The Open Directory Project - Your Key To Googles Heart

By: Scott Lindsay

Let's start it simple: www.dmoz.org

Now, if I am lucky, you either didn't click the link or you did but you came back here to read my article. Either way, you want to know why is the Open Directory Project so important for your website and Google.

According to Wikipedia®, "The Open Directory Project (ODP), also known as dmoz (from directory.mozilla.org, its original domain name), is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links owned by Netscape that is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors. ODP data powers the core directory services for many of the Web's largest search engines and portals, including Netscape Search, AOL Search, Google, and Alexa."

The Most Important Directory on the Web

A short definition of the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) is: "the most important directory on the Web". If you add "human edited" to the short definition, you've got it all. However, this "human edited" tag doesn't say it all. The "humans" are volunteers. Volunteering means you don't get paid for what you do, you do it for free. On occasion, these volunteers don't have the time to do their job, or just don't want to. That means your good submission may never make it into the directory or may get listed, but only after a long waiting period.

Assuming that the volunteers do perform their duties in time and correctly, there's nothing else against DMOZ. On the contrary: Google considers sites listed in the DMOZ important for the very reason that the directory is human edited. To get into the Google directory you need to be listed in the DMOZ. Other search engines, smaller than Google use DMOZ listings as well for their directories.

How to Get Listed

DMOZ has some very strict inclusion rules. Fail to follow them and you'll never see your site listed. Submit your site two or three times to the same category, other pages than the home page, and you'll get no results either. The editors don't tolerate spam, in any form.

You can submit to the Open Project Directory all kinds of valuable websites, including blogs. If you have good content, non-offensive, to the point, etc, you will get your site listed.

There can be one major problem after you submit your website: the waiting period. As the busy human editors do not notify you whether your submission was accepted or not, all you can do is wait, and this can take up to six months. It is not recommended to resubmit your website before the six months time limit (better make it seven), or you might have your website moved back to the end of the line, or rejected as spam. You may never really know what happened to your website, unless you are lucky and get an answer from the DMOZ public forum. Take care: the tone makes the music. So be polite.

If you are tempted to submit your website to a second category, think twice. Unless your website contains enough useful information related to the second category, don't submit it. You wouldn't like to have it rejected for spamming the directory, would you?

You might, however, try to submit your website to the DMOZ regional listings - but you should provide enough relevant content for the people living in the region: your local visitors.

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