Truth about DMOZ


Probably every webmaster in the world wants to have his website to be included into DMOZ directory, but looks like it’s not an easy task. But does it actually worth and how much life and credibility is left in DMOZ itself? So here is one of my stories. I do not want to bring the shame to one particular person that’s why I will skip some details. My intention is to attract attention of lazy AOL dudes, besides all the details I skip are not so difficult to find.


I’m not any kind of programmer, but because I have quite many different interests (or should I say talents :) ) form 1997 I made quite a few different websites (pretty much even before DMOZ was born). To tell you honestly I never made it for any profit but always for fun. From my point of view they were quite a good ones and even included chemistry or other forums.

I never used any kind of copy-paste content or any kind of ditry SEO tricks. Also in my best belief that DMOZ is something decent I always tried to include my sites to DMOZ. Unfortunately they were turned down every time and in most cases I even never heard any kind of reply.

After making my personal blog I tried to do the same, to include into DMOZ directory. Not the one you are reading right now, but in other langualge. Since Engish is not my first and in fact not even second language. No surprise even half a year later I did not heard anything from Dmoz editors. You can always hear that DMOZ editors are mega busy and simply physically can not even have a look at every application. Also supposedly there is a big lack of editors also. So I decided to became an editor myself.

I submitted editor application to  category (I just made it up, because actual link with non Latin letters is quite unreadable).

As far as I understand there is nothing bad if you want to become an editor in order to include your website as far as you will pay attention to other websites and honestly contribute to DMOZ project.

General Information

  • You don’t have to be an editor to get your site listed. To submit your site, visit our submission guidelines
  • Your chances of becoming an editor are greater if you apply for a small, underdeveloped category to start (generally categories with less than 100 sites).
  • If you are already an editor, then don’t apply here, use the New Category Request Form instead. If you have forgotten your password then you can request that it be sent to you. An editor may not have more than one editor name. Multiple editor names is considered grounds for removal.
  • Accounts expire if you do not login within the first month, or, if you do not edit for a consecutive period of four months. If you think your account has timed out then please complete the form below. If you are a former editor whose login was inactivated or removed, don’t fill out a new application. Fill out this form instead.

Filling Out the Application Form

  • Your application should be complete.
  • Your application is an indication of the kind of editor you will be. A poorly written application with spelling and grammatical errors, and/or one that only serves to hype and promote websites is unlikely to be approved.
  • You’ll be asked to supply 3 sample URLs on your application. The sites you suggest should be specific to the subject matter of the category for which you are applying to edit.
  • By providing a sample of 3 URLs (websites) in your application, you are showing us
  1. your understanding of the kinds of sites listed in the category
  2. your ability to pick quality websites, and
  3. your ability to provide good and useful descriptions.
  • Reading over DMOZ’s editing guidelines will give you some insight into how DMOZ editors select, evaluate, describe and organize websites.
  • Outside of World/ categories, sites must have English language content, and be described in English. Sites with content in languages other than English belong to the proper World/[Language] category and should be described in the corresponding language.
  • If you are a webmaster or associated with any website, please disclose this on your application.
  • We work hard to make DMOZ a fair and impartial resource for Web users. DMOZ is not to be used as a way to advertise or unfairly promote websites. Editors who are primarily interested in promoting their own or clients’ sites, and/or discriminating against their competitors’ by manipulating site listings may have their editor accounts revoked without notice.

Application Review

  • Your application will be reviewed by one or more senior DMOZ editors, who will evaluate it on the basis of the answers you provide. Since no two applications are the same, there is no magic formula for an acceptable application. Each application is treated uniquely. We make every effort to accept people who will add value to the directory and the community, however, we don’t accept all applications. You may reapply if your application is denied.

I appropriately filled in the application form, Listed 3 standalone personal blogs that should be included in category and I also  mentioned my own blog and honestly explained why do I want to become an editor.

  • to include my own blog (no need no lie about that)
  • To develop myself by contributing to DMOZ
  • To make the word a bit better place:) Because internet changed quite a lot just over two decades. These days when you go to search engine and try to search anything, probably first 100 results will be plastic and copy-paste sites made not for humans but for search engine robots, “optimised by SEO” using absolutely any means. As result it is extremely difficult to find something different, decent or interesting. Quite many small but interesting sites just dying because nobody can ever find them. Some of them moving from standalone sites  to social networks and huge blogging platforms where they simply getting lost among idiocy and ignorance. Dmoz could change that at least a little bit.

