Rumor: Dmoz Selling To BOTW

Will this change your Google juice?

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:

[ Search]

Jeremy Schoemaker, of the popular Shoemoney blog, posted that the owners of Best of the Web Directory are in talks to buy Dmoz from AOL and that a "deal could be reached fairly soon."

It is unknown whether a sale would change Google’s use of Dmoz for its own directory or would prompt Google to reconsider how much weight it gives the sites linked within Dmoz. For those who don’t know, Google is still relatively cozy with Dmoz in that it maintains a Google Directory that is a duplicate copy of the dmoz.org content. Dmoz also is still considered a great place for your site to be listed to gain premium Google link power that helps your PageRank.

Over the last year Google has made it clear they don’t like the selling of links from anywhere, especially directories. Google has also made clear that it considers the selling of inclusion in a directory tantamount to selling links. Many directories have experienced a severe lowering of their PageRank that have effectively made links (and inclusion) less valuable to potential buyers.

Since Dmoz is a free directory with moderators who decide whether a site is included or not, Google still gives their coveted Google juice to sites listed in Dmoz. 

A listing in BOTW.org is not free. It charges a hefty $249.99 review fee which is a prerequisite for inclusion. BOTW makes the point in bold font that their review for inclusion is not a guarantee of inclusion in their BOTW Submit Terms of Service. Apparently Google believes there is enough editorial value in these reviews because BOTW.org still has good PageRank within its categories.

However, Google has penalized many other directories that charge for inclusion reviews. Many website owners feel that even the appearance of selling links leads to PageRank reduction. BOTW is an old, established directory with lots of quality listings similar to Yahoo, which also sells inclusion reviews and suffers no repercussions from Google either.

A few questions …

- If BOTW buys Dmoz, will it merge the directories and charge for inclusion reviews?

- Will Google continue to mirror the Dmoz results for its directory?

- Will any of this impact the Google juice your sites get from Dmoz?

One thing is certain, the concept of volunteer editors that Dmoz uses is flawed. BOTW and its paid editors may be exactly what Dmoz needs to turn its quality around.

Rumor: Dmoz Selling To BOTW
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • http://www.articleblip.com articleblip.com

    Shoemoney is always on top of things. That would be crazy if this were to happen.  Google juice will probably continue to flow until they know how well the editors of BOTW are going to do and how strick they will be.

  • http://www.dmoz.org Guest

    There is no truth to this at all. This is Shoemonkey’s once a year, DMOZ link bait farse that everyone is happy to go along with.

  • http://www.iwanted.ca Internet Marketing Website SEO Strategy

    I guess will mean that people will get better service submitting to DMOZ!

  • http://www.sourcesurge.com seo web design

    I’ve met a few of the Botw.org guys at SES a few years back. The thing is they check their websites, when most directories include everyone that pays. That’s why they still have categories ranking. My only concern with this whole deal is the amount of work that goes into DMOZ and if the editors will stay on if BOTW buys them.

  • http://www.articleblip.com/random-bill-blass-writing-instruments-2-pack bill blass writing

    This is insane.  I wonder how it will all play out.

  • http://www.airvalues.com Guest

    Airvalues.com has been on the web for over 10 years now. It has been selling cheap international flights longer than Orbitz, Travelocity and Hotwire, yet cannot get listed in DMOZ. I am starting to believe those responsible for approving the travel section in DMOZ might has some bias. How can a site that has been around this long not get listed?

  • http://www.airfarestore.com Guest

    Airfarestore.com has also been around for over 10 years.  They sell Student Flights and Cheap International Flights using thier own booking engine. They have also tried year after year to get listed in DMOZ and it never happens. Thier competion is listed and they have only been around for 5 year. I just wonder who they have approving these and what the hitch is.

  • Guest

    I hope DMOZ doesn’t sell for more than a buck because thats about what it would be worth if google changes the weight it gives dmoz. Leave it alone go buy  joe ant or something ….  internet marketing consultant http://www. adwebdesigns.com

  • http://www.aircleaners.com Barry Cohen

     I feel that DMOZ is a horrible system! My business has been online since 1994 and in all that time, only once did someone list me. Then a competitor took his spot and removed my company and others from the list to prevent us from doing business with DMOZ for his personal gain! I have tried to get re-listed dozens of time through the years with no luck at all. I have sent E-mails to them as well with no response or help!  DMOZ is not a level playing field for many businesses that need and desire to be listed in it.

