The website, dmoz.com, is the largest directory of websites on the internet. It is extremely useful for you to get your site listed in this directory as it will help with your Google search engine page rank.
The problem with DMOZ, now managed as the Open Directory Project, is that you have to submit your directory manually and your site then has to be validated by one of the DMOZ editors. This process can take a long time and if an application fails you will not be notified.
This articles looks at the submission process, the quirks of DMOZ, and ways that you can improve your chances of your site being accepted.
What is DMOZ?
DMOZ, also known as The Open Directory Project (ODP), is a large, categorized directory of websites and pages, which is staffed by volunteers. Every website and page that is added to the directory has to be manually reviewed before it is included. Being listed in the directory is free.
A listing in DMOZ creates two significant links into a website – one from DMOZ (Google spiders DMOZ just like any other site) and one from the Google directory. Both of these usually have decent PageRank. Then add the links from the thousands of small sites that have downloaded and use the DMOZ directory, and you can see why it is usually quite beneficial for a website to be listed in DMOZ. Simply being listed in DMOZ can greatly increase the possibility of the site being found in the major search engines.
Getting listed in DMOZ?
Check if your site has already been listed. Do a quick search in the DMOZ directory to see if your blog is already included in the directory.
Identify the single best category for your site. The Open Directory has an enormous array of subjects to choose from. You should submit a site to the single most relevant category. Sites submitted to inappropriate or unrelated categories may be rejected or removed.
Note: Some categories do not have “suggest URL” or “update URL” links. These categories don’t accept submissions, so you should find a more specific category for your site.
Submit site. Once you’ve selected the best category for your site, go directly to that category on DMOZ and then click “suggest URL.” Follow the instructions on the submission form carefully. Descriptions of sites should describe the content of the site concisely and accurately. They should not be promotional in nature.
Submitting a promotional description rather than an objective, well written description may significantly delay your site from being listed or prevent your site from being listed at all.
Auto-submission software is (and always has been) a violation of this procedure. Sites submitted automatically are flagged and deleted after the submission is accepted, without notification to you.
Procedure after your blog has been submitted
An ODP editor will review your submission to determine whether to include it in the directory. Depending on factors such as the volume of submissions to the particular category, it may take several weeks or more before your submission is reviewed.
Please only submit a URL to the Open Directory once. Again, multiple submissions of the same or related sites may result in the exclusion and/or deletion of those and all affiliated sites. Disguising your submission and submitting the same URL more than once is not permitted.
Why does it take so long to get listed on DMOZ?
The number of editors who are actively reviewing and adding websites is relatively small. On the other side of the equation, there is a massive backlog of sites waiting to be reviewed.
Each editor can only edit in his or her own categories. Some editors have small categories with very few submissions to deal with, and they can be dealt with very quickly. Others are simply overwhelmed by the mountain of unreviewed sites, and there is little chance of getting through them in the near future.
Many times, the delay is the fault of the person who submitted the website. Imagine that someone submits a site to a category that is reasonably close to what the site is about, but the site really belongs in a different category. The submission waits in the unreviewed queue of the category to which it was submitted. Sooner or later its turn comes and the editor reviews it, but finds that it belongs in a different category. That editor can’t edit the other category, so the submission is passed along to the other category, where it is added to the unreviewed queue. It doesn’t jump the queue just because it has already waited in a different queue. Eventually its turn will come again and it will be reviewed – again.
So, when submitting a site, always take time to find the right category for it. Don’t be tempted to submit it to a category that is higher up the tree than it belongs, because it won’t be accepted there and, doing so, could cause unnecessary, self-induced delays.
Why are some sites rejected?
DMOZ’s policy is to include sites that have unique content, which means that many sites don’t qualify for inclusion. Among the sites that are likely to be rejected are those that have too much content of an affiliate nature. Some affiliate content is acceptable but when it occupies too much of a site, then the site will probably be rejected.
Another reason why a site may be rejected is because of the submission. If the Title and Description provided in the submission don’t follow DMOZ’s guidelines, then some editors will think, “If you can’t be bothered to spend a little time on it, why should I bother rewriting it for you?”, and reject the site. So when submitting a site, read and follow the guidelines. The description is intended to give people an objective statement of what can be found in the site, and not to promote it.
DMOZ Submission guidlines
- Do not submit mirror sites. Mirror sites are sites that contain identical content, but have altogether different URLs.
- Do not submit URLs that contain only the same or similar content as other sites you may have listed in the directory. Sites with overlapping and repetitive content are not helpful to users of the directory. Multiple submissions of the same or related sites may result in the exclusion and/or deletion of those and all affiliated sites.
- Do not disguise your submission and submit the same URL more than once. Example: http://www.dmoz.org and http://www.dmoz.org/index.html
- Do not submit any site with an address that redirects to another address.
- The Open Directory has a policy against the inclusion of sites with illegal content. Examples of illegal material include child pornography; libel; material that infringes any intellectual property right; and material that specifically advocates, solicits or abets illegal activity (such as fraud or violence).
- Do not submit sites “under construction.” Wait until a site is complete before submitting it. Sites that are incomplete, contain “Under Construction” notices, or contain broken graphics or links aren’t good candidates for the directory.
- Submit pornographic sites to the appropriate category under Adult.
- Submit non-English sites to the appropriate category under World.
- Don’t submit sites consisting largely of affiliate links.
People are not informed that their site has been rejected, and there must be many people out there who think their submissions are still pending when, in fact, they’ve already been rejected.
About the DMOZ editors
There are not many active editors when compared to the number shown on DMOZ’s front page, but most of those that are active are keen. They are keen to add websites that have unique content, and keen to improve the directory.
A few years ago I did apply to be an editor. I was rejected because I actually had a website in the area of the directory that I applied to edit. Apparently I would have used my editorship to promote my site.
The fact that my first degree was in the subject area, Europe, and the additional fact that the website I was developing at that time would have made me very aware of the other websites in the section was not taken into account. I was not allowed to appeal.
DMOZ DO IT
I recommend all new website owners to apply to DMOZ as soon as their site has been set up and is beyond the ‘under construction state’. Being recognised by DMOZ leads to your site being recognised by Google, which is then recognised by numerous other directories. Over time it will bring in lots of incoming links, which will boost your search engine ratings.
SO JUST DMOZ IT.
This article is a modified version of the article DMOZ aka the Open Directory Project by Phil Craven, an expert on search engine optimisation.
Image: Flickr @Jorge Frangasnillo