DMOZ: Advanced submissions and listings

DMOZ is a very important, widely-used, and well-known Internet directory. Getting listed in DMOZ can mean more traffic for your website. If you want to increase the impact of your listing, read on.

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.

{mospagebreak title=Advanced DMOZ submission techniques}

After your site’s initial inclusion, you may have improved your site. You have probably added additional content, or perhaps even changed the focus of your website completely.

Your DMOZ listing information is not carved in stone. You can update your listing title and description, change categories, and even add your website to additional subject categories.

As with all submissions to DMOZ, care must be taken to follow all of the Directory rules. With additional listings, and changes to titles, categories, and descriptions, there are even more guidelines to follow.

Here is some help in that regard.

Seeking multiple Directory listings

A goal of many webmasters is to place their website into more than one DMOZ category. Since there are many sites that have received two or more listings in the Directory, it makes sense to try to achieve that goal.

The DMOZ Directory is designed to place sites with unique content into the various suitable subject categories. How a website can find its way into a second, or even a third category, is something to be examined. Be certain you are not spamming the Directory by sending multiple submissions at once. Always submit one site at a time, to one category at a time.

Always resist the urge to resubmit your site. It will only be moved to the back of the line, because DMOZ operates on a first come, first served basis for maximum fairness to all.

Your site should already have a listing in the DMOZ Directory before you attempt any additional category submissions. If you submit a new and not yet listed site to more than one category, it may be rejected for spamming the Directory.

Treat submissions to additional categories the same way. Avoid the mistake of submitting them differently. Always follow the Directory submission rules, each and every time you submit a website.

The DMOZ directory is user oriented. It is designed to help those searching for information. That means a site must provide clearly unique content, to improve the Directory user experience. If you are already listed in one category, your site is considered to contain unique and important information on that topic.

The Directory does not need your site to achieve its goals, but always welcomes sites that enhance the Directory content. Be sure to keep the Directory’s goals in mind when you attempt to add additional links.

{mospagebreak title=How to get a second category listing}

To gain a second listing, you must be able to clearly demonstrate that your site offers additional unique information. By unique information, I don’t mean one or two articles in the middle of your site, on another topic. That is not enough. It will only be rejected.

For example, let us assume that you have a travel information site. Your site was previously submitted and accepted under one of the travel categories. Over time, you may have developed an entire technical section on your website, about the aircraft used by the airlines. You may be able to get your site listed under one of the Aerospace categories as well.

It’s very important to note that if you are seeking a second DMOZ listing for your site, it must contain enough important and useful content to be included in a second category. The information provided by your site must almost amount to a second website. A few articles on the subject will not qualify. The content must be substantial and unique, and in keeping with the policies of DMOZ.

The same principles of submission apply for a second DMOZ listing as for a first Directory listing. Your site must contain useful and unique content to gain entry into the second category. The information provided must be of real value to the ODP user. Remember, submitting your site to a second category is considered the same as gaining your site’s initial inclusion in the Directory. The same rules apply.

Before you make a submission for an additional category listing, be absolutely certain you have the quantity and quality of unique content to do so. Now is certainly not the time for unrealistic thoughts about your site’s content. Be objective. The secondary information provided by your website must be able to stand as if it were a full website on its own.

Getting an added listing in the regional categories

Along with your main submission, you can also get your site listed in the Open Directory Project’s Regional Directory.

If you have an offline bricks and mortar business that serves a mainly regional market, you may be able to get DMOZ to add a locally oriented listing for your site. Of course, there is no guarantee that it will happen, but it’s definitely worth an attempt.

When you apply for a regional listing, be sure that your site has a clearly marked physical address, displayed prominently on your site. It almost certainly has to be easily seen on the home page of your site, and preferably on the inside pages as well.

That doesn’t mean you can get away with your address written in tiny print at the bottom of the page. Display it prominently. If your site does a lot of locally based business, your site should qualify for a regional listing.

Be sure your site contains a large proportion of added local and regional content. The information provided should reflect the local area, and be of interest to the residents. In many cases, local and regional customers and clients will be the main users of your website.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a regional is listing is less important. The people living in the area think the region is important. You should consider the area important as well, by providing a lot of content, specifically for local visitor traffic.

With enough local and regional content on your site, you can be included in the DMOZ Regional Listings. A second regional listing is certainly worth having for your website.

{mospagebreak title=Non-English language sites}

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!

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