One of the oldest web directories on the web, DMOZ aka The Open Directory Project is closing.
The site will go offline on March 14, 2017.
DMOZ may be one of the most significant directories remaining after Yahoo closed its directory some years ago.
A Bit of Background
DMOZ was launched in 1998. It powered the directory services of several search engines and web portals.
Maintained by a community of volunteer editors, DMOZ, is owned by AOL. The site underwent a redesign less than a year ago.
In the pre-Google era, open directories like DMOZ were the most trusted sources of information for web users. And for web based businesses they were still important for promoting a website.
Why The Open Directory Project is Closing
Once Google entered the market, things however took a different turn. Instead of relying on human editors, users started preferring Google’s search results that were generated by automation.
DMOZ was infrequently updated and poorly maintained, which also resulted in its gradual downfall.
Web Directories and SEO
At the peak of its popularity, DMOZ was preferred because it had an impact on search engine rankings. Over a period of time, web directories’ overall impact on SEO and rankings began to be questioned.
— John ?.o(???)o.? (@JohnMu) February 24, 2017
This eventually led to a further decline in the popularity of web directories.
Mixed Reactions from Web Users
On social media, web users had mixed reactions to the news.
Some welcomed the decision, while some reminisced about a time before Google changed everything.
Well it was kind of a closed directory so good thing they take it down! Let's see how serps will change 😉 #dmoz #SEO https://t.co/ppaP583U0X
— BMCInternetMarketing (@BMCInternet) March 2, 2017
The end of an era for us #SEO peeps – #DMOZ is closing down. Getting an A from them was like getting a link from BBC. All change
— Sarah Quinlan (@SarahinSuffolk) March 2, 2017
Most seem to agree this is the end of an era.
The machines continue to take over, though don’t think this is the end of human-edited directories. People will still trust curated/vetted content and sites. It’s just a matter of figuring out how that curation is done & shared. I feel like social media is taking over that role.
A shame as I have used it personally and professionally in the past. As Robert says, things are moving on and seeing how SEO fully adapts to social media over the coming years will be fascinating.
Machines are taking over at the behest of humans who – more than ever – need automation to help them sift through the chaff. I’m sorry to see DMOZ go – I’m a former editor (former Magellan and LOOK editor too) – but times are a’changing. Happily, content is still king!