not something that people have to do though :-)."

Mueller also asks for feedback, "What do you think – does it make sense? :-) What else should we change / add / remove?"

Regardless of what guidelines are on the page, a relevant link is a relevant link. There are still directories like our own eBusiness Directory that don’t offer paid links, and keep the listings quality without getting flooded by spammy and irrelevant ones by using a strict human-edited approval process (call it a shameless plug if you want, but it’s the truth).

The eBusiness Directory from WebProNews

There is going to be a lot of outrage over this, but is it really necessary? Perhaps too much focus has been put on directories like DMOZ anyway.

Google Devaluing DMOZ and Yahoo! Links?
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  • http://www.Tribal-Sports-Wear.net Wholesale T-Shirts & Apparel Club

    Personally, I don’t use directory sites. Like most other people, I search, I find it quicker and easier. Directories are great if you have the time, it seems that every Directory is using a different category scheme. That actually means I have to learn a new directory everytime I decide to explore one and who has time now-a-days. Give me my quick fix, and just call me an average person. However, if Google can keep the search results clean and I find what I’m looking for quickly. Then I really don’t care how they do it, just let me rank in the top ten :)


    Wholesale T-Shirts & Blank Apparel Club that’s Open to the Public

  • http://www.cartyweb.ie Tom Carty ::: Cartyweb.ie – Internet & IT

    Its about time that Google woke up and smelt the coffee, the directories were taking up valuable listings, and only served the intrest of bring people to their sites on the strenght of their constituent sites listings, helping the click through rates on their adverts.

    For us websmasters, we can now hopefully ignore listing on directories and concentrate on the search engines….

  • http://www.CyberCucina.com John

    I don’t know why, but I almost feel relived by the thought of directories veing devalued. They were such a pain and probably useless exept for seo purposes. Good riddance!


  • http://www.spanishseo.org/ International SEO

    Yahoo and Dmoz have helped over years with trust and quality indicators due to the original nature of their business. However, for a low level listing in Yahoo, it seems ridiculous to pay whatever they are asking for. And as for Dmoz, well they take forever to evaluate a site and haven’t cleant their directory in a while. You’ll find a bunch of low quality sites being listed because of the age factor (the year in which they were submitted). Even worse, they have sites listed that domainers are selling for high prices just because of that one link from Dmoz.

    I’m glad to see these changes are being implemented and G is moving towards better indicators

  • http://www.homewarrantyreviews.com/ Home Warranty

    I think many of us are going to welcome this development. I have been trying to get my site on DMOZ for over a year. It is 4 years old review site with the original content and reviews and had good PR. Still DMOZ folks did not accept the site and it was frustrating. But personally, I don’t many people who use DMOZ or other directories to search anything. Directories have become a vehicle to make money and promote paid links lately, so I don’t see any reason value them.



  • http://www.googletop.net Googletop news

    It’s absolutely expected step from Google. Now more important to have natural links from web 2.0 websites, blogs, articles, social media websites.

  • http://www.asterhost.com/ AsterHost

    I think Google is dictator. They tell us what is good or bad in internet.

  • http://www.whitehouseseo.com/?id=white-house-seo Jersey

    Bottom line.. We don’t use directories anymore. So why keep them? I am in favor of Google. Directories haven’t shown any quality, value in along time and surely not too convenient of a search. Most people either just Google or Yahoo it! Simple as 1,2,3…


  • http://melvinnashlaw.com/ Marc

    Everyone says according to me everything has been penalized.  Well, ha ha, I am right again.  Google has devalued every damn directory with the exception of a few and dmoz is a ghost town.  I havent had a submission approved there in years. 

    We had such high expectations from the dmoz years ago and look how they fumbled it. The bright side of the story is that Google is at least trying to be consistent for a change. 

    How come Matt Cutts hasnt chimed in?  or has he somewhere else?  what about the google webspam team, are they even allowed to speak, lol

  • http://http//www.somelifeblog.com/2008/01/wii-repair-fix-guide-error-nintendo.html Wii Repair Guide

    With the amount of relevant data from communities and other sources, this is a great step in terms of providing the best possible results to users rather than seeing if someone is willing to pay the $295 ransom that Yahoo ask for their directory or you wade through the wasteland that DMOZ has become with their non-approvals and non-updates.

  • http://www.thorpe-cottage.co.uk Mike

    This has been coming for a long time. No one really uses the directories anymore. Its so much easier and quicker to use search engines. Directories are dinosaurs! They are just little rip-off money earners for their owners, but no one benefits from them. Adios, directories!

