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  1. ODP Submission, Introduction.
  2. Submission Prep Work, Things to do before submitting.
  3. Checklist : Is your site in order?, Is your site ODP worthy?
  4. Finding Your Home Category, which one is right?
  5. Doing the Deed, Constructing your submission.
  6. Follow up and Submission Acceptance or Rejection. What to do on success or failure.
  7. Contacting the Editor Of the Category. When and how to contact the category editor.
  8. Resubmitting or Submitting Nonroot pages. Think your site is warrants more than one listing?
  9. Conclusion. Waxing philosophic on the future of the net.
  10. ODP History. Background info.
  11. External Related Material. Links to more ODP submission resources.


The Open Directory Project (ODP) has single handedly reminded people that the true heart and soul of the Internet is one of community giving, interaction, and socialization. The remainder of the internet has become commercialized and jaded with most sites having covert or overt commercial sell you something agenda. The ODP represents our best hope for an open and honest segment of the internet free from excessive monetary influence.

Running With The Big Dogs

ODP data is now used by the majority of major search engines on the net. That fact alone makes the ODP the most important submission you will ever make. The rewards from a quality listing in the ODP will come more from other search engines than the ODP site at itself.

That is pretty much the who's who of internet search engines. There are also hundreds of smaller sites using the ODP data too.

Submission Prep Work

With the above facts in mind, it bodes well for you and all of us to take extra time and care in preparation. Your site will be reviewed by volunteers coming together to bring order to the chaos of the web. Most of them do it for no other reason than to contribute back to the internet community at large. It symbolizes the best of what we, and consequently, the internet can be.

Take a minute to read the official ODP submission guidelines. They are pretty short and good reference to hear it from the horses mouth.

Checklist : Is your site in order?

Finding Your Home Category

The first step to actual ODP submission is to find the appropriate category. The ODP has expanded so much that it is important that you find the most appropriate category.

Start by searching the ODP for your sites main keywords. Usually that will be your websites topic area. Often you will find three or four categories that look appropriate. Submit to only one.

You should do a search for your sites url and title before submitting. It helps to double check to see if your site has already been added. Many editors will find sites to add on their own.

Find the highest directory that is appropriate for your site and not lower. If your site is about blue fuzzy widgets then submit to the blue fuzzy widget category and not the higher fuzzy widgets category.

If your site is in a non-english category, make sure to submit it to the appropriate World category.

On many of the main pages to a category, you will find a description link in the middle top right of the screen. There may be specific requests for that category by the ODP editors. Please read those descriptions before submitting.

Doing the Deed

After finding your appropriate category, click on the add url link at the top of the page. You will be prompted for the following information:

The last thing to do after you submit, is to: write down the category you submitted your into with the time and date. They may come in handy in the future if you should want to resubmit, update your listing, or contact the category editor.

Follow up and Submission Acceptance or Rejection

It is important to follow up on your submission. Most editors will accept or reject your submission within a week to three weeks. If your site has been accepted it may take up to four months for the listing to filter on out to the other engines that use the ODP data.

If your site has not been accepted and before assuming your were rejected, recheck that your site is in order. Maybe the editor couldn't get to your site - maybe they could use your site since it contained nonstandard code - there are many reasons other than rejection. Try viewing your site in IE, Netscape, Opera, and through an html validator. You'd be amazed at how many sites don't work in alternative browsers.

If you find something wrong with your site correct it, and try resubmitting. It may help to attempt to contact the editor of the category, but don't expect a reply. Many editors will not discuss submissions and instead just investigate the situation and take action based upon your comments.

Contacting the Editor Of the Category

As a last resort, you may attempt to contact the editor of the category if you must. If the category does not have an editor, attempt to go up one level and contact that editor. You can find the editor's name at the bottom of the category. Click on their name, and usually you will find an email address or the default Dmoz mail system to contact them.

When contacting an editor, stay very brief and to the point. Three sentences should suffice and to the point. Don't ask long drawn out questions that demand long drawn out replies - they'll find the delete key very fast. These people are volunteers and work at their own pace. Many are highly successful and busy website operators themselves. Give them every opportunity and benefit of all doubt in discussions.

Resubmitting or Submitting Non-root pages

Some sites may qualify for more than one listing. Be careful when treading on this ground because attempts to spam the directory will usually result in deletion of both urls.

If your site has clear lines of separate content, it may work for you to submit more than one page to the ODP in the appropriate categories. Usually, a site will need to have deep content in order to do so.


The ODP is the most important site submission you will ever make. More important than Yahoo, Looksmart, and the dozens of other directories combined. Not only can it bring you prequalified quality traffic, it's just a cool site. The ODP represents our best hope for resurrecting the idea that the internet can cross all boundaries that are artificially setup to divide us. From governments, to institutions, the internet represents a fresh start for humanity to cross those cultural boundaries - to tear down the walls we have created. Organizations such as the ODP are the caretakers of those ideals. They are our best hope for the future of the internet.

ODP History

The ODP was founded in June of 1998 and was originally named Newhoo It was started by Rich Skrenta and Bob Truel in California as an open source directory edited by volunteers. It was bought by Netscape in 1998 and Netscape/AOL continue to operate the site free of charge. The ODP now lists over 2.5million sites (April 2001) and has surpassed all other directories in size. There are currently 35,611 volunteer editors editing 354,910 categories.

The ODP Database is structured under 16 top level categories. The database is considered Open Source and may be downloaded and freely used with accredation. The database is open source so anyone can use the data on their site providing they comply with the ODP license requirements.

External Related Material

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