You don’t need to read too many SEO (Search Engine Optimization) advisories before you see recommendations to register your site on DMOZ. DMOZ is the ‘Open Directory Project’ and is now owned by Netscape. The way it works is, various people (about 74,000 according to the DMOZ Web site) work as volunteer editors. Anyone can submit a site to a specific category. An editor for that particular category will then determine whether the site is deemed suitable for the category. Definitely a ‘directory’ but it doesn’t sound very ‘open’ to me and you could argue that ownership by Netscape means that it is no longer a ‘project’, at least in the original sense of the word.
You might ask whether anyone actually uses DMOZ to search for anything? I imagine a few poor souls do, but as other (non directory) based search engines (such as Google) do a tolerably reasonable job – I suspect not many people search using DMOZ. So why the importance that SEO experts place upon registering with DMOZ? The answer is that, supposedly, Google and other search engines place serious store on what is included in DMOZ – hence a DMOZ listing could improve your search ranking in other search Web sites. That is why SEOs are so interested in DMOZ.
My own experience has been that some of my sites and client sites get listed on DMOZ – others do not. And what’s more, I will never find out why or why not. One of my sites provides free, quality information and is consistently on the first page in Google – it does not appear in DMOZ, despite being submitted. I don’t know for sure, but what is to stop a competitor or rival becoming an editor and then deliberately suppressing my site in favor of his own? Certainly not because the process is ‘open’ or ‘transparent’, which it certainly is not.
I reckon that a sizeable number of the 74,000 are involved in SEO in some way – which means that DMOZ is flawed – you certainly could not rely on it for reliable content in my opinion. If there ever were any advantages in being edited by humans – they have now certainly been forfeited because it is edited by humans with their own vested interests. I believe that if Google and friends stopped placing any weight on DMOZ listings (which they should), then the 74,000 editors would disappear very quickly and this anachronism would very quickly go where it belongs – into information technology history.