Dmoz Closing Down – Is SEO Dead?

DMOZ, one of the world’s most powerful and influential online directories, will close on the 14th March, so does this mean SEO is dead?

Since 1998, when DMOZ was first launched, (originally as “GnuHoo,”) it has compiled websites into their directory and even Google used it as a source of knowledge.

The open source directory currently has 3,861,226 websites, 91,928 editors and 1,031,719 categories, making it the largest human edited web directory in the world.

DMOZ was considered to be a powerful tool for those working in SEO – the backlinks were generally highly authoritative and could help improve rankings.

However, with social media becoming ever more popular and Google giving less value to DMOZ links the directory DMOZ Closing Down - Is SEO Deadhas slowly become obsolete.

Is This A Sign SEO Is Dying?

It’s a reasonable question and while the quick answer is no, it is a sign of changing times in the digital marketing world.

Of course, ranking highly on search engines is still important for website traffic, and it will probably always be the case. But, with the growth in social media, many companies are finding better success reaching their target audience through the social networks.

A lot of content is written, directory pages created and hours spent on driving websites to the first page of Google, but the content created may not have been of the highest quality.

However, with Google changing their algorithm countless times over the years, in order to ensure they rank the most appropriate website and not necessarily the most spammy, the digital marketing arena has changed.

Did anyone really use DMOZ to actually find a local carpenter or plumber? In times gone by, possibly. But, in today’s world, it’s become a source of high quality backlinks predominantly for SEO companies.

Future for SEO & Digital Marketing?

So what does the future hold for search engine optimisation? The answer is a greater focus on engaging with customers/clients, creating high quality content people want to share and building relationships to ascertain backlinks. Search engines are known to use social media traffic as a ranking factor when determining a website’s authority. The digital marketing landscape is no longer a single entity, it’s imperative to build a marketing plan that works in conjunction with all forms of online marketing, to meet the business goals.

Any business or marketer who is still focusing on high spam backlinks, directories or other old school techniques may need to reconsider their approach to SEO.

In a conversation with a colleague earlier today while discussing DMOZ closing, I stated “SEO is determined predominately by the search engines and through meeting their criteria. Social media requires customer engagement and user focused, relevant content to be successful.” So, if search engines want the most relevant websites ranked on page one, shouldn’t they focus on social media? Well, in our opinion that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

Digital Marketing Plan

The world of digital marketing continues to change. Planning for your business needs to adapt too. If your website has been living off the benefits of a DMOZ link, you may have to think about your SEO strategy before your rankings decline. But, more than that – how do you engage customers online? How frequently do you talk to your audience and how are you adding value to their experience?

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