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Monday, 8 December 2014

How is DMOZ doing?

Recently I analysed the directory Yahoo! and concluded that it is logical that there will be a shut down. Today I'm analysing DMOZ.org, the Open Directory Project.


Like Yahoo! the structure is a mix of language, location and subject. For example the Dutch page about hotels in Amsterdam has the following breadcrumb path: Top: World: Nederlands: Regionaal: Nederland: Noord-Holland: Gemeenten: Amsterdam: Reizen en Toerisme: Accommodatie: Hotels

While the English page about hotels in Amsterdam has the following breadcrumb path: Top: Regional: Europe: Netherlands: North Holland: Amsterdam: Travel and Tourism: Lodging: Hotels

When you select a category you will notice an horizontal rule between the categories. See also the example below. For me it is unclear why this rule is there. Like Yahoo! cross references are followed by the @ sign. However categories mention under "See also" don't have this @ sign. It is nice that there are links to the same category in other languages.


At each page there is a description available about the current category and the sub categories. That's great. That way you (and the volunteers, the editors) know what to expect.


In principle each category has an editor. When you Google for: site:dmoz.org "category editor" you will find circa 4,800 results. However when you Google for site:dmoz.org "volunteer to edit this category" you will find circa 20,700 results.

That's strange because according to the homepage of DMOZ.org there are 1,023,591 categories and 89,957 editors. So I think it is better to take a sample myself.

When you take a look at the category Arts and open the sub categories (including the cross references) you will find that of the 63 categories there are 18 categories without an editor. So roughly 28% of the categories don't have an editor. Not bad when you realise that the ratio categories to editors is 11 to 1.

Quality of the links

I try to use the same samples as I did with Yahoo!

Sample 1. Top: Society: Genealogy: Heraldry
This page needs an editor. There are 17 links (although the header suggests that there are 24 links). All these links are working, although 1 site is in French and 1 site is in Polish.

Sample 2. Top: Reference: Museums: Arts and Entertainment
This page doesn't need an editor, however it is not clear who the editor is. There are 18 links. 17 links are working and there is 1 broken link.

Sample 3. Top: Society: Subcultures: Hip-Hop: Breakdancing 
This page needs an editor. There are 14 links. All links are working, however 1 link is to the official Website of James Madison University Strength & Conditioning.

Sample 4. Top: Science: Environment: Forests and Rainforests 
This page needs an editor. There are 58 links, of these links there are:

  • 53 working links
  • 3 broken links
  • 1 redirected link (which doesn't redirect automatically)
  • 1 duplicate link
Based on these findings I conclude that the quality of DMOZ.org is much better than Yahoo! 

It is clear to me that nearly 90,000 editors makes a difference. Well done DMOZ.


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