Last August I wrote a blog post about how focus retailers were sucking the worth out of online publishing. In it I noticed how the Yahoo! Directory disappeared & how even DMOZ saw a sharp drop in traffic rankings over the last few decades.
The concept of a neutral web is dead. In its position is agenda-driven networking .
- Politically charged misinformed snippets.
- Ads cloaked as articles.
- Largely correct (but politically insensitive) content being”reality checked” where a small detail is disputed to label the entire piece as not credible.
Since the technology oligarchs broadly defund publishing, then the publishers still need to eat. Data grade declines to make the figures work. Businesses which see their advertising revenues slide 20%, 30% or 40% every year can not justify keeping the short-term yet unmonetized side jobs.
There’s Wikipedia, but it is not without prejudice & beyond the value expressed from the hidden prejudice most of the rest of the value from it flows through to the attention merchant / viewers aggregation / articles scraper platforms.
Last month DMOZ declared they were shutting on March 14th without a lot of fanfare. And on March 17th that the directory moved offline.
A number of individuals have pushed to preserve archive the DMOZ data. Some existing DMOZ editors are considering establishing a new directory under a different title but as of their 17th DMOZ editors put up a copy in dmoztools.net. Jim Boykin scraped DMOZ & uploaded a replica here. A few other versions of DMOZ have been published at OpenDirectoryProject.org & Freemoz.org.
Although website policies indicate that an individual website ought to be submitted to just 1 class, as of October 2007, Topix.com, a news aggregation site operated by DMOZ founder Rich Skrenta, comprises more than 17,000 listings.
Early in the history of DMOZ, its own staff gave representatives of selected companies, such as Rolling Stone or CNN, editing access in order to list individual pages out of their websites. Links to individual CNN articles were added until 2004, but were completely taken out of the directory at January 2008 because of the content being obsolete and not considered worth the effort to keep.
But by-and-large it added significance to the structure of the net.
As research has progressed (algorithmic development, economic power, influence over publishers, enhanced bundling of distribution & user monitoring ) general web directories have not been able to keep pace. Finally the internet is a web of links & pages instead of a web of websites. Many great sites span several categories. Every huge quality website has some info on it. Every well-known interactive website has some fantastic user contributions & user created spam onto it. Search engines have greater signs about what webpages are significant & which pages have claimed importance as time passes. As search engines have significantly improved connection filtering algorithms and better integrated user monitoring in positions, broad-based manual directories had no opportunity.
The net of webpages vs web of websites concept can be readily seen in how a number of the first successful content platforms have now broken down their content blogs that are articles into a variety of niche sites.
Once links were (approximately ) all that mattered, minding a website’s link authority supposed it was much more profitable for a large thing to maintain publishing more information on the one primary website. That is how eHow became the center of a multi-billion dollar company.
Demand Media showed other publishers the way. And if the additional existing sites were to stay competitive, they had to water content down quality to generate the amounts back out. The issue with this is the glut of content has been lower ad prices. Along with the decrease in advertisement rates was coupled with a change from a links-only perspective of search relevancy into a version based on weighting link profiles from consumer participation metrics.
Sites with lots of links, lots of thin articles & terrible participation metrics were struck.
Kristen Moore, vp of promotion for Demand Media, clarified what drove the most egregious elements of eHow’s editorial plan :”There is some not very bright folks around.”
EHow improved their site design, drastically reduced their advertisement density, removed millions of articles from their site, and waited. However nothing that they did on that domain name was ever going to get the job done. They dug too deep of a pit selling the growth story to pump a Dollar valuation. And they created so much animosity from journalists who felt overwork & underpaid that when they did rank journalists could typically like to link to anything .
The flip side of that story is the newspaper chainsthat rushed to associate with demand Media to develop eHow-inspired sections on their websites.
- that the Arizona Republic
- The bastion of left-wing believing Salon couldn’t ignore the effortless money chance .
Brands that like the Google new subsidy will also be very hip to work with Demand Media, which breathes new life into once retired content:”Sometimes Demand will dust off old articles that has been published but is no longer reside and repurpose it for a new.”
Since Facebook & Google grew more prominent in the internet advertisement ecosystem they vigorously moved to suck publisher content & shift advertiser invest onto their center properties. The development of time spent on social networking sites only made it harder for websites to be sought out destination. Google also efficiently cut off direct distribution by consolidating & de-monetizing that the RSS reader space then shut down a job they easily could have left run.
Since the net gained more aggressive, bloggers & market publications that were deeply specialized managed to sneak marketshare in key verticals by minding a differentiated editorial opinion.
Even if they couldn’t necessarily afford to build strong brands through advertisements, they were worthy of a trace on some social media channels & possibly an email subscription. And the best niche editorial remains worthy of an Immediate trip :
Everything about Techmeme and its particular success appears to withstand the contemporary wisdom of constructing a popular site. It publishes zero original reporting and is not a social media. It doesn’t possess a mobile app or a newsletter or even much of a social presence beyond its Twitter accounts, which posts dry merchandise news with zero flair for clickability.
As a work around to the Panda hits, websites like eHow are now becoming collections of niche-focused sites (Cuteness.com, Techwalla.com, Sapling.com, Leaf.tv, etc will combine Livestrong.com & eHow.com). It appears to be working so far…
. . .but they could only be 1 Panda update away from finding out the new model is not sustainable .
About.com has done the exact same item (TheSpruce.com, Verywell.com, Lifewire.com, TheBalance.com). Countless countless dollars are riding on the hope that as the algorithms keep getting more indicative they wont detect moving the material to market brands wasn’t enough.
As content moves around search engines with countless Dollars in earnings can recalibrate rankings for every page & adjust rankings based on user expertise. Can a powerful”how to” guide become irrelevant after a software or hardware upgrade? If this is the case, they could see it didn’t solve the user’s problem and rank a much more recent document that reflects the current hardware or software. Is a problem simple to solve a brief snippet of content? If that’s the case, that could get scraped into the research results.
Web directories that are constructed around sites as opposed to pages don’t have any prospect of competing against the billions of number of monthly search advertisements & the full cycle consumer monitoring search companies such as Google & Bing can perform with their incorporated search engines, ad networks, internet browsers & operating systems.
Arguably in most circumstances the idea of neutral-based publishing no more functions on the contemporary web. Exclusive stories are got by the shill. The political polemic gets automatic retweets from those who recognize. The material that lacks schedule probably lacks the economics to pay for advertisements & buy distribution unless people are able to tell the founder loves what they do as much it affects them enough to repeatedly visit & possibly pay for access.