  • http://www.blackhawktobaccoshop.com/ Guest

    I have been trying to get into the DMOZ for 4 years. Unfortunately, one of my competitors edits my category and there has not been a website inclusion during this time. The DMOZ is corrupt and the volunteer system is extremely flawed. I really hope that BOTW buys the DMOZ and cleans it up. If Google rates the DMOZ less, at least those that are using it unfairly (by which they gain an unfair competitive edge) won’t be able to do this any longer. If Google continues to give it high ratings, at least I’ll be able to get it to it with a simple $250 fee.

  • http://www.sciencefictionsites.com Chris

    I’ve got 11 sites and only one of them is listed in the DMOZ directory. Of course I submitted them all to the directory, but my sites were never even reviewed.

    I even contacted the DMOZ category editor to ask about one of my sites (my largest site and oldest site) and never heard back.

    In my opinion they may as well sell it because most of the category editors only update their category about once a year if that.

    Also, getting in seems be more luck than anything. There doesn’t seem to be any reason why one site gets in, but another doesn’t. There are many high quality sites that are not listed in the DMOZ despite having been submitted.

    Perhaps people will have better luck getting in if someone else takes it over, however, the cost of submission is certainly out of my price range.




  • SearchEnginePro

    Let’s stop trying to be nice. DMOZ just plain sucks. Any value they had in a former life when Al Gore invented the Internet is gone.

    Trying to become an editor is just as difficult as trying to get a site included. Some folks have been trying for 5+ years to get their sites listed.

    Just like in the Wizard of OZ, there must be one mighty OZ sitting somewhere behind a curtain pulling levers (slowly) to accept listings and editors.

    Maybe a buyout will revive this once useful directory.


  • http://www.webtimise.com Webtimise, SEO services

    Sadly I have heard more negative than positive comments about DMOZ in the last few years, I have repeatedly tried to get quality websites listed in DMOZ for years with only two of them being successful. The community would like to hear a bit more about DMOZ’s acceptace policy by voice of DMOZ reps. My view is BOTW should buy DMOZ and execute a working discipline that is fair and transparent for all users.

  • http://metroplexdirectory.com MetroplexDirectory

    For a friendly "FREE" directory visit metroplexdirectory.com

    We’ve been online for 8 years, we are currently retooling our software and relaunching nationally.

    We typically have listings approved within a few days depending on volume of submissions.

    Also, we actually want to help folks improve their exposure on the web with a few cool offerings you won’t find anywhere else.

  • http://www.persuasivebrands.com Lee

    Something definitely needs to happen with DMOZ as the current process, structure, and roles/responsibilities simply do not work. It’s impossible to get important sites listed — perhaps due to obvious conflicts between sites and those operated by category editors.

    Whatever the reason, DMOZ has fallen in usefulness and value given the inability to have quality, appropriate sites included. I suspect few actually turn to DMOZ when searching — which as a tragedy given DMOZ is actually reviewed by humans with a quasi-altruistic mission.

  • http://www.logodesignnext.com/blog/ logo design blog

    Trying to get a dmoz listing had become a futile exercise and a complete waste of time as I have seen sites which were not up to the mark get listed within 6 months or so, and seeing genuinely good sites waiting literally for years without success.

    Its high time dmoz also hangs its boots like those other fossils, AOL and netscape have done.

  • http://www.webmarketingnet.com Marketing Network

    Good news!

    Dmoz would be in better hands with no corrupt editors and with a much better service because it seems impossible to get in even with a good site.

  • Guest

    According to Dmoz, they are a non-profit; human edited directory. How could they sell that crap. I think all directories should be eliminated in the rank factor or algo factor period. Anything that can be spamed even dmoz and BOTW dir should not count – human or not.

    It’s time DMOZ took a hike. Let’s get back to old values. Anyway, Dmoz is dead. Not really a factor in ranks anymore.

    Google needs to get thie own dir. Not a hard thing to do. Charge a minimal review fee and donate the money to charity if they don’t need it. Help kids find a better future, that is what I would do with the money. We know Yahoo dir fee is a cash grab, but they need it.

    All said and done, get back to old fashioned values in SEO – SEM. Forget directories.

