We’ve reached the official End of Days for one of the Internet’s originators: The Open Directory Project—better known as DMOZ—is shutting down on March 14th.
DMOZ shutting down is perhaps long overdue; the ambitious directory, which tried to classify & organize the web using human curation instead of algorithms, probably actually met its doom nearly two decades ago—when Google began making machine-learning the gold standard for indexing websites. However, DMOZ powered on, despite no longer being particularly useful for SEOs or website owners for at least the last ten years (if not more).
Directory Mozilla (it derived its name from a loose association with the Mozilla browser project) was conceived initially as a rival to Yahoo in 1998; which, at the time, led the pack in terms of search portals. Yahoo’s directory was notoriously difficult to get listed in, particularly for small businesses and independent websites. DMOZ, on the other hand, took time: but, with hand-curation, became a go-to for those with quality content but no major affiliation.
Netscape scooped-up DMOZ months after it launched; weeks later, Aol bought Netscape, bringing The Open Directory Project along with it—where it remains to this day. DMOZ will shut down with over 3.8 million websites indexed within more than a million categories and in 90 languages.