Website Submission to Open Directory Project - DMOZ

As an authorative hub a link from a DMOZ directory category to your website will give your site a boost in PageRank? and may assist in getting search engine spiders to crawl your site faster and more often. Google also uses DMOZ data for its Google directory.

What does this mean? It is well known in seo circles that by having a site listing in DMOZ you will also get a listing in the Google directory, effectively creating two high PageRank? backlinks. Hundreds if not thousands of smaller sites also use Dmoz directory data. Check my search engine relationship table for who DMOZ supplies directory data to. So from a single listing in DMOZ the potential for hundreds of backlinks can stack up quite substantially.

Unlike Yahoo! with it's paid inclusion via Yahoo! Express, you may submit your site freely to DMOZ for inclusion into their database. This can be a harrowing and traumatic experience for some as the DMOZ directory submission requirements are very tight and strict.

DMOZ prides itself on listing websites with high quality content, culling bad and garbage sites. Hopefully I can lay to rest some of your DMOZ submission fears.

Prior website checks before submitting to DMOZ
A peek at the site suggest guidelines at DMOZ gives a few clues as to what DMOZ editors look for when processing site submissions.

I don't know how many times I have read on forums and message boards webmasters complaining they have submitted their site/s to DMOZ over and over again only to be rejected.

You can bet their site either doesn't conform to the submission guidelines, was submitted to the wrong category or was just complete crap with no quality content.

Here is the DMOZ submission guidelines list taken from their site. Follow it to the 'T' and ensure your site conforms.

  • 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.
  • 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.

A good tool for checking inbound and outbound links is Xenu Link Sleuth, it does a great job and of course it's free. The reason I have focused on site link checking is the DMOZ editor will most likely run a similar program on your site when reviewing it.

Submission Time
Ok your site is set, you conform to the DMOZ submission guidelines, Let's do this thing! Surf to DMOZ and perform a search using a broad search term that relates to your site. You will be presented with a category full of sites that should relate to your site theme. At the top of the page should be sub-category links.

At this point ask yourself two questions;

1. Does my site fit this category?

2. Is there a Suggest URL link on the page for this category?

The idea behind this is to find the closest category match to your website. If you answer no to any of the previous two questions drill down further using the sub-category links at the top of the page until a suitable category match is found.

NOTE* Something to note when finding a category is region. If your website is regional submit using regional categories first before drilling down.
If you think you have found the right category visit some of the sites that are listed to be sure they are similar to yours.

Suggest URL
Congratulations! You have found your niche category that best fits your site. Click the Suggest URL link and let the fun begin.

Titling Your Site
This is an area where most webmasters come unstuck by using promotional words in their titles. DMOZ editors don't take kindly to it. Use your real site title. If your official website title is Tech Law, then that is the title to submit.
As stated in the DMOZ submission guidelines, don't use all capitals in your title.

Site Description
When describing your site common sense should prevail. As with writing page descriptions for meta description tags, write a compelling, brief, and descriptive overview of your site. Don't be overly promotional and keep the site description free flowing.

Always describe your site from a third person view. If DMOZ editors write a description for your site they will use third person view.The idea is for your site to be listed with your description. So make the DMOZ editors task as simple as possible. If you write from a third person view and give an accurate description the editor may not make any changes to it. Using correct grammar and spelling is a must.

One way to get help for an accurate description is to ask friends to view your website or ask people from forums to view your site. Use their feedback to write a compelling, accurate and non-promotional description.

The long wait
DMOZ is free submission and edited by volunteers. There is no paid express directory inclusion and from what is stated at the DMOZ directory website, nor shall there ever be.

Processing of site submissions will take a while, even up to six months, sometimes longer. Don't focus on this but instead continue to build quality content for your site. As one of my mentors recently stated in his ebook.
"I usually submit and forget about it."

(c)2005 Paul Cody

Paul Cody has for the last six years studied website design and search engine optimization. Paul is active in a number of webmaster forums and has recently launched his new site focusing on seo resources for webmasters new to this area of site design.

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