Even while DMOZ is congratulating itself and giving kudos to its best editors, Google is saying that it doesn’t need to rely on The Open Directory Project any more for its information. Does this mean the love affair is over?
I think it does. One of the reasons that Google rose to prominence so fast in the late 1990s and early part of this century is because it relied so heavily on DMOZ for information about websites it was indexing. But somewhere along the line DMOZ got flooded with webmaster applications, and if you’ve been following the drama for the past four or five years, webmasters have largely lost faith in the directory. But earlier this year DMOZ set about to change that perception and started a blog. A bit too late.
One blogger took notice of a change in Google policy that essentially means the search engine is no longer encouraging webmasters to submit their sites to directories.
In a Google Webmaster Help thread, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller said this:
I wouldn’t necessarily assume that we’re devaluing Yahoo’s links, I just think it’s not one of the things we really need to recommend. If people think that a directory is going to bring them lots of visitors (I had a visitor from the DMOZ once), then it’s obviously fine to get listed there. It’s not something that people have to do though .
In other words, if you’re listing your site in directories to gain access to the traffic then that’s fine. But if you expect to get link juice and a rise in search engine rankings from it, don’t hold your breath. That’s how I’m interpreting that. So, it seems to me that DMOZ links aren’t as highly regarded by Google as they used to be. And if that’s the case then why bother submitting your site to the directory. No matter how much progress ODP may have been this past year, if you can’t expect to get link juice and search engine benefits from it then it might not make a difference. I’m not sure it’s all that heavily trafficked any more. Either way, I still recommend some quality directory submission as part of a long term link building and search engine optimization strategy.