  • http://www.thewritestuff.be Michael

    Never had much luck with Dmoz, despite a site that has been running for 8 years with about 200 pages and a pretty unique angle on a popular theme (lyrics). Needless to say, I gave up worrying a long time ago. However, I have more recently come across a directory that also has a news page, plus a good blog directory that compiles RSS feeds of the sites they list. Both are more useful and, i would think, sites with better long-term possibilities.

  • mosxu

    Google is not able to deal with  real spam: 1. blog paid posts, 2. paid text links ads that are seen as natural and  3. link exchange tricks. So instead of devaluing real spam they are after human edited directories.

    So let’s imagine paid listings in directories are paid links from now on. If Google does not recommend them then we can get penalized for buying them. That is easier than going after text link ads or paid posts.

  • http://www.seo4china.com China SEO Company

    What about that company which just bought DMOZ recently? They might have paid top dollar for a soon-to-be worthless asset.

  • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com ron

    My site logs show google from all different countrys of the world as main source of none direct referals with yahoo & msn as 2nd. very rarely do I get traffic from directorys. The way dmoz is run (or NOT run) should be put on the list of conspiricy theory’s in my opinion.

  • http://aydos.com aydos

    Google is a company, and it must decide which site better than other to continue its job. There will be always spammer, paid listings… its the nature of internet marketing.

    I think semantic web will clarify, not all but some of these problems. There will be trusted web agents, and degree of their trustiness.

  • http://www.SerendipityCollections.com Guest

    "As for DMOZ – do they actually accept submissions?  has anyone been able to get an entry into their incomplete directory in the past three years?"

    I have NEVER been able to get into their directory!!!




  • Guest


    Hmmmm, wonder why you haven’t got any DMOZ listings?!

  • Guest

    Okay – I’m assuming you’re joking when you say "DMOZ is highly valued and revelent" – by whom?  By themselves, for sure…but not by anyone else.  They’re known for their absurd control and self-adoration.

    Like many of the other people who have posted here, not only have I had to fight to get my sites listed, but then when it showed an area that NEEDED an Editor that happened to fall within my forte, I submitted a complete, carefully-worded and comprehensive applition to become one.  After a MONTH of review, they finally denied my application because they felt, and I quote, the following: "Incomplete response to "Please give details, including URLs, of any sites that you own or have designed or promoted, either in full or in part. Also, mention whether you have contributed content to any site, and give URLs as appropriate."

    Now – I have about 10 live sites, and I’ve helped to design about 10 more.  I listed each site URL.  I listed my involvement in each one. It was a VERY detailed and honest application. 

    IMHO DMOZ is run, edited and managed by a group of power-driven nerds with huge egos and little, uh…else.  Instead of using their intelligence to promote the good that can be found on the Internet, they use it to promote themselves, and give no one else a chance.  I think it’s GREAT that Google has cut DMOZ away, and applaud their efforts.

    It appears I’m not the only person such things have happened to – look here: http://www.dmozsucks.org/But

  • http://www.business-directory.co.za Guest

    It’s interesting to see that directories have had such a huge role to play in ranking. I’d like to know if anyone ever went to DMOZ, and searched for a website there. Yet, webmasters flock to them because Google said so. I still believe that, if you want visitors to your website, list it in places where people actually come looking for it.

    • Guest

      Well see – the thing is not that people go to DMOZ – they don’t.  However, DMOZ servers, in their words, as the "core directory services for the Web’s largest and most popular search engines and portals, including Netscape Search, AOL Search, Google, Lycos, HotBot, DirectHit, and hundreds of others." 

      So – if you want to be listed in any of those directories, you need to beg, and beg, and beg, and cajole and beg and…well you get the point…the editors over at DMOZ.

      USED to be each of those directories had their own system and search engine, and it was easy to submit your site, and it got posted in a reasonable amount of time.

      Those days are gone.

  • Guest

    Well – I haven’t gone to look, but from the sound of your website, if you read DMOZ’ and pretty much every other directory and/or search engine’s instructions for "acceptable" domains and subsequent content, that would probably pretty much explain why you’ve not been listed.

  • arthur

     The DMOZ is junk, I hope the entire internet tosses them because the idea is great, but their service is horrible. I have submitted many websites to them and not received a simple reply. The moderators I swear are people whom monopolize the dmoz to their benefit. Many of the catagories I have submitted valuable sites to have sites that are 8-10 years old and are 404…

    DMOZ Sucks. And has for years!


