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 (BOTW.org) 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.