  • http://www.allsearchenginemarketing.com/ Guest

    It’s time for change.

  • http://www.websight.org WebSite Design Orange County

    Does it really matter since an inclusion with DMOZ really doesn’t buy you much, if anything.

  • http://zipcodez.com zipcodez.com

    So long as they don’t go with a "paid inclusion" model after the buy, shouldn’t be a problem.  However, it remains to be seen.

  • http://www.flightsfirst.com FlightsFirst.com

    I agree with most of what is being said here. Flightsfirst.com has really built a great business in selling International flights online, yet for over 1.5 years I cannot get it listed in DMOZ. I really wonder if they have lost control over the editing and adding process and those who are editors have some sort of financial stake at keep competitors out.

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com Diamonds

    Fusing DMOZ in is fine as long it remains free otherwise google might remove the page rankings

  • Kyle

     I can see where DMOZ once once a vauleable public resource but in todays environment with its suspect management policies, it appears almost useless. 

    Yes I did attempt to have a sites listed on a couple of occasions and have not the slightest clue why they were not listed but lesser or similar quality sites were.

  • http://whereamericaclicks.com Where America Clicks

    Tired of DMOZ like everyone else? WhereAmericaClicks.com will have your site listed within three days and is happy to help you promote your business or non-profit.

    With the lack of response from DMOZ the Internet community is ready for some up and coming directory sites to fill the gap.

  • http://www.inqbation.com dc web designer

    I would love for BOTW to buy DMOZ just to make it go away and for Google to modify their algo. 

    As many of the other commenters have said, it was relatively easy to submit your own site to DMOZ and get it accepted back in the day, like around 1999-2003.  But since then, you cannot get listed in DMOZ and you cannot become an editor. 

    Even crazier, the reason for denying you an editor position is because you are biased.  They say you are biased because your site belongs in the category in which you want to edit.  Well duh, why would I want to edit a site in which I have no interest or expertise?  So, I suppose we should only edit in categories where we are completely ignorant? 

    DMOZ is a dinosaur that needs to just go away.

  • http://www.myexpresswebservices.com Eric Gourmet

    I am a great believer in individual freedom and strongly feel that one of them is to be able to be listed for free on a major directory like dmoz even if the registration can actually take months. I never had to pay my phone directory to list me additionally to my monthly phone bill. Historically it has been a  part of individual freedom to be listed as an existing human being. Why should I pay for electronic listing?

    • Guest

      Why would capitalism and individual freedom be mutually exclusive?  Why would a pay-for-review possibly interefere with your individual freedoms or liberties?  Give me a break!

  • http://www.body-rockin.com James

    I have known about DMOZ since 2000 and to date I have never been able to figure out how to submit one single site anyway!

    Submission process confuses the hell out of me…I just want to easily find the category I wanted to add a site…go to it and add the dang thing..and by the time I try to follow process instructions..I just give up..lol

    Who owns can’t say I really care that much :)

  • http://www.stuffdone.com Guest

    Like many others, I find DMOZ to be of little use.  You can’t get listed any more…you are just wasting time.  There is no "rejection" there is no one to ask "why am I not listed".   It is like sending your link request into a black hole.

    If they merge so what?  I don’t send any of my customer web sites to DMOZ or to Yahoo any longer. I advise them that they can submit to DMOZ but that it is probably a waste of time.  I tell them Yahoo wants almost $300 just to "consider" their site. Money better spend with an SEO company or on a really good dinner.

    Yahoo eventually spyders sites anyway so you wind up included without paying a dime.  DMOZ does nothing.

    My feeling is that any site that charges for inclusion is not as valuable as sites like Google.  If anyone with the dollars can buy in, that says nothing about the quality of their content and everything about the content of their wallet.

    Site’s should be indexed and listed on their value and merit. Any other method is just a sell out for money and offers no assurance of any value for the searcher.  No wonder Google is on top.  The accept anyone for consideration without a fee and let the viewer judge for themselves if the content holds value.


    They could just turn off DMOZ’s servers and no one would care.

  • Guest

    Well hopefully this buy will bring back DMOZ the way it used to be!

  • http://www.linkspub.com/ Linkspub

    Now maybe they can get some real editors and turn dmoz around.

    Let’s see which way the cards fall.

  • Guest

    Just two things to say to all of this.