    • http://www.thehighheelstore.com Guest

      Google may be stating this but lets see what changes. People have been complaining for a while about DMOZ and how it has gone down hill with rumors of it also being corrupt. But the last time I looked Googles directory was still DMOZ. Google also has an advertisment agreement with YAHOO, so if you ask me I would say nothing is going to change. Google just is not going to advertise their position. This will do a few things for Google. One, they can take the denial road stating that it no longer matters as they no longer have it in writing, and secondly the legal side with them showing favoritism towards certain directories. If I am not mistaken, when the guide was written, DMOZ and YAHOO were the only two authority directories around. Now there are a few more. Google has got to stay non-biased. I would also say that the second reason is the main reason that they no longer have it in writing. Personally I believe that they are still in bed with DMOZ and YAHOO, but they just cannot state it anymore.

  • http://www.hemorrhoidshemroids.com/ Donald
    They are up to something.  Their software is generating large errors.  One of my sites jumped to over 12,000 backlinks in yahoo, while google jumped another by 22,000 backlinks.  Obviously error, as that would make them more backlinked than Harvard Uni.

    The links to my hemorrhoids site has been bouncing up and down like a yoyo.

    While my Down Syndrome and History and legends have lost nearly all Google valued  backlinks – interesting as they are still performing OK – but the relevance is they were only really promoted by me through directories.

    It looks like the directories  thirst for paid links may have devalued all directory links :(

    DMOZ was biased in it’s linking. Some sites had multidtudes of links from it, and other sites that were even better couldn’t get a look in.  No kidding, one website had well over 100 links coming from DMOZ.  Several were from pages with PR7 and no other links coming off it. 

    I asked DMOZ nicely about this, but my mail was then returned as spam.

    I posted in the DMOZ blog about it, and was ignored.I think DMOZ ruffled too many people in the end with it’s favoritism and biases.

  • http://www.sec-world.com Robert (sec)

    Although I am not as ‘search savvy’ as all of you above, I have noticed too that DMOZ has not listed any of my submissions even after waiting the time that they say it takes to get ‘listed’. I don’t know…maybe I don’t cross my t’s right or something!

  • Guest

    DMOZ folks said earlier this year that I didn’t have enough experience to be one of their editors. So, I built two sites offering over a thousand links under 60 plus categories.  Hard work got my first site to the top of the first page of all of the major search engines in 3 months, without directories, and without paying for it. In real estate it’s "Location". In optimizing, it’s "Content, Content, Content". That and learning from informational sites such as this one are key to success. The time you lose with experimenting could be better spent building content. Search engines "do" love content.

  • Steve Bevis

    It’s about time the pompous self-righteous arrogants asses at Ropey ODP Dope get what has been coming to them. Now they can go back to being nobodies like they were before their editor applications were approved. So long Kopeki, you dunce. I hope people in the future have an equal opportunity to interfer with your business and your family’s well being.

  • Brad

    I have been doing SEO for over 6 years now and I can tell you that quality links can never hurt your site. Regardless of if they are on a directory or not.

    – Brad

    USA Gambling Network

  • http://www.foursquareinnovations.co.uk/ SEO Guy Leeds

    I know one company with 16 DMOZ listings and guess what? They have a bunch of ex-academics and phDers working for them a lot of whom happen to be DMOZ editors. Of course any company must leverage any legitimate advantage it has; however DMOZ is just not a level playing field.

  • http://ralfengel.com RalfEngeldotCom

     I’ve noticed that some directories I’ve added my site to have never been crawled by google, or google has never had the intention to consider my entry there as a backlink.

    As far as I can tell, even with a small amount of backlinks google has indexed several of my pages and is sending traffic to them, listed on the first google search page.

    So I’m not sure about the importance of backlinks after all.

  • http://www.pic4.us/ samuel

    I have submitted  my site to dmoz 6  months ago with know reply, amother  one has been  admitted after a year. There are very few sites in its category which is image hosting :    http://www.pic4.us

    Still it takes them so long to get a site listed.


    I Dont think google can through away its directory listing , otherwise he would have to give up the whole linking process.

  • http://www.1dir.co.cc No.1 directory

    I personally submitted my sites to DMOZ, but 6 months past, there was no response from them. Anyone has a good way to resolve?

  • http://www.webdistortion.com Paul @ Web design Ireland

    I’m not surprised by this at all. I think a good cull of the directories and a move from being human edited to the paid for inclusion model will result in a better picture of relevant sites.

    We’ve seen sites like Mahalo move into the search space to fill the directory void – resulting in human edited search.

