Google has quietly dropped the Google Directory, now if you try to access it, you will get a message that Google has removed it because it is slow and not as fast as using Google search, telling people to go to the Open Directory Project directly.
The messages reads:
Google Directory is no longer available.
We believe that Web Search is the fastest way to find the information you need on the web.
If you prefer to browse a directory of the web, visit the Open Directory Project at dmoz.org
Now Google Directory is no longer available. "We believe that Web Search is the fastest way to find the information you need on the web," says Google.
Google Directory was one of the first added links added to Google.com, and was the second Google service launched after the web search engine. It was released in 2000 to compete with Yahoo Directory, the most popular Web directory at that time. Google used data from Netscape's Open Directory Project, but it added an innovative feature: automatically ranking results.
Former Googler, Douglas Edwards's recent book described the directory addition as one of the first easy ways for Google to add more services to their site. The founders didn't think it was useful to have a directory on the site back then, but if they can make the directory easier and better to search - well, then they decided to add it.
Directories were useful at that time because there weren't too many high-quality sites and reviewers could keep up with the growth of the Web. Now that the Web has a lot more than a trillion pages, it's impossible to maintain a directory, so algorithmic search engines are the only ones that can scale.
Here's the old Directory page: