Posted April 8, 2008 7:40 pm by with 11 comments

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Web directories, especially high quality ones, are coveted links for search engine marketers. The holy grail is a link on DMOZ, but it’s pretty much unreachable. I know of someone who took great lengths to become an editor so he could get his site included. A few months later he resigned in frustration.

DMOZ is known to be backlogged and highly political. You stand more chance of getting a link on Wikipedia. Now web directory Best of the Web ( says they are going to compete with DMOZ, starting with hiring over 30 of the directory’s top editors.

DMOZ boasts over 79,476 editors but the ones recruited for BOTW were part of the original team that started in the late 90s. BOTW was actually started before DMOZ – in 1994. The names of the new hires are well known in the directory industry. They even have a nickname – “The Nerd Herd.” They’re tasked with improving the site and adding new sites and blogs.

Directories are edited by people who look for quality sites and list them by topic. They’re not only a resource for people to find sites, but it’s a way search engines find new content that is spam-free. And if BOTW can grow into a larger directory, while avoiding a lot of the politics of DMOZ, this is welcomed news.

Update: There have been 79,476 editors since DMOZ began. Currently there are about 7,000 editors. Not all of the DMOZ editors recruited for BOTW are from the original team.

  • I’m a big fan of BOTW. And not so much of a fan of DMOZ. Good luck to them.

  • Directories are dead, they just won’t admit it yet. They need to do something that will actually propel them into the present instead of hanging out in the past.

  • Exactly Jeremy. Dont remember the last time I was at one.

  • I find directories to be very slow ways of gaining backlinks. The only websites that wish to link to me are those that want to swap links and they are worthless.

    One of the best ways I find of getting links is to comment on blogs.

  • Sally

    Becoming the next DMOZ is like, well, becoming the next DMOZ is supposedly reinventing itself, at least according to its blog… for whatever that’s worth. The problem I see for BOTW is that, as others have pointed out, directories are lousy destinations. DMOZ only survives because of its RDF dump. No data sharing, no DMOZ.

    Looking at the list of people BOTW is bragging about hiring? I almost have to laugh. Ask a long-term DMOZ editor “off the record” about some of those names.

  • Directories are full of annoying site owners that just want a quick $5 bucks for them to “review” your site within a few days. BOTW is making some good moves but I am 50/50 about their efforts. It seems that DMOZ is a respectable free directory that strives to keep their database free of … well crap. BOTW would sell their only newborn for $295 a year.

  • spectregunner

    >DMOZ boasts over 79,476 editors but the ones recruited for BOTW were part of the original team that started in the late 90s.

    Respectfully, you have a couple of factual errors in this sentence. The 79,476 number is not the number of current editors, it is the number of editors who have contributed to the directory since it began. Currently there are about 7,000 active editors, myself included.

    Second, not all of the editors recruited by BOTW were part of the original cadre. Looking through the editor names they release, most are very experienced, highly competent editors, but not all have been with DMOZ since the beginning, and a good number of them are not currently affiliated with DMOZ.

    ODP Editor spectregunner

  • >BOTW would sell their only newborn for $295 a year.

    Correction. Yahoo sells newborns for $295 a year. Ours are only $79.95 a year.

  • I like BOTW. I think that submission fees are low for really quality strong link.

  • Janet Meiners

    @spectregunner – thank you for the clarifications, I updated the post to reflect your comments.


  • BOTW is only good for byuying a backlink. When is the last time you went on BOTW to find a site? Come on.