The Open Directory Project (ODP) http://www.dmoz.org, often referred to as DMOZ, is probably the single most important directory on the Internet.
You want your website to be listed, and you are probably well versed in the basics of submissions. You want to know how you can enhance your listing opportunities in the DMOZ directory, and perhaps even multiply them.
There are some advanced techniques available, but as with anything involving DMOZ, you have to be very careful to follow the published rules.
The DMOZ submission basics
Before you can go on to advanced DMOZ submission concepts, you need to be fully conversant in the basic submission procedure. A trip to the Open Directory Project “Add URL” page at http://www.dmoz.org/add.html provides step by step instructions for you to follow.
Read them. Study them. Follow them.
The instructions are not simply a guideline. They are an absolute requirement for getting your website listed in the Open Directory Project.
Start by finding the proper category. That sounds simple enough on the surface, but you need to explore each category, and dig ever deeper within it. Find the category or sub-category best suited to your website.
Submitting a site to the wrong category is one of the primary reasons for rejection. Choose the correct category before you submit your site and your success rate will be greatly increased. Select the wrong one, and your submission is likely to be delayed.
Make certain you write an objective description of your website. The description should be completely free of sales and marketing hype. If the description is simply a keyword spamming device, the category editors will change it to a more suitable one. You probably won’t like the description the volunteers write for you. It’s better if you write a good one in the first place.
If you follow the instructions, and submit a quality, professional looking website, you will likely be included in the DMOZ Directory.
If your site has a substantial amount of content in a language other than English, you can make a submission of your site to the appropriate World Languages section.
Be certain that your site contains a lot of information to non-English speakers. A few translated pages are not enough to qualify. As with adding a site to a second category, the DMOZ World Languages categories require the equivalent of a stand alone website to be accepted by the editors.
Updating an already listed website
If your site is already included in the Directory, you can always update your website title and description.
To request an update, you must complete an “Update URL” form. Follow the rules and requirements carefully, as you would with any other submission.
If you believe your site was included in the wrong category, you can e-mail one of the category editors, and explain your disagreement. Politely request a change of categories for your website, and provide good reasons for the change.
You might also try posting in the DMOZ Resource Zone forum, located at http://resource-zone.com/. As with all submissions and correspondence with the Open Directory Project, be sure to follow all of the published forum rules to the letter.
Note that you must register with the forum (free) to post. As with all DMOZ rules and regulations, they are not just suggestions. They are absolute requirements.
Always be polite and professional in all of your correspondence with the volunteer editors. They are providing a valuable service to the Internet community, and deserve everyone’s courtesy and respect.
You are not e-mailing to a “faceless organization” but to a real people who are dedicated to performing their editorial duties to the best of their abilities. Be professional at all times.
If you are dissatisfied with the response you receive from an editor, you may then use their “feedback” link to appeal the decision. The feedback e-mail is carefully examined and considered by the DMOZ staff. Their decision will be weighed for the benefit to the Directory and its goals. Keep that in mind.
Don’t attempt to pressure the editors into any decisions by contacting AOL, Netscape, Google, or any other users of DMOZ listings. It simply won’t work. At best, it will slow down the process. At worst, it may get your site removed and banned from the Directory entirely.
Summing it up
If you always read and follow the DMOZ submission requirements, you can find your site added to second and even third categories.
You can have a site added to the Regional listings if you can show a substantial local focus to your website.
There is a good World Languages section for non-English websites, and for sites that have an extensive non-English component.
Changing your site’s title, description, and category are all possible as well.
As with your initial submission to the Open Directory Project, be sure to follow the rules and regulations.
It’s definitely worth it!