  • http://www.vertical-leap.co.uk Kerry Dye Vertical Leap

    It is nice to know that Google are updating their webmaster guidelines pages at all. There have been some comments about the fact that Google was promoting buying links from Yahoo Directory when they are generally so anti paid links.

    We’ve had mixed results getting sites listed in dmoz, and I haven’t noticed that the ones that are listed are doing any better than those that weren’t. The guidelines needed an update to reflect the fact that a couple of directory links isn’t going to help your rankings these days, and I’m glad they have done it.

  • Guest

    Please do not insult ODP editors like this.

    I am an ODP editor (for one of the adult categories) and I list submitted sites in one week period… if it’s any good.

    Good means original content.

    Do not submit sites with 2000 banners on main page…

    Most sites are rejected because of submitting in wrong category.

    All adult sites MUST go to adult part of DMOZ.



  • http://www.pic4.us samuel

     Dmoz is one thing and directory links are another story.

    The reason google likes Dmoz is because it is human edited. If for some reason google decides to put less emphasis on dmoz for some reason.

    why should it mean the whole links system is going to collapse   ?

  • http://www.faqsabout.org Frequently Asked Questions

    They are really cutting our legs out from under us and this is going to force the buying of links to increase.

  • Guest

    At least try to make people believe that you don’t own this site. A little more creativity next time would help. Here’s a clue: linking to your site twice in your comment, PLUS linking your name to your site kinda gives it away.

  • http://www.netage.co.za G Web

    Every year for the last 3 years I have been submitting my business site to DMOZ and I have never been successfull. I have added to the same directory and my competitors and my site have no banners or any useless information. This irritates me but I do not wish anything onto them. I think there are a lot of people on the web that hold Dmoz dear as they take the time to maintain their respective categories. i only wish success for DMOZ and nothing less.

  • http://yourwebchick.blogspot.com Your Web Chick

    I am a HUMAN dmoz editor…

    We are not to add sites that have primarily affiliate links on them.  So if that is the type of site you have it will never get listed.  Also not listed are duplicate sites with different names.. realtors (worst offenders) who try to have 2-20 different sites all pointing in the same direction.

    The BEST thing to do to get listed if you feel you are being ignored and have followed the guidelines for your category is to email the human editors that appear at the bottom of the page you are submitting to.. or up the chain a few.  I have edited there since 1999 and to date have received 5 letters. 

    I hope that all the effort that the 1000’s of us have put in isn’t getting devalued.. I guess only time will tell.  


    • http://www.happylifementoring.com Jacqueline Johns

      Dear My Web Chick,

      I’m probably asking a lot here, but you may very well be a lovely person who doesn’t mind helping someone out!

      My Dmoz category has no editor, so even though  I don’t really have time, I applied for the position. In my application, one of the three sites I suggested was mine (cheeky!).

      The reviewer wrote back that one site had affliliate links, and one was already listed in Dmoz. I can’t see affiliate links on the other site, and I know mine doesn’t have any!

      Would you please have a look at my site and ascertain if there is any possible way it looks as though I have affiliate links? I REALLY don’t want my site to be giving the wrong impression.

      This newby would be very appreciative of any assistance you bestow upon me, Web Chick. Blessings upon you if you help me!


      Jackie xxx

  • http://www.andreainfusino.com Web marketing Cosenza

    Considering the Google speed in crwaling our website i think ODP is really boring, infact some reviewers take months to deny the inclusion of a website.

    I usually do no waste my time in ODP

  • http://www.staysure.co.uk Staysure

    "I had a visitor from the DMOZ once" HAHAHA "a visitor".

    I think they don’t need to stress being linked in directories as a valid form of improving google find your site. About time that page was updated.


  • http://www.akindof.com Guest

    Would you like to tell me how do you promote your webiste?Thanks.

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    I think backlinks are still working, Google just doesn’t want people to put too much stress on backlinks.  They want sites to put more effort on adding content rather than have people constantly exchange mostly irrelevant backlinks.

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    I’ve heard rumors that Google is removing page rank from google toolbar another of their strategies on keeping people from worrying about their page ranks and more effort on content.

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Debbie Morgan

    I have my safety and security web site listed in tons of directories and I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get listed with DMOZ for over two years. After all of this, I’d have to say that the money spent on the Yahoo Directory has been well spent.

    I’m tracking many visitors each day from Yahoo but none from the other directories. Although Google doesn’t recommend it any more, signing up with the Yahoo Directory just makes good business sense.

