BOTW In Talks To Purchase DMOZ Directory From AOL

by Jeremy Schoemaker on September 13, 2008 · 189 comments

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.

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About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

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1 People You'll See In Hell

As long as the editorial standards are strong, I have no problem with this. The guys at BOTW always seemed like an ok bunch.

2 Chris Jacobson

Hopefully if they get bought out it will be easier to get approved in the directory.

3 Ganesh

Good for me. :)

4 Blogging Millionaire

good for you.

5 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.

6 Jewellery

Its because, the editors send bribes to get you into the listings and/or to threaten to remove you from them.

7 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.

8 Custom T-Shirts

You could always become an editor. That seems to be the easiest wa to get listed on DMOZ these days.

9 A.C. Slater Baccarat

Is it hard to become an editor?

10 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.

11 jamesb



im not sure about botw but google could well live up to the editorial standards.

13 SMM Guru

I agree but more importantly I want to see more spam control from Google. Inevitably there will be some spam.

14 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.


u bet… so if botw takes over dmoz there could definitely be a problem with the ethics on the listings in dmoz…

16 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.

17 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,


18 A.C. Slater Baccarat

I wonder if BOTW can bring it back to its old glory as well…

19 Joshua

I doubt it could go anywhere but down if AOL keeps it.

20 Moneybites

You said it buddy

21 SEO Manchester

Agreed! Anyone know what actually happened wıth this then, did the deal go through?

22 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.

23 Jeremy Schoemaker

I am pretty sure botw has free submissions also

24 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)

25 cheap used cars

i think a paid submission is cool as long as they dont let in everyone who pays, just promise to review within a certain amount of time.

26 Melvin

i think it’s a great move.. botw and dmoz have both great reps around the intrnt

27 TYCP Entertainment Magazine

It’s about time there was a change. Hopefully it’s a good one. There are way too many shady people at DMOZ.

28 Dick

I am not sure that this will benefit the people. I think everything is not so simple….

29 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.

30 Will

Link directories still have a fair amount of weight in the algorithm. This article attempts to explain why:

31 web hosting rebates

directories in general are not very valuable in google’s eyes. But I still think that links from directories like Yahoo Directory, DMOZ or BOTW are valuable these days.

32 Jewellery

They still favour this directory due to its nature.

33 cheap used cars

they favor it because of how old it is and how many backlinks it has… but if they go paid they could lose their clout a la yahoo directory.

34 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!

35 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)

36 HSD

once there sold it’ll be way easier (hopefullly) to get into the directories

37 Moneybites

Awesome, maybe DMOZ will be less biased now :evil:

38 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.

39 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.

40 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.

41 raheel

Wow sounds good to me….

42 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.

43 wisdom

BOTW seems like a decent directory, I would not mind the change.

44 jack

We’ve been waiting for this , I really hope they will go on with that since DMOZ is in need of some serious help right now ..

45 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?

46 web hosting rebates

that’s what I’m wondering. Hopefully DMOZ will stay free. If not at least those that are already in it won’t be force to pay a fee or something

47 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!

48 meethere

if they buy, then definitely google will decrease DMOZ’s weight… !!
Agree ?

49 web hosting rebates

hopefully not. Anyway, there’s nothing we can do, just wait and see

50 SMM Guru

If they do there are going to be a lot of “SEOs” getting angry phone calls.

51 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.


52 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.

53 web hosting rebates

any rumors about the transaction amount ?

54 Tushar Dhoot

Yea, I was going to post the same.

I think it’ll be around $xxx million. probably low xxx or high xx.

55 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.

56 Dick

This is shocking news. I am very surprised.

57 kinopoisk

Why shocking news? It’s just a business ;)

58 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.

59 ways to earn online

I think it wouldnt hurt for them to take over. Its hard to get your blog listed on DMOZ anyway. It might be a better option anyway.

60 Douglas

When I read “BOTW”, I thought you mean’t Bank of the west…

61 Custom T-Shirts

This is a huge purchase, any idea on the purchase price?

62 web hosting rebates

nothing yet. I’m curious to see for how much would DMOZ be sold (if)

63 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!

64 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.

65 JRS

Sounds interesting.

66 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. :)

67 Dick

I think that the price may be very large.

68 carol stanley

I go along with anything …as long as I can navigate it on the internet…carol stanley author of For Kids 59.99 & Over

69 Sohail

I wonder how much they will pay. Any ideas?

70 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?

71 Dick

I think Google will also apply to the directory as before. The price is unknown. -(

72 Steve

I am surpised that AOL is letting go of DMOZ, they recently dropped netscape. I wonder what’s next.

73 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?

74 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.

75 Robin Majumdar

Are you saying that your inbound traffic from BOTW is better than that of DMOZ ?

