BOTW In Talks To Purchase DMOZ Directory From AOL


At SES San Jose a couple weeks ago there were rumors floating around about Best Of The Web purchasing DMOZ from AOL. I am very good friends with the owners of BOTW and when I asked them during that time they told me “officially” they had no comment.

Well I have been pressing them a bit more about an official word regarding the purchase. AOL has been dumping a ton of dead weight and being BOTW has already hired away most of the premier DMOZ editors it just seemed like a good fit for them.

Well I now have official confirmation that BOTW and AOL are in discussions about selling the directory and a deal could be reached fairly soon.

So being that Google’s business directory is just a syndication from the DMOZ I wonder how Google will look on this deal.

I can already see the headlines of “Now You Have To Buy Your Way Into Google’s Business Directory” but seriously…. atleast it will have some editorial standards.

Anyway as I said above I am good friends with the owners of BOTW so obviously I am biased. I am curious to hear your thoughts on the deal if in fact BOTW is the new owners of the DMOZ directory.

189 thoughts on “BOTW In Talks To Purchase DMOZ Directory From AOL

      1. web hosting rebates

        we’ll see. Right now, it’s almost impossible to get in because most of the categories are already filled with lots of sites. If you submit your site in less popular categories you still have a chance to be approved.

      2. Acrucia

        Yeah it’s for this reason i don’t like DMOZ. If it’s hard for ourselves to get our sites listed. Then it’s the same for others. Which means we’re missing out on alot of sites that could be useful.

        Brilliant idea, hopefully a takeover will see it develop into something better than it is.

      3. Blogging Millionaire

        Dude, it is really annoying when you are always replying to the first comment on all these different blogs. The problem with it is that your comment is never towards the other commenter, but the article instead. article instead. it just seems really spammy.

  1. jamesb

    Well if its a question of ethics I do not think its a comparison. As you said BOTW hired away all the good editors. All that is left is corrupt crap.

    That is also why Google has devalued it as such.

  2. Tushar Dhoot

    Like “People You’ll See in Hell” said, as long as they don’t every single crappy site on the internet in, and there is atleast 1 free way of getting in for people with good sites but not enough money, it’ll be great. Anything is better than AOL running the site.

  3. Eric

    While back in the day DMOZ was just flat out Awesome, but it’s well do for a change. While this might not be the best way I could have thought of to play it all out, but it’s at least a change. I am tired of DMOZ and the lack of interest in changing and very corrupt insiders doing whatever they want.

    All, I can say is I sure hope BOTW can bring it back to what it was back in the good ole days of pure quality editing!

    Enough said and Keep It SEO Simple Stupid,


  4. mrkbsm

    I think a bit of a change-up might do DMOZ some good. Retaining the ability to submit without payment would be nice, but then again I wouldn’t disagree if there was a *paid* option for guaranteed review within a certain timeframe.

      1. mrkbsm

        I was vaguely aware that they do (or did) have free submission, but only for non-commercial sites. Is that right, or do they have free commercial site submission somewhere as well? (I’m aware of the “free 60 day advertising/sponsored-listing trial, but could well be oblivious to any other optoins)

  5. Bryn Youngblut

    I could really care less. I personally think link directories are getting less and less popular as google is favoring blog content for searches over link directories (I would think) but who knows maybe they will change it up.

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  8. Robin Majumdar

    Personally, while I have huge props for BOTW in their pioneering ways, I think the days of directory sites being a major force are beyond us… at least not in the current state that they (DMOZ, BOTW, others) are in.

    Just my $0.02… but if this news is true, Shoe scoops us all again!

  9. John

    Hello Shoe,
    I am new to IM and a big follower of you (guess i should have said just another :p)
    reg the post.. i wonder what would be the big Gs counter act..
    (i never had a clue that Gs dir is a syndication of DMOZ)

  10. Chris

    Interesting. I posted the check photo with a link back to your site, on an eBay Meetup group. If you like it let me know. If you want something changed let me know. If you want it down, let me know.

  11. Dave

    Google owns 5% of AOL, depending on the terms that were made with that, Google may have some say in terms of approving a sale or not.

    1. Tushar Dhoot

      Good observation there Dave. But do you think Google’s 5% will really make a difference? AOL and Time Warner are both under very intense pressure from shareholders to sell off their low revenue assets.

    1. You're All Being Played

      One calendar year after this “expert” suckered everyone with his “DMOZ is corrupt” story…he has followed up with Link Bait exercise #2 and you are all falling for it again.

