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RIP the Open Directory Project (DMOZ)

  1. Mar 6, 2017 #1


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    Staff: Mentor

    The oldest human-edited directory of web sites, www.dmoz.org, is closing on March 14. It started in 1998 as an alternative to Yahoo, which at that time was a human-edited directory that many people thought was too hard to get listed in. Even after Google and other automated search engines became popular, DMOZ still had some importance as a "trusted source" for Google, and web site owners were commonly recommended to get listed in DMOZ to help their Google rankings.

    Google itself even used to have a clone of DMOZ, the Google Directory, based on the publicly available DMOZ data set. It added to each listing a green bar showing the site's Google PageRank value.


    I listed my hobby site in DMOZ around 1999 or 2000, when I had it on my college's web server. After I had to move to commercial web-hosting and get my own domain a couple of years ago, I updated my DMOZ listing. It's still there, under Recreation > Trains and Railroads > Photographs.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2017 #2
    Not feeling too sad. It's been irrelevant for near a decade now and it was rife with abuse.
  4. Mar 6, 2017 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    I agree, the web has probably grown beyond the capabilities of a single hierarchical directory, even with all the volunteers who were editing it. AOL (who owned DMOZ) must have decided it wasn't worth spending money any longer to maintain the infrastructure, both for serving up the directory and for the editing interface.

    According to Wikipedia, DMOZ listed about 5.2 million sites in April 2013, but "only" 4.0 million in October 2015. Probably due to old links going dead and not enough new links being added to replace them, whether for new sites or updated links to old sites.
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