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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Google Deranks DMOZ

DMOZ is a free, volunteer-run, manually maintained hierarchical directory of web sites. For a long time, a listing in DMOZ was critical to getting your website noticed on the internet.

It suffers from old technology, lack of semantic features, and failure to capture the "2.0" vibe in the way Digg and other website ranking systems have.

Still, DMOZ does provide a baseline categorization in a way that few other sites do. Yahoo!, with it's pay-to-play system excludes too much of the internet. But DMOZ, unfortunately, has lost its relevance probably because most of the editors that are left are merely industry representatives trying to keep competition out.

Google has apparently de-ranked the importance of DMOZ in their pagerank algorithm. Possibly they have simply improved their duplicate content algorithms. Still, I've seen a huge shift in many sites rankings in the last week or so at Google because of this. Many of the old sites ... gathering dust at DMOZ ... have been dropped. Whereas new sites - which take advantage of social networking, blogging, etc. are moving up.

Mostly, I wish there was a "categorization project" that worked. I'm thinking of something that you use to keep your bookmarks in order... that both suggests a categorization (to help you organize), allows you to modify/change/rate/hide entries (for quality control), and shares your edits with others (which are correlated and averaged).

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