What DMOZ’s closure means for all of us

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Hey peeps,

We have started a whole new month!

Springtime is approaching, and flowers again will be in bloom.

Springtime is also time for renaissance, rejuvenation and meditating about the future.

This time we will talk about something ancient, some of you who were born later than 1990 or so could remember – a time where humans, not machines, curated the internet.

DMOZ was an open directory project run by volunteers that was made to list all relevant websites on the internet.

It was so relevant back in the day, that Google used it as a ranking factor.

zefo-dmoz

DMOZ’s history starts in 1998, the day of its inception. It was a volunteer’s answer to Yahoo listing directory, that grew too powerful and intricate for websites to actually be listed on.

DMOZ was acquired by Netscape, which was in turn acquired by AOL, and eventually fell out of grace when Google started crawling the web automatically and made the process of being listed on DMOZ obsolete and insignificant as a ranking factor.

Yahoo, ever the last one to hear, also shifted to a machine powered search directory, which made its own directory more powerful but eventually lost to Google who has rendered their engine irrelevant, which made them close its doors in 2014.

There was a time people where Yahoo was the strongest index of the web, where everyone wanted to be listed on its directory – this time is no more.

Why now?

Well, let’s think about DMOZ and its impact on SEO:

  • It was human operated
  • Google introduced NOODP meta tag because of it – which gave more control over snippets for marketers and webmasters to request to not be described using open directory descriptions, which today no longer is relevant.

We are only left to reflect on the past here at ZEFO.

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