DMOZ or the ODP (Open Directory Project) is a web directory that so many want to get their websites (or in our case, our forums) listed in to build a backlink to their sites from a site that the search engines may consider an authority site.
We could get into the silly allegations about corruption, paying for free listings, editors keeping competitors sites out and the laziness of editors, but that is not very productive and not even true! (we will leave that for the SEO Kiddies). There are plenty of mindless threads in SEO forums about this that serves no purpose. The main problem with these threads is the failure of those who want their sites listed to actually understand what DMOZ is.
What DMOZ is and what the volunteer editors are trying to do as a hobby is build a web directory that catalogues the web. They want to build a category of web sites that are unique. They do not want to build a category full of web sites that all offer the same thing. Editors work where and when they like and as much as they like (they are volunteers). So when they decide to do some work on a certain category, they can check current listings for if they should still be listed or they could do any number of other tasks, or they could look for new sites to add. They look for new sites in many places – they follow links on other sites; they use their personal knowledge of the niche; they use a search engine to search for suitable sites. They use many sources. To help facilitate the search for new sites that may be suitable to add value to a category, they allow the public to suggest sites. This results in a pool of suggested sites that the editor may or may not use in their search for web sites to add value. Less than half the sites that get added to DMOZ come from this pool that the public suggests.
Where all the nonsense in SEO forums about DMOZ comes from is webmasters having a different expectation of what they think DMOZ is. They want to submit a site; they want it processed on their time frame; and they want it listed to gain a backlink. Then they complain in SEO forums when this does not happen, yet they are not paying or providing anything in return for this expectation of a service from DMOZ. They get frustrated that they can not use DMOZ for their SEO purposes. DMOZ does not consider itself to be there for webmasters SEO purposes!
Can you see the difference between what DMOZ and its editors considers it to be and what webmasters think it should be? As the two perspectives are not compatible, are you surprised about what goes on in SEO forums about DMOZ?
There are 1000’s of directories that do provide a listing service to webmasters and processes submitted sites from webmasters (DMOZ just asks for suggestions from the public). DMOZ is just not one of them.