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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Google is too dependent on DMOZ

Google uses it's venerable PageRank algorithm to rank websites included in its search engine. However, when it comes to manually reviewing websites, Google defers to DMOZ, a volunteer-run community that publishes a directory of hierarchically categorized sites.

Without DMOZ, Google would rely largely on blog entries for site reviews. Unfortunately, it is ridiculously easy to create a fake weblog which fools Google's system. In fact, tricking Google (also known as PageRank optimization) is now considered an "industry".

In other words, without DMOZ and the thousands of volunteers that work to insure its integrity, the quality of Google's search engine would suffer tremendously.

I'm writing this because DMOZ is, and has been, broken for a few weeks now. It is a project notiriously short on cash, plagued with internal feuds and corruption.

Interesting to see how a multibillion dollar company like Google could suffer from the downfall of a volunteer-run website like DMOZ.

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