      DMOZ is not for sale. You should never believe anything on this site about DMOZ. Ever.

  12. Cigar Inspector

    The question I have is what they will be doing with sites already in the directory (I have a couple and they can’t really be classified as non-commercial as there are ads running). Will they be asking for a fee to stay in the directory?

  13. purposeinc

    That will be great to have Greg in charge of DMOZ. I bowed out as an editor after it seemed a bit unfair on some counts. I am sure the BOTW guys will make it a very important resource for all of us! I wish them great luck!

  14. shafi

    Hi Shoemoney,

    I tried to buy a shoe money t-shirt from your store, but could not. Its only available for united states customers.

    I’m in Canada. Please add Canada.


  15. The Good Blog Guide

    I think the move will probably benefit everybody, except the workers who will no doubt be made redundant in the near future.

    I still feel it’s shame that companies that have brought themselves up from nothing finally give in and sell. At least it’s not another google purchase although no doubt they’ll have a say somewhere along the line.

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  17. pittfall

    It would be nice to see something come of DMOZ other than nothing (which is what is happening now). The Open Directory has been running on auto-pilot for some time, this might bring some relevance back to the aging directory.

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  19. Garry Conn

    If BOTW has their eyes on DMOZ, it is because they have a plan and want to do something with the directory. What they do with the directory once they own it I guess could be debatable and whether it would be perceived to have the public’s best interest in mind would be soon seen.

    I guess things couldn’t get much worse. Right now, my opinion of DMOZ is that it is a very corrupt place. If it was properly run and maintained, I think it could actually be a very decent place to troll around and find things.

    All in all, if BOTW were to purchase DMOZ from AOL, I couldn’t foresee things getting any worse for the directory than they currently are. Only time will tell.

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  21. Data Entry Services

    I have been trying to get listing in DMOZ for a long time and found that they do not have enough editors. To have such a big influence on the internet and not be empowered with responsibility for that influence just doesn’t seem right. I hope this will improve that situation. Thanks for sharing – interesting!

    1. Garry Conn

      They don’t have enough editors because they don’t accept new ones into the system. It’s almost as if they don’t want anyone new joining. I am sure that isn’t accurate, but needless to say, that is my perception.

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  23. Rasim

    I wonder what’s the price range and what changes should we expect. I think the idea is great since DMOZ is the most known, but takes forever to get approved. :)

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  25. lasvegascom

    I stopped even submitting sites to dmoz a few years ago. Maybe the guys at BOTW can turn in back into a decent directory. The questions will be:
    1. will the sites listed stay?
    2. will it be free to get listed?
    3. will google still give it value like it used to?

  26. Christian Little

    I’d be curious to see how they will manage the listings once they take the site over. One of the biggest problems with DMOZ for the past 5 years has been the corruption of it’s moderators.

    Even you posted sometime last year that you got a blackmail email from one of the mods, demanding a big chunk of cash or they would drop your listing, and from what I recall they did drop you since you refused.

    So if BOTW does take over the site, will this be ending? Or will it just maintain it’s current unethical practices? How will moderators be moderated? Will Google’s own directory remain powered by DMOZ once the exchange happens? What about the thousands of other sites that use the DMOZ feed to populate their own directories?

  27. Dominick

    Back in the day, I worked on a website that was really needing something to get it going. One of the things I did was submit to DMOZ. The wait was long, but well worth it. The popularity of the site skyrocketed once approved.

    Today, I’ve submitted other sites, and I just don’t see the quality that I once saw or the reward that a good website got from being listed in DMOZ. I’m hoping that BOTW can change that. I do think that there should be free listings. It’s hard enough getting started on the web, but to have 8 billion places you have to pay to get listed…it’s nice to know some of the best remain free, yet true to those of us who aren’t spammers, hackers, or otherwise harmful folks.

      1. Ian

        A privately held company whose main revenue source is from directory submission?

        Doubt Dmoz would be sold to such small fish.

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    1. SEO next

      Don’t under estimate BOTW they are not that small .. but yes it would be really interesting to see how much is the offer they have made to AOL

  29. Pingback: AOL is selling DMOZ | Search Feature

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  31. Sexy Girl

    Is DMOZ really important anymore? Don’t the other ways to get high PR backlinks outwigh the importance of the DMOZ dinosaur?
    That being said, if BOTW does a re-vamp of DMOZ, and makes it easier to get admitted, I will welcome it.

