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If you are new to the topic of SEO you may have never heard of dmoz.org, otherwise known as the Open Directory Project or ODP. ODP is a human-run and edited online directory that has been around since 1998, making it quite the dinosaur in internet terms. The fact that it is still, to this day, completely human edited sets it apart from many large directories and just about all search engines.
Whereas Google has a massive system of “crawlers,” software that follows links around the internet to find and index new sites, ODP gains all of its content from user submissions. Those submissions are reviewed by a team of editors – a team of almost 100,000 at the time I’m writing this, according to their site – and, if they meet the requirements, manually added to the directory in the appropriate category.
The ODP website doesn’t look like much. Honestly, it doesn’t look much different than it looked 15 years ago. How can a site so dated still matter to SEO today?
It doesn’t matter as much as it once did, that much is true. Before it was discontinued in 2011, Google Directory ran on data from ODP, making inclusion highly sought after for a number of years. Now that Google Directory is a thing of the past the benefits of an ODP entry have lessened but that hardly means that they’ve disappeared. Google does still pull data from ODP, including using ODP for generating snippets in search results.
Likewise, a significant number of other directories and search engines pull information from ODP, meaning that inclusion on dmoz.org results in far more weight and authority than just a single backlink. The potential benefit from a small investment of effort makes it well worth submitting your site for consideration.