76 cheap used cars

uhh.. can they open up the bidding?

77 pctec

I hope it works out for them… In all honesty DMOZ has become the joke of the internet. Maybe someone new can bring it back.

78 Steven-Sanders

They can’t get any worse. I look forward to seeing someone try to fix what it has become.

79 Ted

It’s simply a link bait for BOTW to gain publicity. I don’t think they have a budget to buy Dmoz. :)

80 Robin Majumdar

Good point… but how can we know about the true financial prowess of BOTW ; are they not a privately held company ?

81 Ian

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

Doubt Dmoz would be sold to such small fish.


Someone should call and ask google to take over!

83 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

84 mathew

BOTW may to DMOZ what google did to yahoo, you never know

85 windharp

Thanks for the good laugh :-)

86 Protese de silicone

If this really happen, I think google will take som providences

87 Mike Dammann

This would be terrific. Right now DMOZ is not benefitting anybody except a few editors.

88 Mike Dammann

Can’t wait to see this happen!

89 Mario

I say…this is interesting really….

90 KC

I have doubts that AOL will cooperate on this one.

91 jim

DMOZ has been shady for a long long while, I think BOTW will do great with that legacy and I welcome the acquisition.

92 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.

93 Ben

If this happens, DMOZ is going to be another buy a spot in Google domain surely?

94 SMM Guru

Goes to show how much BOTW must be raking in :)

95 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. :)

96 Rekzai

DMOZ fell off.

97 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.

98 SEO next

And with this purchase the amount of authority the directory has in G might decrease as well…
Lets wait and watch what happens.

99 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.


Yeah! DO IT! I am all for it!

101 Quang Le

This is a good article. But can anyone tell me know how can I do? And how long my website – can be placed at DMOZ?

102 izu mou

strange enough,i thought google is eyeing them,why Aol this time?

103 Web Hosting Coupon Codes

I dont think dmoz is worth that much anyways

104 SEO next

I guess i would finally be able to make it to Dmoz if BOTW get hold of it ;-)

105 Free PPC Traffic

It’s very interesting to see that BOTW will purchase Dmoz. We can just pay to be listed at Dmoz and don’t wait for too long.

106 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.

107 Free Web directory

Unbelievable …

I hope google will change its impact on DMOZ …-if it gone happen …

108 Jamie

I wonder how much would the highest bid be if BOTW wants to change DMOZ to a bidding

109 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.

110 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 ;-)

111 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.

112 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.

113 mingster

I found a site that lets you create your own directories around whatever subjects you like – its free too.

114 mingster

I found a site that lets you build your own directory around whatever topic you like – Its free too.

115 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.


116 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.

117 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.

118 John Galpin

And maybe it will actually be possible to get into DMOZ now. There’s just no accountability there….

119 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.

120 Eva White

How much of a difference will it make if they have already got thier best editors?

121 Eva White

Wow, black mail email demanding money? That’s quite horrible.

122 Rev. Leslie Posey

Whats all the fuss about

123 leslieposey1

Apparently the machine holding dmoz in AOL ops crashed. Standard backups had been discontinued for some reason; during unsuccessful attempts to restore some of the lost data, ops blew away the rest of the existing data on the system.

Read the story here if you want
better hury though my posts keep getting deleted here

124 leslieposey1
125 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

126 Strong Arm

As a business man I would like to know if any of believe that the USA will still be around in a year, or two because I’m not sure.

127 blogger

I think they are planning to accept payed submissions and Google may drop their emphasis on DMOZ.

128 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.

129 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

130 Sanek

Good for me :)

131 Sanek

Good for me

132 Tamish

AOL is becoming FAILING BADLY.
Previously in their blog network, then propeller and now DMOZ.

133 Tamish

But Hey
DMOZ might be bought by Google.

134 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.

135 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.

136 rich

it doesnt surprise me that the deal never went through… kind of like msn trying to buy yahoo.

137 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

138 Thai

Hopefully if they get bought out it will be easier to get approved in the directory.

139 Accichcacy

Скажите, а у вас есть RSS поток в этом блоге?

140 Максим Кузьмичев

Я тоже врямя от времени такое вижу, но как-то раньше не придавал этому значения.

141 Used Japanese cars

I think it is good as I can put our website on their directory at once.

142 Cheap used cars

Im really not sure how great an idea of them buying the directory..maybe it will turn for the worst

143 Alina

I hated DMOZ, once an emporium, Now ruined,
God luck!!

144 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. :)

145 The biggest market in the world

I already submitted to BOTW, not sure how long will it take to show my site online

146 thomaswilson

I also submitted site in dMoz many weeks ago till now I didnt get any response from their side.

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