ODP Founder Skrenta On Dying Open Directory

DMOZ had 9 lives. Used up yet? from one of the Open Directory’s founders Rich Skrenta covers how some of the ODP’s data has apparently been lost due to a main server crash, with backups not having been done. There’s apparently some attempt at recovery, but as Rich points out, does anyone at AOL really care? Sadly, it’s felt like not for many years. As with Rich, perhaps the best way forward is to just close the project. If not, c’mon Google, acquire it and reshape it somehow.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Search Engines: Open Directory Project


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • http://www.joostdevalk.nl/blog/ Joost de Valk

    I’d rather see Yahoo buy it, to be honest, they seem to have been better at creating working social communities the last few years…

  • http://incredibill.blogspot.com/ IncrediBILL

    Anyone read the ODP license?

    The license says anyone can use the data for free, Google already does, and can modify it and redistribute it as long as you give ODP attribution.

    Yahoo already has a directory that hasn’t been tainted by all the ODP editor bias so it wouldn’t make sense for them to waste a penny on it, especially since ODP data is free.

    If Google did acquire it, they should just take the data and dump the current editors and command structure as it simply doesn’t work.

    However, why would anyone pay for what is completely free unless they just wanted to rebrand it as their own without attribution?

    Attribution is CHEAP, acquisition is EXPENSIVE, so any company can virtually take over the project as long as they give attribution and follow the license without spending a red cent.

  • bloard

    “ODP’s data has apparently been lost…” Are you kidding me? Just enter your favorite search term into MSN, pick whichever ODP scraper site that ranks number one, scrape it, replace URL http://www.my-dmoz-clone- for-my-keyword.com with dmoz.org, and “presto”, the ODP data is back.

    For obvious reason, this can’t be the problem. There are probably more copies of ODP data floating around the web than any other set of data ever produced.

  • http://seoptimization.blog.com/ இ Search Engines WEB

    DMOZ could reinvent itself into a very low price, high quality directory – just to cover maintanance expenses.

    However, the theme of seeking unique content would have to be replaced with the goal of seeking very high quality content.

    Perhaps, even developing a consumer rating systems for the business listings.

    The buyer would have to be convinced in the potential ROI of this acquisition

  • http://www.stonetemple,com/blog Eric Enge

    Personally, I don’t think there is any point in Google acquiring it. The quality of the existing data is poor, and the bias problems that have shaped it are well known.

    I would think that Google would start from scratch, if they wanted to replace what they currently have from ODP, rather than using it as a starting place. It would be cheaper, and easier for them. The current structure of DMOZ would simply hamper them.

    Question for the audience: When was the last time you used ODP (or the Google directory) to find something?”

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