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DMOZ Editor Login Broken?

Posted by Melanie Phung on Thursday, October 26, 2006 at 10:32 am

Anyone else having trouble logging in to their DMOZ editor dashboard? The ODP directory itself is live and running, but the editor login URL just returns a 404 Page Not Found.

I haven’t made any updates to my subcategory in a while and, as you know, DMOZ editors need to remain active or risk getting their editing “privileges” revoked. Oh well, I’ve already accomplished what I set out to accomplish by becoming an editor (which was to get my sites included … and although it was an uphill battle, it’s done), so I suppose it doesn’t matter anymore. The fact of the matter is that the Open Directory Project generates zero traffic and is highly overrated when it comes to SEO benefit (it ain’t the 90’s no more folks). It was simply a matter of principle.

In related news, in Tuesday’s search “weather report” Yahoo confirmed that it now officially supports the NOODP meta tag (as Google has been doing). The NOODP tag tells engines (those that support the standard) not to display the description written for your site by the ODP editors. That’s useful because the descriptions written by the ODP editors generally suck. There’s still no way to block Yahoo from displaying the Yahoo Directory descriptions in the SERPs, but those you write yourself when you submit your site for inclusion.

My question to you (besides “are you able to log in to DMOZ?”) is this: are directories at all relevant anymore?

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Category: DMOZ

Are Search Queries a Private Matter?

Posted by Melanie Phung on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 at 4:16 pm

“Using search engines to search the the internet is simply not a private activity, nor will it ever be.” (



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Category: Uncategorized

Random Lunatic Riffing

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 5:25 pm

What’s the sound of random lunatics riffing? If a random lunatic hollers for his acne cream, does anybody care? And why don’t bloggers put on some clothes, anyway?

These and many other hard-hitting news questions are posed in the intrepid reporting staff of Time magazine (oh wait, that was a guest columnist).

Via Threadwatch.

Oh right, that wasn’t the question being asked. The author wanted to know if newspapers had any hope of being relevant in the future. It’s Old Media vs. New Media: Round 28.

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Category: Blogging

Google Earth Does Space

Posted by Melanie Phung on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 at 3:15 pm

The Wirefly X Prize Cup is taking place this weekend and Google Earth created a special page to showcase its 3D rendering of the event.

There will be a Wirefly X Prize Cup blogger live “on the scene” to blog about the events as they happen, too. Not nearly as exciting as Anousheh Ansari’s blog from space, but probably more detailed, I anticipate.

Playing the part of the Wirefly X Prize Cup blogger: Jon Gales, whom I’ve profiled here last year.


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Category: Google

Google Rumor Mill: New "Minus 30" Penalty

Posted by Melanie Phung on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 at 11:48 am

There’re now strong rumors of a new Google penalty called “the Minus 30 Penalty” – talk is of it being an over-optimization penalty, but you know how reliable these conjectures are.

The interesting thing is that the penalty is not a ban, but a bump down of 30 spots. So it’s nearly impossible to tell if you dropped because of a penalty, your own on-site issues, changes by your competitors, etc (whereas with a ban it was pretty clear what happened and steps you could take to lift the ban).

Goddamn moving target… it’s almost as if Google just wants to make our jobs more difficult, go figure.

Updated: There’s vigorous discussion on Threadwatch where speculation is that this penalty is only for minor infractions and will be lifted as soon as the “problem” is fixed, and/or that it is a time-limited thing that goes away after some time (although what the point of that would be from Google’s perspective, I don’t know).

Other rumors in various forums is that this is a replacement for the Google Sandbox, which seems unlikely to me since the Sandbox filter serves a different function. Remember, this “minus 30 penalty” is hitting sites that were ranking well, and then inexplicably dropped, rather than brand new sites. Matt Cutts, to date, has not addressed questions about the minus 30 penalty on his blog.

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Category: Google