(looks like “crusader” aplication… Huh … in fact I am:) ) To my surprise just a couple of hours later I had reply form one of editors (I believe one of senior editors, from now on let’s give him/her some nickname. I like Boris… actually Natasha is a bit better :)). Natasha  rejected my application and they way it was done I felt like a punched in a stomach. For sure I maybe thinking way too much about my own person, but truth maybe different and I am simply not good enough to become an editor. Or Natasha really felt that the only reason for application was submitting my own site. In any case that should be at least stated in reply. But this is what I had instead.

3 websites you suggested, should be stated under different categories.

That is something really strange to me if we talking about personal blogs. Obviously every personal blog could be stated under numerous different categories unless author desires to write just about himself. Where would you put my own blog when I write pretty much everything whatever comes up in my dity mind. That’s including food, cat pictures and videos, political articles, developing and optimising WordPress? I send her reply with a copy to AOL staff about I strongly disagree. AOL staff never bothered to relply (not even 3 month later), but Natasha to my even biggest surprise replied to me probably within one hour.

  • Sure your own website is coming under that section, but other three you recommended not and you can not find you have no chance to become an editor.

Well, the blogs I recommended where most defenetly personal stand alone blogs even they do not cover so many different subjects like my own. I replied again and tried to explain that every condition given on application should be reasonable and they should also take to consideration general level of somebody willing to become an editor. Besides it is really easy to find any amount of corporate or business related websites, that were never made by owners, but separately paid professional webmasters and further optimised by SEO optimisers. That is one of reasons such a blogs are really difficult to find from search engines and when DMOZ “ignoring” then by different reasons it’s like a chicken and egg story. Anyway just within hours she managed to send me to replies with explanations and to make feel a bit better she mentioned my cat video on my blog is really cute (not so busy after all huh?)

Looks like myself and DMOZ having a bit of different point of view, what DMOZ should be.

I decided to have a closer look at mega editor profile just to understand what DMOZ expecting from editor and here we are.

While joining as editor 2010 Natasha managed to become  CatEditAll editor in 2012 under some-language section. Also Natasha had a numerous awards from DMOZ. Let’s have a look how to move so fast. The answer is quite simple Natasha was editing just 3 categories,

  • Business Organisations
  • Entertainment organisations
  • Photography

None of these type of sites will make the website themselves but uses professional web-masters. Here is the hint for you as for editor endless possibilities and this is where the money flow is. Besides most of the websites with such a profile I would not even classify a proper website but some kind of company’s internet leaflet. Generally speaking they consisting of just few static pages: home, services, price list and contact page. But even among such an easy sections the first 40 websites I visited I found

  • Two websites with malware (stated by Google Chrome!!!).
  • One was not even a website but a landing page shared by two different websites.
  • At least 4 websites with SEO promotion links (the ones who actually included websites into DMOZ).
  • At least two selling backlinks.

But when I saw “websites” under livejournal sub domain it looked like a joke to me and I did not bothered to check any further. I could be probably wrong but for me it looks like DMOZ editors are quite busy with something else, but not about fair representation of websites included into DMOZ. Besides I’m not the only one pointing out that something is fish over there.

So much about differences about my and editors point of view what DMOZ should look like. I sincerely hope I’m not the only one who does not find it right and and I hope that search engines will adjust their algos accordingly about rating such a directories. Even I could resubmit application or use some other means to get my blog included but I simply will not bother with DMOZ any more.

DMOZ seems to be proud of website submission times up to 2 and more years. It is the same thing if to say – I’m lazy and I’m really proud of it. Dudes! Are you bloody serious about that??! Also, you better improve directory search, it works so terribly that failing to meet even last century standards. At a time I wrote this article DMOZ proudly stated having.

4,182,658 sites – 89,739 editors – over 1,022,754 categories

Dudes from AOL have a look at these numbers and relations! Don’t you think that they are a bit funny?

A fish rots from the head down. And I believe that is the case with DMOZ. Seriously, there is nothing else to be proud of except of extreme laziness and give it or take it’s coming from AOL dudes. You do not have to be an IT genius just to have a quick look at DMOZ directory and find at a glance how many things are wrong not only due to editors who became not enthusiastic volunteers with great ideas about improving internet, but bunch of crooks making money for charging webmasters for including websites. It was too many talks about that.   If DMOZ is proud of failing to develop аnything, I mean anything at all to do more visitor friendly and social orientated. I’m not the only one who sees that, but also tons of webmasters around the world and if DMOZ refuses to listen, then Google does listen. On the same year of 2012 when Natasha became  CatEditAll editor in 2012 under some-language section due to “her titanic effords”  Google dropped Google’s Directory that drew largely from DMOZ.

If I took it personally and simply overreacting?

If Dmoz is decent project or just became an editors scam and is slowly dying dinosaur?

Well, It is up to you to decide.