« Back to Glossary Index

History and Background
– DMOZ was founded in the United States as Gnuhoo by Rich Skrenta and Bob Truel in 1998.
– Chris Tolles, Bryn Dole, and Jeremy Wenokur also joined as co-founders.
– Gnuhoo was later renamed to NewHoo after objections from Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation.
– Netscape Communications Corporation acquired NewHoo in October 1998 and it became the Open Directory Project.
– AOL acquired Netscape and DMOZ became one of its assets.
– DMOZ was launched in November/December 2000 as a project of the Open Directory Project (ODP).

Size and Growth
– DMOZ had about 100,000 URLs indexed and contributions from 4,500 editors when Netscape took over.
– The number of URLs indexed reached one million on October 5, 1999.
– DMOZ had 5,169,995 sites listed in over 1,017,500 categories as of April 2013.
– The directory reached four million listings on December 3, 2003.
– In October 2015, there were 3,996,412 sites listed in 1,026,706 categories.

System Failure and Editing Outage
– DMOZ experienced a catastrophic server failure on October 20, 2006.
– Editors were unable to work on the directory until December 18, 2006.
– During the outage, an older build of the directory was visible to the public.
– Site suggestion and update listings forms became available again on January 13, 2007.
– RDF dumps resumed publication on January 26, 2007.

Competing and Spinoff Projects
– Two other major web directories edited by volunteers, sponsored by and Zeal, emerged but are now defunct.
– MusicMoz, ChefMoz, and Open Site were open content volunteer projects inspired by DMOZ.
– DMOZ also served as inspiration for the Nupedia project, which eventually led to the creation of Wikipedia.
– These directories did not license their content for open content distribution.

Maintenance and Policies
– Editors maintained directory listings by adding new listings, editing existing listings, and monitoring linked sites.
– Robozilla, a Web crawler, checked the status of listed sites and flagged those that had moved or disappeared.
– The goal was to reduce link rot in web directories.
– Expired domains listed on DMOZ attracted domain hijacking, so they were regularly removed.
– Volunteers created editing tools like linkcheckers and spellcheckers to supplement Robozilla.
– DMOZ editors go through an application process and demonstrate their editing abilities.
– Editors start with permissions in a small category and can apply for more privileges.
– Mentorship relationships and internal forums support new editors.
– Senior editors can be granted additional privileges based on experience and leadership.
– Violations of DMOZ’s Editing Guidelines can result in consequences for editors.

DMOZ (Wikipedia)

DMOZ (stylized dmoz in its logo; from, an earlier domain name) was a multilingual open-content directory of World Wide Web links. The site and community who maintained it were also known as the Open Directory Project (ODP). It was owned by AOL (now a part of Verizon Media) but constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.

"dmoz" in white on a green background with each letter in a separate square
Type of site
Web directory
Available in90 languages, including English
DissolvedMarch 17, 2017; 6 years ago (2017-03-17)
ParentAOL (Archived 2018-01-19 at the Wayback Machine)
LaunchedJune 5, 1998; 25 years ago (1998-06-05)
Current statusClosed
Content license
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported, Open Directory License

DMOZ used a hierarchical ontology scheme for organizing site listings. Listings on a similar topic were grouped into categories which then included smaller categories.

DMOZ closed on March 17, 2017, because AOL no longer wished to support the project. The website became a single landing page on that day, with links to a static archive of DMOZ, and to the DMOZ discussion forum, where plans to rebrand and relaunch the directory were being discussed.

As of September 2017, a non-editable mirror remained available at, and it was announced that while the DMOZ URL would not return, a successor version of the directory named Curlie would be provided.

« Back to Glossary Index

Submit your RFP

We can't wait to read about your project. Use the form below to submit your RFP!

Gabrielle Buff
Gabrielle Buff

Just left us a 5 star review

Great customer service and was able to walk us through the various options available to us in a way that made sense. Would definitely recommend!

Stoute Web Solutions has been a valuable resource for our business. Their attention to detail, expertise, and willingness to help at a moment's notice make them an essential support system for us.

Paul and the team are very professional, courteous, and efficient. They always respond immediately even to my minute concerns. Also, their SEO consultation is superb. These are good people!

Paul Stoute & his team are top notch! You will not find a more honest, hard working group whose focus is the success of your business. If you’re ready to work with the best to create the best for your business, go Stoute Web Solutions; you’ll definitely be glad you did!

Wonderful people that understand our needs and make it happen!

Paul is the absolute best! Always there with solutions in high pressure situations. A steady hand; always there when needed; I would recommend Paul to anyone!

Vince Fogliani

The team over at Stoute web solutions set my business up with a fantastic new website, could not be happier

Steve Sacre

If You are looking for Website design & creativity look no further. Paul & his team are the epitome of excellence.Don't take my word just refer to my website ""that Stoute Web Solutions created.This should convince anyone that You have finally found Your perfect fit

Jamie Hill

Paul and the team at Stoute Web are amazing. They are super fast to answer questions. Super easy to work with, and knows their stuff. 10,000 stars.

Paul and the team from Stoute Web solutions are awesome to work with. They're super intuitive on what best suits your needs and the end product is even better. We will be using them exclusively for our web design and hosting.

Dean Eardley

Beautifully functional websites from professional, knowledgeable team.

Along with hosting most of my url's Paul's business has helped me with website development, graphic design and even a really cool back end database app! I highly recommend him as your 360 solution to making your business more visible in today's social media driven marketplace.

I hate dealing with domain/site hosts. After terrible service for over a decade from Dreamhost, I was desperate to find a new one. I was lucky enough to win...

Paul Stoute has been extremely helpful in helping me choose the best package to suite my needs. Any time I had a technical issue he was there to help me through it. Superb customer service at a great value. I would recommend his services to anyone that wants a hassle free and quality experience for their website needs.

Paul is the BEST! I am a current customer and happy to say he has never let me down. Always responds quickly and if he cant fix the issue right away, if available, he provides you a temporary work around while researching the correct fix! Thanks for being an honest and great company!!

Paul Stoute is absolutely wonderful. Paul always responds to my calls and emails right away. He is truly the backbone of my business. From my fantastic website to popping right up on Google when people search for me and designing my business cards, Paul has been there every step of the way. I would recommend this company to anyone.

I can't say enough great things about Green Tie Hosting. Paul was wonderful in helping me get my website up and running quickly. I have stayed with Green...