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Monday, September 15, 2008

DMOZ for sale – Google’s Favorite Directory Almost Sold!

Posted by @ 4:45 am

The DMOZ Directory is the equivalent to the Holy Grail (almost) when it comes to link juice for Google SEO. For years, DMOZ has been considered the first “port of call” when starting your link building journey in any SEO campaign.

Now the directory, which Google has openly endorsed for its relevance value (Google basically replicates it for its own directory), is primed for purchase.

If rumors raised by Jeremy Shoemaker, author and owner of the famous Shoemoney blog,
are true – DMOZ is on the verge of being bought by the owners of BOTW Directory (Best
of the Web).

According to Jeremy:
“Well I now have official confirmation that BOTW and AOL are in discussions about selling the directory and a deal could be reached fairly soon.”

DMOZ is currently owned by AOL, and is run as highly moderated free directory. Given AOL’s recent efforts to offload divisions that don’t fit with the company’s new direction, the DMOZ sale makes sense. More so when you consider it has no obvious revenue model, other than a sell off.

BOTW is also a well respected directory, which carries significant weight in Google’s ranking algorithm. However, unlike DMOZ, BOTW is a directory that charges about $250 to have your site reviewed. They bypass Google’s “paid link” issue, by asserting that the fee is purely for reviewing your submission, and it offers no guarantee of inclusion in the Best of the Web Directory.

The industry will be watching the DMOZ sale closely for two key reasons.

Firstly, to see whether the change of ownership will alter the value Google places on DMOZ listings. The BOTW team understands the importance of a quality directory project, so I can’t see this changing Google’s view in the short term.

The second reason will be Google’s own Directory. Given that it is essentially a DMOZ duplicate, will the search giant look to moderate its own listings? Again, assuming the guys at BOTW keep DMOZ closely moderated, I can’t see Google changing tact.

Time will tell whether Jeremy’s sources are accurate, but rest assured that the SEO community will be watching this DMOZ deal closely.

Do you think the sale of DMOZ will cause Google to change the weighting and SEO importance of a DMOZ listing? Share your thoughts with the rest of ineedhits blog community…

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

Discussion (2 - comments)

After reading about the possibility of the sale of DMOZ, no – I honestly don’t think that it would alter Google’s viewpoint of the DMOZ directory. That’s like being the most popular kid in school and giving a rat’s fanny about a not so popular kid’s opinions. Google might make changes, but it seems that Google relies on their own opinions and will continue to run their SE the way that they see fit to run it, regardless of anything. When you’re the Internet super star and Internet “darling”, who cares about what “they” say or what “they” do. It’s Google’s World and welcome to it. Remember, they’re “the most popular kids in school. And, to that I say – hey Google, go ‘head with your baaaaaad selves! When you’re on top of your game and you’re running the universe, it’s all about you. I am certainly not going to “hate” on them. The guys running Google didn’t work to get “there” to lose. Watch and see – Google will remain The Leader. And really, the folks that are possibly in negotiations to buy DMOZ need to remember that fact.

By Carlo - September 16, 2008

It could easily alter the way Google looks at it. To do so would require The “new” DMOZ to significantly alter the way it allows webmasters to sign up websites. DMOZ has had serious problems in the past with keeping up with reviewing new sites and especially for allowing changes to old listings. I know I have an old listing from a site which I changed focus on and I cant even get my listing removed. Emails sent claiming my own site was a spam site didn’t even get it removed. As long as DMOZ keeps reviewing every single site submitted then it should be fine. But if it tries to automate anything then I am betting Google will weigh it differently. I know I would.

By Consaka - October 15, 2008

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