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DMOZ Submission Guide

For those of you who do not know, DMOZ or the Open Directory Project (ODP) is a huge, human edited directory of websites staffed completely by volunteer editors. Every website that is listed in the directory is manually reviewed for quality and relevance before it is listed. DMOZ directory data is syndicated throughout many hundreds of websites and even Google Directory uses this data. Having a listing in DMOZ can result in many hundreds of additional backlinks. This as we know is excellent for improving your Search Engine Rankings, Google Pagerank and of course Trustrank.

In recent months, DMOZ has had some very severe server issues and lost a lot of data. The submission process is now open again. Most of the data lost in the crash was data relating to previously submitted and queued sites. One of the bigger problems with DMOZ previously was the size of the queue for waiting sites. This is now gone so there has never been a better time to submit your site to DMOZ.

As many of you know, I am an editor of a few main and regional Irish categories over at DMOZ. This is my common sense,personal, updated and non-ODP endorsed DMOZ submission guide.

Step One:
Read over the DMOZ submission guidelines and pay particular attention to the following:

Determine whether a site is appropriate for submission to the ODP:

* 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 URLs that contain only the same or similar content as other sites 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.

* Don’t submit sites consisting largely of affiliate links.

Step Two:
Find a REGIONAL (Yes regional) category that suits your site. Most websites are allowed two listings in DMOZ. A normal and a regional. There are more regional editors and all editors have the ability to move/copy your listing to another category internally.
Step three:
Read the description of that category and make sure your site belongs there. If your site or business is relating to or doing business in that regional category, it will usually belong there.

Step four:
Use your sites OFFICIAL TITLE OR BUSINESS NAME for the title and a non promotional description. Look at other descriptions in the category and see how they are done. Editors will correct any incorrect titles and descriptions but if an editor has a lot to do, he or she “MAY” skip past yours and approve all the submissions where they do NOT have to go to the effort of rewriting. Rewriting incorrect entries may be left….. for another day. It is essential that an editor of a busy category approve you FIRST time around. Who knows when they will get around to you again.

Step Five:
Find an appropriate general, non-regional category. Usually I would wait for a few weeks to see if your site was listed regionally. See if the editor changed your title or description. Copy that and submit again to ONE non regional relevant category.

Step Six:

Wait or Forget. Your choice. Either way, make sure you continue working on your site.

How long does a DMOZ listing take?
DMOZ does NOT have as many editors as stated on the front page. “over 4 million sites – 74,719 editors – over 590,000 categories”. It has a LOT less. This number is the amount of editors since the beginning. Most of these are no longer editing, or edit once in a blue moon. If your category has no editor, this will be indicated by a “Volunteer to edit this category” link at the bottom of the category page. If your category has no editor, it will take a VERY long time for a Meta editor to get around to it. Think about either submitting your site to another relevant category or becoming an editor. See Tips below.

Why does DMOZ reject some sites?
DMOZ rejects spammy/MFA sites, affiliate sites, sites without unique content and my personal pet peeve, SEO competition sites (You have no idea how many of those we get!). Just because your site is clean and offers something, does not mean it has not been offered by another site in the category. Are you just another brick in the wall? Another “Me too” site?

Tips on becoming an editor.
Do NOT try to become the editor of the Search Engine Optimization category or the Web Design Category first. Seriously, do not waste your time. There is a reason there is no sub category editor there. Apply to be the editor of your local regional town. You will have a much better chance of being accepted. Edit your category according to the internal editor guidelines. Participate in the editor forum. Ask questions. After a few months, apply to be editor of another smaller category. Build up your edits and categories. Earn your status. Jim Boykin has a detailed and humorous post on how to become an editor. Well worth the read if combined with my guide.

OK, that’s it. I hope this has cleared some things up for you and with the recent re-opening of DMOZ, I hope this will help more people submit correctly and become editors. The more editors we have, the less moaning and abuse the current editors have to put up with!

*** This article was written by me, and all opinions expressed within are my own and do not reflect the opinions of DMOZ, the ODP or AOL in any way.

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