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Location: Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom

On a quest for knowledge

December 15, 2004

Open Directory Project (DMOZ)

Open Directory Project (DMOZ) is considered to offer a website very strong listings in terms of the value added to your SERP’s. In more recent times the directory has come under some strong criticism from webmasters who cannot or have not got listed after a few years waiting for a review. Another aspect that has seen a heavily negative attention is the public forum where amongst other things you can query an editor about your submission status (if you’re up for a belittling experience with undertones of condemnation).

ODP Bad Press

The problems that webmasters have been reporting with getting sites listed are as diverse as the directory it self. The general consensus is that no matter how good your site is or how long you wait for a review/listing, you receive nothing. Looking through the directory it is clear that some categories could do with some much needed updating. I can fully understand why some webmasters find this so annoying, knowing that their site would be a worthy addition to a category that is mainly comprised of outdated websites that didn’t survive the dot com boom or worse still contain no websites at all. Some people have even gone further to say that the catorgory they submitted too has not been updated since they submitted two years ago yet when they do some digging they found out the editor is one of their competitors that has added several sites owned by themselves purely to create a network of highly graded backlinks pointing to their main site that just so happens to be number one in Google. Of course I could not say how true the later is but one thing for sure is if you’re going to have something policed by humans, some humans can be and will be corrupt.

The second part that has really got webmasters backs up is the submission status forum where you can ask for a status update after waiting a month and then again after waiting six months. The replies webmasters are receiving from some editors are causing offence. Personally I would not use the public forum and think it was a mistake that the ODP are regretting as well; taking time to reply to threads that could have been better spent reviewing more sites and updating old cats.

The Value of Being Listed

Being listed in the ODP gives you a very strong link from the directory it self and because of the way it relies on human editors search engines consider a link from ODP very highly and are less likely to scrutinise it. The ODP also has its data used by a high umber of other directories the most famous being the Google Directory, so being included in the ODP will get you in loads of directories. Also the way that link analysis works is not only does Google look at the link going to your site but looks at the links going to the links that go to the link pointing at your site. Often the link you have in ODP will have quite a good link chain that adds even more relevance. Simply put being listed can dramatically effect your rankings.

Getting Your Website Listed

Even though a lot of webmasters are reporting difficulty getting into ODP there are ways to increase your chances.

1. Website Content

First of all make sure your site is full of unique content, one of the most common ways of being rejected is having duplicate content or content of little value. Don’t submit a website if it is full of affiliate adverts.

2. Submit To The Right Category

Make sure you submit to the right category. If you submit your website to the wrong category an editor will move it to what they think is the best place where it will join the back of the queue. The editor may not take the time required to find the best cat and therefore your site could end up in a never ending cycle of being resubmitted (in theory).

3. Submit To The Regional Category as well as the main

You can submit your site into the main and regional categories. Often it is much easier to get listed in a regional section and I have personally seen websites listed in as little as two weeks. Once you’re listed in the regional section you can use the status request forum to check your submission status mentioning that you have excepted into the regional section. Make sure you submit to the right regional section that your offices are physically based in.

4. Do not submit your website more than once

I don’t know whether this is just scare mongering but I have heard on several occasions that by submitting your site again can cause your website to be placed to the back of the queue.

5. Follow the guidelines

When writing your title always opt for the name of your site, in other words don’t add your keywords. When writing your description never use promotional language and superlatives, describe your website from a third perspective view. Read all the guidelines.

Conclusion

It is well worth getting listed in the ODP but it is not worth dedicating your entire existence on being listed. Submit your site in the best fashion possible and if it gets in great but if it does not don’t worry. There are hundreds if not thousands of other directories out there that will benefit your website so after submitting to the ODP find and submit to as many as possible.

The amount of time it will take to get your website listed will vary depending on each category. The site I work for (Podium Solutions) was listed in the Salford Web Design section just three weeks after it was submitted and has taken over a year to get listed into the main category for search engine optimisation. One of our website is still waiting to get listed but while waiting it has reached a PR 4 just by submitting to other directories.