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Submitting your website to DMOZ

November 22, 2007      (Updated from our previous Aug. 6, 2003 article)

Today more than ever, in the field of search engine optimization (SEO), there is a very important step that needs to be taken in order to help a website's visibility in the major search engines. That important step is to submit it to DMOZ, or sometimes called the Open Directory Project or ODP.

DMOZ provides a lot of search results for a good percentage of the most important search engines and directories, including Google. First, DMOZ is NOT a robot-driven crawler but rather a large, human-edited directory of the Web. For any submission to be successful, a few important points need to be taken ahead of time:

Step A)
Your full contact information needs to be there. Make certain that your full contact information is easily accessible, preferably with the help of a clearly identified contact button. An e-mail address is certainly not enough. Many ODP editors will tell you if they don't see a real physical or postal address or telephone number, then that website in its particular category is usually tossed away and probably will never make it inside the directory.

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Most importantly, if you are wishing to sell anything, you need to build credibility and honesty with your clients. In such a case, giving proper and full contact information on the site is imperative.

Step B)
Do not attempt to SPAM the directory. You should only submit your site once and forget it for at least two to three months. According to DMOZ rules and regulations, you are only allowed to submit to one category. However, in certain isolated cases and if your website happens to be a very large one and offers lots of information, you may be able to submit a second section of it to a different category. As a rule of thumb, it usually takes time for most submissions to be processed.

This is especially true of categories where there are many daily submissions. It is not recommended to submit a website more than once, as it could end up on the lower bottom of the large list of sites to be reviewed and approved, since they are processed according to their submissions dates.

Step C)
Your website needs original and good content. During the course of your work, if you are only trying to publish an assortment of affiliate links or if your site happens to be a "mirror-site" of other websites that are plentiful on the Internet, then you are increasing your chances of your submission being rejected.

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If in fact you really have to deal with affiliate products or services, we recommend that you add lots of new content, perhaps a product review category, an industry news section or any other additional information that will tell the DMOZ editors that your site has something original to offer and has lots of great content that will be of good use to their users.

Step D)
Double-check your website for spelling errors or typos. As much as the DMOZ editors are looking for great content, all are only human and will probably be irritated by some typos or spelling mistakes. Our experience with the ODP tells us that professionally written and carefully built websites with great content, usually always make it into the directory eventually.

Step E)
Keep good records of your submission to DMOZ. We strongly recommend in keeping a complete record of the date a website was submitted to the Open Directory Project and to which particular category it was submitted to. If the category you want to submit to has an editor, you should always make a note of who that editor is. Such information would be useful if later you need to inquire about the status of your submission.

Some of you might ask: "How long does it take to get listed?" Recently, we had one site listed within three weeks of submission and, on other less fortunate occasions, we waited over six months for other sites. It is extremely hard to predict anything.

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Step F)
Select the proper category for any submission. In Google or Alta-Vista, when people submit a URL to such robotic search engines, there really is not much to think about, since their crawlers or "spiders" will visit and index your site automatically, normally over a rather short period of time. However, when submitting to a directory such as DMOZ, a critical part of that submission process is choosing the right category. One good thing that is recommended is to go online and look where other websites similar to yours have been placed in the directory.

When you get to the category that you think is best, press the "add URL" button. In other categories, sometimes the DMOZ editors might put a note mentioning certain restrictions to that category. It is recommended that these notes be read carefully and that you don't submit to these restricted categories if your site doesn't meet the parameters mentioned.

Step G)
Always contact DMOZ through the proper channels. Finally, a word of caution: if the category where you want to submit does have an editor, it will usually be written at the bottom of the page and you normally should be able to send that editor a message. There is another way to contact the DMOZ editors through their online forum.

Once there, you can ask about the status of your submission, but you must always give them the category and submission date of your last attempt. Additionally, you can always ask a few questions about general DMOZ procedures and rules.

Try your best to meet their rules and regulations and normally your site should eventually be included in their directory.

(Updated from my previous August 2003 article).

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Article written by Serge Thibodeau,
President & CEO,
Rank for $ales
Copyright (c) Serge Thibodeau 2003

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