Open Directory / DMOZ for Sale to BOTW?

Sorry if it took a while for me to get my hand into posting entries here lately.

One of the recent rumors I heard (for me, rumors can be a bad topic to discuss) is that AOL, the parent company of The Open Directory Project / ODP / DMOZ is in talks with owners of Best of the Web (BOTW) to purchase this popular directory. As with any rumors, no financial considerations were disclosed. BOTW is a money-making venture to list down websites on its directory. Applicants are charged with US$249.99 price tag for a listing review. This review does not guarantee a listing, which is a risk to a submitting party. On the other hand, DMOZ may not guarantee a listing, but at least it does not charge URL submitters any amount for listing consideration.

For Google to continue advocating against paid links (paid review/directory is somewhat in the grey area of this policy) it could be forced to drop its association with DMOZ and stop conveying link juice to sites listed on this directory. I think it’s overdue for Google to come out of DMOZ’s shadow and create its own directory.

DMOZ doesn’t offer its editors incentives like what BOTW does on its paid editors except maybe for the ability to list links on the directory whether they are legitimate or not. BOTW pays its editors so it has to find money somewhere to maintain the existing structure. To keep up with financial requirements, BOTW charges for its listings service.

I wonder how will Google react to this in case a deal is consummated.