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  33. Best Web Directory

    First –
    I really wish the deal goes through.
    I wish BOTW overhauls the current editorial team of DMOZ and conduct interviews – so that only qualified editors with professional integrity (yes – i am indicating $$$) – stay on with the team.
    Third –
    It will be a herculean job to re-evaluate the whole database -what with so many listed sites/domains getting expired and a bunch of people buying those domains and changing the nature they originally looked.
    All the best to BOTW boys. :)

  34. chris pine

    i have one site in DMOZ. i think i get maybe 1 hit in every several thousand from that directory. i guess the only thing of value is a high PR site linking to my own thus increasing my own PR. but i wouldn’t hold your breath nor would i put too much weight in getting into that directory.

  35. Suckers

    Are you all stupid? This is the biggest pile of misinformation I have seen in the last year. Perhaps next week Shoemoney will post that Bank of America is going to puchase Google for $1, would you all be suckered into that? This is pure link bate.

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  44. pyrmont

    I honestly cannot understand all the enmity towards DMOZ, I had no issues getting in. T’was a Breeze. Quality of the Site Helps, Heaps.

    What I love about the net is the dynamism of the terrain. Nothing ever stands still.

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  47. Marketing Network

    Every body knows that Dmoz “service” is free but also corrupted in someway and with many deficiencies because the free service. it would a nice move the acquisition because Best of the web is a serious and good service.

  48. the first printed magazine for bloggers by bloggers

    its good to hear those rumors. we might see that some editors on dmoz will be pushed away cause of the way they behave within it. ex charging money to include some sites.

    i dont meen that all do that but for sure they have the privilage nd ways to do it (ex friends, business partners, etc)

    lets hope the guys at BOTW will develope some better standards 😉

  49. Carl

    This is a good thing. Hopefully it will clear up some of the corruption of dmoz. I think a lot of people are getting sick of it.

  50. clasione

    When I read this in a webpronews e-mail article I thought it was a joke… Something tells me that this isn’t going to happen, but if it does, I will be the first to admit that I was wrong… I have met some of the BOTW guys as well, and of cource am a customer of their great service, but I just don’t see it…. hats off if they come even close.

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  52. TownDeeds

    Ha! This would be cool. At least they will send you an email to tell you your submission has been received!. It’s would be cool to get the waiting list down below 12 months too.


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  56. Newsvend

    I have not heard much more about it (apart from here), has anyone got any other source for this rumour? I would hope that an acquiistion might shake the dmoz management up. The whole directory imo is way out of date and run very inefficiently on a number of fronts.

  57. WebsiteD

    Perhaps DMOZ might get a nice facelift and a better back-end. However, I’m feeling that Google may drop their emphasis on DMOZ.

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  63. Chuck Aikens

    I think this is great. I have submitted many sites to DMOZ and a handful of them are listed…I would much rather pay the listing fee from our sites and our clients’ sites to be listed in BOTW / DMOZ and then listed on Google and other authority sites.

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  68. trichnosis

    i hope this is true and botw buys the dmoz from aol.

    dmoz is currently (Death MOZ or spamMOZ). botw can bring the quality to dmoz which it needs

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  72. Montreal Web Design

    Heh, here in Montreal the web design companies are paying top dollars to get listed in

    Dmoz is a fairly decent directory but its management lacks to knowledge of handling an open-source project.

  73. Zurpit

    This would be great for DMOZ, maybe now they would be able to review sites quicker, now it takes over 3 months and a lot of sites get rejected

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  76. paisley

    it would be cool if they did… hate to see the years of work go to waste as it has… they should charge for listings.. $99 is a good start… have your friend buzz me, one of the early DMOZ editors that also did Yahoo! Directory, there are ways that monetizing the directory will work.

  77. SEO Page1

    I don’t think BOTW owning DMOZ is a bad thing, but don’t forget DMOZ feeds hundreds of other directories. So it’s not just Google that will have to look at the situation. BOTW could end up with a lemon on their hands.

  78. Dice Reviews

    I have several sites on BOTW and DMOZ, but lately my new project are ignored by DMOZ. I welcome a solution where BOTW buy DMOZ – maybe then the directory will become active again.
    Dmoz was a beast, now it’s a turtle

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  82. jakki

    yes, it is better if BOTW buy dmoz directory.
    if owner not have time to care then always better to handover so site will not die. :)

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