    Editor in both.


    Lot of crap!!!



  • Kathkat

    I agree with the sentiments expressed here.  Back in the day I ‘always’ submitted sites to dmoz – and most of them were listed.  Nice.  However, things went pear shaped at dmoz and well, we all know that submissions became futile.

    I haven’t bothered submitting a site to dmoz in years.  It IS corrupt, we all know that, but at least when a large percentage of submitted sites were being listed we didn’t complain.  (I am talking quality sites)

    I only ever heard back from dmoz ‘once’ regarding a site listing, someone had changed the listed site to someone else’s url.  Months and months and months later the listing was corrected.

    Ho hum…..  dmoz is a waste of ‘space’



  • http://www.mercadeoporinternet.com/ Rafael Montilla

     I find it is a good idea if BOTW buys DMOZ, so DMOZ will give better service.

  • Mosxu

    Never confirmed Google that paid directories are paid links. If Google discounts manually reviewed directory listings they discount their own relevancy. This is why we see blog spam (paid comments) and text link ads rocking Google index.

  • http://www.acoolkid.com Painted Kids Furniture

    I’ve never had much luck with DMOZ in the last few years, so news of possible "new management" is at least a move in some direction. I hope it goes well for all involved.

  • http://www.espaco2d.blogspot.com Guest

    BOTW lists sites "in the English language".

    DMOZ has hundreds of non-english listings.

    Would those be spared in the merge?

  • http://www.digitalthirdcoast.net/ Digital Third Coast

    One of the best parts about the BOTW reseller program is that you don’t have to include a tracking code or a referral URL. Just register your URL(s) with BOTW and anytime someone clicks on a BOTW link from your site, you get commission.

    (fill in the blanks)

    Looks like Shoemoney made some cash today!

  • http://www.b-seenontop.com ShandE

    I read a lot of justified complaints in this thread.  I say the DMOZ business model is flawed.  Who offers their services for free?  People who want something in return… power, money, position, fame, recognition….  I think DMOZ should transition to a model where people pay a small fee to be considered for inclusion.  Why not?  I’m not going to volunteer to be an editor unless I’m paid, and paid well.  Editors should be full-time employees that are rewarded for the quality of their work – the volume of site reviews, the objective assessment of reviews, the number of directories willing to subscribe to their recommendations.  They should use a standardized and published template for reviewing sites so the rules are know and followed.  They should also consider charging an add-on opt-in fee to be notified with some frequency of the status of a review… 

    I see a win / win here.  Solve problems with DMOZ, maintain the quality of the directory, and earn a profit.  I don’t think I’m niave.  I just don’t think anyone’s "grabbed the bull by the horns" and done it. 

    Steve Jobs, are you listening?





  • http://www.ebizmarketplace.com yut

    I find it is a good idea if BOTW buys DMOZ, so DMOZ will give better service.

  • JasonThompson

    Hope this deal concludes

    BOTW know how to run a directory business. Yes they may charge a review fee but on paying your money they review within a guaranteed time scale and decide if the site is fit for entry or not. 

    BOTW dont get garbage / spam sites submitted in volume because a) spammers wont pay the review fee and b) if they did the site wont get listed if its not up to standard

    Meanwhile Dmoz over the years has been swamped with claims of corruption, it has a spam volume issue because every mother and uncle will submit to it  as its free hence increasing the volume that they cant  review in a reasonable time period anyway, its proven it cant deliver a service, it has sites missing that should be listed, sites with the wrong tiles/ names and no one responds to correct them, sites listed in several cats because an editor favors the site in question, sites ignored in many cases because editors have a biased view because thats why they wanted to edit in the first place (to look after own sites). The standard is poor, rock bottom and staff couldnt care less because most are voluteers anyway. In all dmoz has gone rapidly down hill over the years – a takeover by BOTW could seriously improve the facility.

    If this rumor is true,  AOL must be jumping up and down with joy that someone wants to take this pepetual lemon off them. DMOZ run as a proper business by the BOTW editing team would significantly improve the quality of the dmoz directory and more people would likely use the directory as a result.

    Hope this deal concludes as long as its run 100% by BOTW staff and all the old dmoz volunteer staff are not involved and BOTW run it with a quality service standard teh same as they do the BOTW directory 

    • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com Guest

      What I wonder after reading all this is WHO actually  uses dmoz to search for things? Its completely out of date  & one half does not seem to know what the other is doing! about according to my site logs 90% of my indirect search engine traffic comes from Google. should buy it up then it would have meaning again.

