July 28, 2016

DMOZ Nasty Birthday To Me

I would be interested to know if anyone else has experienced anything like this from DMOZ.

Today, I was working late so that I might get a little time off on my birthday tomorrow. Just after 10pm I checked my stats and found that an editor from DMOZ was checking out my website. This was great news to me as I have recently requested inclusion in the DMOZ directory.

Just after midnight, I went to my site and saw that I had a new comment. The commenter had used my name and an attempt at guessing my email when leaving his/her comment. What’s more, he/she had really laid into me personally and my company. I decided to go back to my stats to see what I could see. To my surprise, it was the DMOZ editor.

I decided to screenshot the stats to show proof that the visitor is a DMOZ editor, as well as their IP Address and location.

Comment From DMOZ EditorNow For The Comment And My Response

The Comment

If you think those two sites bear any relativity to SEO, you need your bumps felt mate. Pseudo plastic services, selling their snake-oil by FUD, my sites don’t have a page rank of 6? Indeed, and how many small businesses do? You also need to proof read the sites you have done work on, I spotted three errors in a quick peruse, and that’s just spelling and grammar.

Then it goes on to be a bit more personal. I’ll spare you that and stick to what’s relevant.

Link to the page containing the actual comment

My Response

The two sites in question are linked from one of my posts that point you to two free SEO tests. They are not owned by me, I am not affiliated to them and I stand to gain nothing from sending you to them. They are just two websites where you can get a quick snapshot view of your SEO, without giving out your email.

My site doesn’t have a page rank of six either. Most small businesses don’t get to, or need to get to PR6. As a company, we explain this to our clients. We would end up looking pretty stupid if we did not.

If the editor had spent more time checking out my site, (you know the one that he/she was looking at for DMOZ), he/she would have seen that quite a large number of my clients, run their own websites. Many of my clients start with a free WordPress template.

If he/she had not got so uptight about two other sites, he/she would know that we put traffic generation before design if the budget doesn’t stretch to both. You know, traffic, that thing that is the lifeblood of a business website.

He/she might have read any number of articles here at the site that was to be checked. Many of these articles are there to help small business owners better understand how a websites works for a business. How there are many things that a business can do to avoid spending unnecessarily with a company like my own.

He/she did visit the testimonials page but failed to see that I have very happy clients with websites that are scoring well for relevant search terms. Even though the websites have a few errors in the grammar and the HTML.

In an ideal world, my clients would have great designs, great SEO, great sales copy and great marketing. Sadly this is not an ideal world and I have to do the very best I can with the given budget. This often means making some sacrifices to ensure that the important stuff is done. The important stuff being business.

The editor from DMOZ finished, by saying that I had wasted his/her time. Funny because I thought it was me who thought carefully about the wording of my listing. Typed it out and submitted it, only to have someone come along and judge me and my business on the strength of two links.

If you think that this behaviour is unacceptable, please share this post using the buttons below and help me to expose this person.

IMPORTANT UPDATE! 28th/01/2012

After posting this article I am happy to announce that since re-submitting my website to Dmoz, it has been excepted in the directory. It’s only fair that I thank the editor that came back and judged my blog on its content, not on the two links mentioned.


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  1. Wow Steve, that is pretty damn rude, even for a DMOZ editor (who are well known to have a God complex already). Well done for highlighting their activity, hope that some mechanism kicks in to remove their editorial powers. Very confused why they would try to say they were YOU though, this seems very suspect unless they are actually a competitor and trying to discredit you – DMOZ rules are supposed to prohibit editors from being involved in categories they have a material interest in, but we all know how that goes….

    Happy birthday for tomorrow by the way :)

    • Hi Tony.
      Thank’s for the happy birthday.
      I just had to highlight the stats and comment. Would love to see his face when he realises that he’s been rumbled.
      I’m pretty sure that he was a designer. He made reference to his websites. Sadly he posted my url so I didn’t get the chance to return the favour.
      What really got under my skin was the fact that all I’m trying to do with that post is raise awareness. A good design is important but I believe that traffic is more so. Especially for a business.

