So, You Want a DMOZ Listing?

The amount of misinformation on webmaster forums about DMOZ (Open Directory Project) is almost overwhelming and only leads to confusion, frustration and disappointment for the average webmaster.

So, you want a DMOZ listing?Let’s clear up a number of misconceptions and try to improve your chances of actually getting a suggestion reviewed and possibly listed.

First off, we need to understand that the directory project’s purpose is not a listing service for website owners or their webmasters. Yes, site suggestions are accepted, but they are under no obligation to process or respond to them.

Editors are volunteers and may choose to perform a variety of tasks which may be of more importance than reviewing submissions from the general public. Updates, errors, category reorganizations, taxonomy, hierarchy, internal projects, editor applications and internal discussions all probably rank well above the mundane task of reviewing suggested sites.

It’s a little clearer now as to why it can take quite some time before a suggestion might get reviewed. Editors are quick to note that it can take anywhere from a matter of hours to a couple of years as there really is no way of knowing when an editor might take an interest in reviewing the suggested sites.

So how can you increase your chances that your suggestion will get reviewed?

For starters, make sure that you’re submitting a site that would be included in the directory. If your site falls under Sites Generally Not Included, then don’t waste your time as it will not be listed.

Learn the difference. Displaying your ignorance on a public forum by complaining that your payday loan lead generation site is still not listed is embarrassing.

Make your suggestion to the most appropriate category, not the first related category you come across, or the highest PageRank category where you think you’d like to be listed. Submitting to the wrong category will only increase the time it takes to get reviewed.

An editor will notice that your site doesn’t belong and will send it on it’s merry way to linger a little longer in the proper category. Just think, if it was submitted to the proper category initially, an editor would have had the time to review the suggestion instead of trying to find where it should have been submitted to in the first place. Duh.

Learn how to write a correct title and description. Here’s what you’ll find at DMOZ:

TitlesThe title should identify the site, not describe it. It should be both informative and concise.

Forget the keyword rich anchor text. Use your company name or the official title of the site, not the keywords you’d like to rank for in the search engines.

DescriptionsThe description gives specific information about the content and/or subject matter of the site. It should be informative and concise, usually no longer than one or two lines. The basic formula for a good description is Description = Subject + Content.

Forget the marketing hype, superlatives, sales pitches, capitalization, telephone numbers, and exclamation points. What is your site about and what will a visitor find there? Two sentences. Subject + Content.

The goal is to create a submission that will stand out from all of the crap that gets submitted. There is no first come, first served scenario. Site suggestions are reviewed in any order the editor so chooses. I’m told that most editors choose to sort the submissions by date, but may not actually review them in that order. The easier the submission looks to process the greater the chance of it getting reviewed. A volunteer may have a limited time available, so make it easy on them.

Once you’ve submitted your suggestion, you’ll come to a confirmation page. This is the only notification you’ll receive regarding your suggestion.

  1. You will not receive any notification that your suggestion was accepted or rejected.
  2. You will not receive any notification of reasons why your site was not accepted.

That’s it. You’re done. Now you just need to accept the fact that you’re really finished with the submission process and there is nothing further that you can do to expedite the process. Go about your business and don’t waste your time waiting for it to happen.

It’ll happen – in due time. Just know that you have increased the odds of actually getting listed when it does.

  1. pontarae’s avatar

    This is the best explanation I’ve read on the subject of DMOZ site listing – no fault, no blame, no drama.

    With emphasis on a single word this posting re-placed the conversation in the correct context, one that webmasters should try to understand.

    Suggest a site, not submit one!

    Webmasters being technologists view ‘submit’ as the first step in a repeatable process reliably leading to a desired result. Other users of English, or even American (smile), understand ‘submit’ differently, more a ‘yielding of control’ or ‘presenting for judgment’ by an authority.

    Suggest is the right word for the DMOZ conversation, and, the right attitude to bring to the website listing process – ask for without demanding.

    Thank you for your clarity.

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