Back to the Future: The Open Directory in a Cycle of Search Technology

- April 30, 2008

During a discussion on the next big thing in internet search here in the SEO department at Morevisibility, we speculated on the future of the Open Directory. Back in the day, search directories were the first real way that websites were found on the internet and even after the web crawlers made their debut, directories were important. Those days are long gone. Does this auger the demise of the Open Directory? Well, maybe not. For one thing, as sophisticated as all the new technology and search engine algorithms are, most successful search engines still rely on human opinion. It has been suggested that the rise of social media harks back to the early early days of the internet when word of mouth was the way that a site was found — that it’s all part of a cycle of search technology development. With the rise of social media, word of mouth recommendations are fast becoming a way for sites to be found by visitors. Sites like and are extending this by letting us take recommendations from strangers as though they were our friends. So, if search technology is working in a cycle, will directories assume more importance in the years to come? Maybe not for standard text search but it seems to me that human editing would be invaluable for determining keyword relevance of images and videos. In fact, Google already employs this to a certain degree with Google Image Labeler. It’s more like a game at the moment and even though the presence of an opponent does make it a little more valid, how well it works to really assign relevance to images remains to be seen. Is there a place for image and video directories in the internet of the future? Given all the new technological breakthroughs lately, this is definitely a question that is up in the air but a great place to find out more is by reading this article:

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