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Some questions on ODP data use and Google exclusion


Mar 11, 2007
I have tried to do some research on what I'm asking about by reading through different threads, but I am still quite confused:confused:. Please patiently read through what I wrote and note that some things you may know may not be that obvious to some folks.

  1. I am making a regional directory, covering about 5 countries.
    I want to use some ODP data to start with on a more or less one time basis. I might update it may be some time in future. I will certainly NOT use live data, like some scripts.
    The region I am dealing with, internet use is just beginning to spread. An example to this, is for country X, they have had a total of 329 links for many months with NO change. There is nothing to suggest this will change much in the near future. Others have a bit more, others much less. That is partly because the few folks there do not know the advantages of using DMOZ and actually other similar services yet and are just learning. For a start, that's why I am starting with some pre-population.
    For country X. for example, I added between 250 & 300 of those 329 links, but mostly in my own reformatted categorization looking roughly like:

    Arts and Culture (45)
    Business & Economy (188)
    Computers and Internet (79)
    Education and Reference (97)
    Embassies and Consulates (29)
    Government (61)
    Health (23)
    Home and Family (16)
    News and Media (33)
    NGOs (79)
    Non-English Sites (106)
    Personal Websites (6)
    Real Estate (19)
    Recreation (2)
    Regional (83)
    Restaurants and Bars (8)
    Shopping (7)
    Society (16)
    Sports (8)
    Travel and Tourism (177)
    I further made several sub-categories. As you may agree, many directories categorize their sites in roughly the same way or generally similar ways, because that is the most logical way to do so. So there are bound to be SOME similarities, not only with DMOZ, but with 1000 different directories. I have made my categories and subcategories, though strictly based on the needs of the targeted communities.
    In the meantime, I have taken time to include an extra 600 or so links (list growing) from personal searches from a wide range of sources over the last couple of weeks.

    I hope to do the same for the other countries in the group as I have done for country X.

    When the site is launched, however and adequate advertisement has been made, I hope people can submit their sites to it directly especially as the IT section grows, slowly but surely.

    In some forums, I have been told it's not necessary to include that ODP attribution "become an editor" box at the bottom when I explained to them the form of my directory. On the other side, I get the impression; inclusion of the smallest chunk of data from ODP compels one to add that box.

    • My question is it, based on what I explained above, including the fact that I am using just a fraction of links from ODP, necessary to include that attribution box, or could a small banner like I have seen somewhere with the words, "Search the web with DMOZ.org" or some other "Powered by DMOZ" statement/banner somewhere also suffice?

    • As I said, intend to use ODP data to give me just a kick-start. I therefore logically have a "Submit your site" link to our directory.
      In case it is required in my case to add that box, it is quite confusing to have 2 site submission links, one being that on that DMOZ attribution box. The targeted group has users who are not as "literate" in internet issues as those elsewhere, like most members of this forum are likely to be. What would be the best way to include a submission link to the site and that box without confusing visitors, regarding which submission link to use, since they might not the difference between the 2 sites?
  2. This brings me to my second question.

    I have read many horror stories in different forums and articles of Google and other search engines banning sites using ODP data, at least in some measure. I read somewhere, that any attribution like that above is likely to be taken note of by Google.

    This has made me almost give up the idea of using ODP data.
    My question is, is it still "safe" to use ODP data and if so, what is the correct way of using it to avoid being penalized by Google and other search engines for the same reasons?

I would be grateful for any clear answers, before I get myself in avoidable problems.:)


May 19, 2007
I also use odp data, so I was worried about google repetitive content filter. However after doing a bit of experimentation, I do not think that a site is ever "banned". Google can tell down to the granularity of a sentence if the content is repeated somewhere else. If it is then whoever a) they think first wrote it or b) has the highest page rank gets listed higher on search results. To get a real ban you would have to completely copy the dmoz site, and then you would never get crawled becuase your page rank would be so low.


Curlie Meta
Aug 19, 2003
This is just a personal view on using ODP data.

I understand the license to mean that if you use the data in whole or just some parts of it, then you´re obliged to provide the links to dmoz.org as instructed.

As to what Google do with sites using ODP data you have to ask them, we editors do not know their procedures regarding that.


Jun 22, 2006
It is very true that Google doesn't like duplicate data but here you are playing with facts and which will remain most of the time static with minor changes. For example, if few people want to write about Ford's very new model's specifications (only it and not whole article about new model) then they can't bring in much creativity in that. Those will remain same. Now Google will not penalise them just because they have used common specification which will remain same for that model on any media.

With regards,
Mandar Thosar


Mar 26, 2002
Southern England
If you use ODP's data, it's essential that you adhere to theOpen Directory License. If you have any queries about this, you should address them to AOL's legal department. Opinions expressed in other forums are just that, opinions from people who probably aren't authorised by AOL to give them (That includes me).

We routinely refrain from listing websites that use our data without attribution.


Mar 11, 2007
Ok, thank you all for taking the time to address my questions. It seems I have to add that attribution box.

I have a request though, - I want someone or some people to have a glance at my site, which is still under construction and not launched and so not appropriate to publish the url and advise me on a thing or two.

So who can invite me for PM? :icon_ques :)


Curlie Admin
Sep 18, 2002
It's not so much that people are too busy but rather than we have a general policy here of not critiquing sites. There are loads of webmaster forums elsewhere on the Web who can probably help you out there.
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