  2. That is outrageous, from my very limited knowledge of seo, Steve knows how limited, it seems DMOZ have no control or moderation to keep the editors within the guidlines that i am sure are set. As i have been on the seo learning curve for nearly three weeks, I am now fully aware of the value of traffic. This is thanks to Steve, his patience and Sussex SEO.

    • Thank’s Richard.
      I should point out that Richard is a client. He runs his own website and with a little advice from us, he has hit the front page of Google, for two of his keywords in 3 weeks and all on a shoestring budget.

  3. My jaws just dropped! I did not think this could happen, this is outrageous. Good for you that you answered this guy in a public post! I hope you had a good birthday although this happened.

    • Hi Emilia.
      Thank’s for your support. I too was gobsmacked and you only got to see half the message. The rest was more like a personal attack.
      I had to post this in the hopes that someone from DMOZ will see it and act. I have also complained to DMOZ about it.
      At least I had a great birthday.
      Thank you once again for your kind words and the Birthday wishes.

  4. A shame you had to have this happen, Steve. DMOZ editors do have a reputation for some Napoleonic behaviour, now and then, and this isn’t the first occurrence I’ve heard of that leads me to believe that reputation is deserved. I hope your complaint attracts attention at the right desk to get this particular editor removed from the rolls.

    By the way, glad to hear you had a great birthday! 😉

    • Thank’s Doc.
      I appreciate your support. By the way, I just had a quick read of your article and it makes good reading. I think that good customer service is a rare thing with large companies. It’s a shame that many of them have become so short sighted.

  5. Glad that it turns out as a wonderful birthday present for you. I like the professionalism on the part of both of you.

  6. Good to see your update, Steve! One can’t help but wonder if that so-called “editor” is still out there, terrorizing DMOZ submitters with his/her own standards.

    Note to DMOZ: You might consider hiring some ORM done on your behalf, IF you can find anyone willing to take on such a Herculean task. 😉

    • Hi Doc.
      Great to see that you came back to see how things developed.
      As for the editor, well who knows? The main thing for me is that I’m now listed.
      Goes to show that out of a negative, often comes a positive.
      Thank’s again for popping back over and sharing your views. Hope you can make it back again soon.

  7. All I can say is WOW! Congratulations on getting your site accepted into their system, but this behavior is really unacceptable. That message the editor wrote, and I still don’t understand why s/he has written it in your name, is so out of line that I hope it will come to light who wrote it and there will be consequences. It is bad enough random people use the anonymity of the internet to bully others, but when it is about business and you being subjected to their scrutiny, it is absolutely outrageous.

    • Hi Leonard.
      Yes it is a bit shocking.
      I kind of get the feeling that this person may have got found out. I gave this post a massive push on the social networks and in my blogging community.

      I know from my stats that the images have been copied more than a few times. I also know that at least one DMOZ editor has been by and viewed the post.

      As I said, my blog is now listed and I’m grateful for that. You can’t hold DMOZ responsible for the actions of one of its authors. I’m sure for every 1 bad one there are probably 100 decent ones.

      I still wonder if the one I got was a competitor. There were things in the unpublished part of the comment that would make me believe so.

      Anyway Leonard, thank’s for your support and sharing your thoughts. Hope you can make it back here and join the discussion again.

  8. Leonard Evenson says:

    Yes, you’re right. One bad apple shouldn’t spoil the rest for us, and with putting the truth out there, the bad apple is picked out from the bunch. So, we can move on, right? I sense you’re over it by now.

    • Hi Leonard.
      Very much over it and long since moved on.
      Very greatful that someone had the decency to come back and give my blog a second chance. I never wanted to tarnish the reputation of DMOZ as they clearly care a great deal about quality. I just wanted to expose the bad apple because quality is a two way thing. I’m sure that DMOZ would want to know if an editor was doing their hard earned and well deserved reputation harm.
      Thank-you for your comment and input to this post.