  • http://CashTheWeb.com Sathees Navaratnam

    My suggestion is that you as a web master don’t spent much time dealing with pagerank!

    Spent all that time to write quality content. That’s much worth in time that the pagerank where Google can take you for a ride!

    by the way the webmaster tools, in external links now display the pagerank of those site as well


  • http://adieska.net/ Adieska

    I don’t know why DMOZ is recommended by many webmaster. All I know is without get listed in DMOZ, I still get what I want. Honestly, I already submit some of my blog to DMOZ more than 6 month ago, but I don’t know when my blog is listed there. So, I better use Mybloglog, Blogcatalog and other Blgo submission than DMOZ 😛

  • Guest

    I have always found directories to be useless and I have never used one to find a business or service. It takes 5 times as long to use a directory than it does to simply type key words into a search engine. I only submit my sites to Google, Yahoo and MSN and they always get very high rankings just from those 3. It only takes mere minutes to submit to all 3 and it eliminates the time and BS associated with trying to deal with the likes of DMOZ .

    I have always suspected that directory links were way, way over rated. Good quality content will get you much farther than trying to perform directory hocus-pocus. As another person said earlier, most directories are nothing more than a way for their owners to build spam email lists.

  • http://coloring-pages.tv/ Kids Coloring Pages

    Most people don’t realize how much Google depends on DMOZ. Sure they use 200+ factors to determine SERPs, DMOZ is one of the top 5. Maybe this means they will kick it down and reduce its weight but don’t count on it. They are just pulling their cards in closer to the vest. They tweek the filters and weights all the time.

    From what I see in my own results DMOZ weighs maybe half as much as it used to. This is probably true of all backlinks from sites that Google guesses are directories.

    The million dollar question is what did they increase the weight of?

  • http://www.T-Zers.Net Tee-Zer




    Google, like lawyers and Doctors, do not care if you are innocent or guilty, right or wrong, sick or well, healable or terminal, they just want to know if you have enough money to pay their bill.

    Google, wants you to PAY for getting top listings. Don’t tell me that Google advertisers get low rankings. Same as when you PAY for an ad in a local newspaper, GEE miraculously they choose YOU to write a feature article about!

    It’s all about the money.

    Google is dropping directories like DMOZ just to force merchants into PAYING for higher placement, it has nothing to do with content or relevancy.

    It’s all about the money.

    We started our online business www.T-Zers.Net way (for free) back when most things on the Internet were FREE, (including Netzero, which proclaimed in early ads that the "Internet was meant to be free" – and it was, but now…

    It’s all about the money.

    Internet companies have to pay their execs big salaries, then justify that to stockholders, and not to mention all the other expenses of doing "business" – but that is where they lost it. It was never meant to "be" for business.

    Now it is little more than a candy coated version of your television – which also by the way "used to be free" – for those of you who remember the days of UHF and VHF – which was PAID FOR by Advertisers – now YOU pay to receive PAID advertisements… something wrong with that picture…

    We have operated for over ten years without having to PAY for advertising. We started out with Free internet access, a Free website, Free e-mail accounts, Fee listings on search engines and directories, when "content" put you at the top of the list – not your wallet.

    But, we, like all the other on-line merchants will eventually succumb to their demands, we have no choice – change or die.

    • Guest

      Amen! To add to this comment a little further, Google keeps telling us to have more relevent content and that they want to offer the user a better experience. It’s all about providing the searcher better results. However, no matter what you are searching for, the top results are almost always articles or content. I dont want to read an article!

      If I want to buy a red pair of shoes, I want to search for a red pair of shoes and when the results come up, I want someone selling me a pair of red shoes. But really what happens is, I find a bunch of articles on buying a red pair of shoes.

      However, look to the side where the adwords run and you can buy plenty of red shoes. It is not about providing the user better results with more relevent content, it is about pushing the vendor to buying clicks for Adwords, plain and simple! Now, the natural results are full of worthless articles and useless content. But, Adwords is making a killing!


      • http://www.ranzy.com ranzy

        I tried to get listed on DMOZ. I even tried to be an editor. DMOZ is not needed. I don’t advertise with Google nor am I listed on any directories, yet I am number 3 in Google natural results for “Houston Photographer”, and I usually come up on page 1 or 2 for “Houston Wedding Photographer”. I did it with only the words on my page and meta tags. I don’t pay for anything but my domain names and hosting. At first I believed I had to be listed on the directories and I tried to make it happen. But as I kept working on my SEO in other ways, I found that you can get really good rank in Google with NO MONEY.

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