  • http://briannettles.com Brian Nettles

    First of all, Google does give some credit to those directory listings that charge a small review fee.  See http://briannettles.com/2008/09/directory-listings-and-shopping-directories/

    Check out the DMOZ support forum and everybody complains about no support and they admit it….absolutely no support.

    If Google did not care about DMOZ, neither would anyone else here.

    Google should just reassess thier catering to that coveted but useless directory.  Good riddance if a major change happens with DMOZ.  I don’t believe it is doing what Google really intends for it to do….that is, screen out lousy sites from good sites.

    • http://www.sciencefictionsites.com Chris


      You are absolutely correct! We do only care about DMOZ because Google cares about it.

      Perhaps at one time DMOZ did screen out lousy sites from good ones, but this doesn’t seem to be so any longer.

      I know that I’ve visited sites in DMOZ that were apparently placed there some time ago and I’ve found sites in there with all sorts of broken links and sites that were generally not in good condition.

      I think that a lot of the category editors don’t even bother to check the sites to see if their domain has expired or if they are still in good condition.

      Most DMOZ category editors only update their category about once a year and then it seems like they only add one or two sites and that is it.

      I don’t think the problem is so much with DMOZ as it is with Google placing so much importance on it (or that we believe Google places so much importance on it).

      I actually have one site (out of 11) that is listed in DMOZ. It sees no more traffic than any of the others and often less than some of the others that are not listed there.


  • http://bugsandweeds.com Guest

    This sounds a lot like a big bowl of hoax with a lot of sour grapes on top! There may be a smidgen of lost "opensourceness" in the mix as well.

  • http://onlinechristianshopper.com/ JW

    To me it has seemed that DMOZ has been corupt for some time in its inclusions.  Paying $250 for a link from them would be rediculous and I don’t think I would ever do it.

  • http://www.stayinsouthafrica.co.za Mark

    I really dont think it really matters if DMOZ is bought out. I think it is so badly corrupted, that having to one day pay for it legitimately might not be such a bad thing. At least the support will be a lot better.

  • http://www.danlew.com Daniel

    Does anyone know how much they are selling up for?

  • http://www.securehomeadvice.com Home Security Tips And Advice

    Try as I might, I can never get included in DMOZ. Waste of time directory.

  • http://www.onlinetv.us OnlineTV

    DMOZ is about as corrupted as you can get. The editors are a closed clique of elitist similar to the anal retentive at wiki. But DEMOZ is different; they select editors to assure their own demise. Or I should say they do not select editors that will assure good listings. This place is a hoary den of cronyism and despotic editorial censorship.

    Their editors are the good, the bad and the ugly; bad and ugly prevail. Better they are sold and the money gets on TOP of the table where it belongs. It is a useless search engine and how it becomes an authority is a testament to how someone must know someone to get somewhere. Does any one actually go there for search?

    Both DMOZ and google have lost the focus of search. DMOZ through materialistic arrogance and google to advertising revenue. But that is business I guess.


    • Guest

      DMOZ is about as corrupted as you can get.

      You are my idol.

  • http://www.first-web.de First-Web.de

    Where is the problem?

    If google is interested in a free objective Web-Directory without bying Links they just have to buy DMOZ and let it still run by the old rules.

    I dont think that annybody will waste his money and time to a directory witch is penelized by google.

    Google is the NO. 1 they make the rules I am sure they know what they are doing.

    I also think that the free moderators will quit there jobs by DMOZ if the owner makes the money and they have the Work.


    • Guest

      "Google is the NO. 1 they make the rules I am sure they know what they are doing."

      It’s true, but think about the moment: credit crunch, stock market falls down.. perhaps even the giants begin to look fast … cash?!

  • Guest

    What a shot for those snob editors! They would realize that they’re not working in the name of collaboration and freedom of knowledge, but instead they are free (aristochratic) slaves of giant organizations that make money on the long run, where geek people doesn’t even look.



  • Join for Access to Our Exclusive Web Tools
  • Sidebar Top
  • Sidebar Middle
  • Sign Up For The Free Newsletter
  • Sidebar Bottom