Open Directory introduces abuse report system
There has been complaints about editors using the Open Directory (ODP) to forward their own interests only. ODP meta editors are introducing an abuse report system in order to defend the directory's quality and integrity.
There are search engines and there are search directories. While search engines crawl from one Web page to another using software based "robots", search directories are built by human editors that visit each and every one of the sites included. The mother of all search directories is, of course, Yahoo!. However, the Open Directory, a volunteer based initiative, is just as important -- or maybe even more so, as a listing in this directory may influence your ranking in Google in a positive way.
You may access the directory at a lot of sites, including Google and AOL. The Pandia Plus directory is also based on the ODP. In a large number of categories the Open Directory, or DMOZ as it is also called, provides some of the best collection of online resources available. However, it is no secret that there is a lack of editors in some areas of the catalog.
Moreover, there are webmasters that try to abuse the system, getting too many listings, entries that inappropriate etc. This abuse undermine the legitimacy of the database, and could -- in a worst case scenario -- lead Google and other search sites to abandon the directory. The DMOZ team has for a long time had a very strict policy against editors trying to use their position to promote their own sites. If found, they are normally kicked out. However, there are more than 57,000 editors and a very small staff. Quite a few cheaters slip by.
Now the directory is taking a new approach in the battle against both internal and external abusers. Users of the ODP (and hence of the Google Directory or Pandia Plus) may now report suspicions of abusive editors/conduct to DMOZ Meta Editors and Staff. "All reports will be investigated expeditiously and in complete confidence," ODP Meta Editor Ettore R. Peyrot says. "If abuse is found we will rectify it."
Users will be able to submit reports anonymously, although the ODP would like to have an email address, in case they need to ask for more information. According to the "Frequently Asked Questions About the DMOZ Abuse Report System", the following behavior is not accepted:
* Editors giving preferential treatment to their sites
* Editors adding inappropriate sites (e.g. pornographic sites)
* Sites listed in the Kids branch which present adult content
* Biased/slanted categories where some views are suppressed
* Editors accepting bribes
However, the ODP editors are not that concerned about spam techniques used to influence rankings in search engines. After all, these editors visit your site personally, and if they see a high quality site of relevance to their category, they will normally add it. Hence hidden links won't hurt you, but they won't help you either. The new system is currently in a beta testing phase, which is why it is not hosted on the dmoz.org servers.
However, it does have the "full blessing and support of the ODP staff".