Submit your Website or Blog to DMOZ Tutorial
- ODP Submission, Introduction.
- Submission Prep Work, Things to do before submitting.
- Checklist : Is your site in order?, Is your site ODP worthy?
- Finding Your Home Category, which one is right?
- Doing the Deed, Constructing your submission.
- Follow up and Submission Acceptance or Rejection. What to do on success or failure.
- Contacting the Editor Of the Category. When and how to contact the category editor.
- Resubmitting or Submitting Nonroot pages. Think your site is warrants more than one listing?
- Conclusion. Waxing philosophic on the future of the net.
- ODP History. Background info.
- 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.
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 Dmoz.org itself.
- Google gives a large boost across the board to sites that appear in the ODP.
- AllTheWeb gives a pretty sizable boost to ODP pages/sites.
- AOL's Netfind also sends out sizable traffic from its ODP powered directory.
- Hotbot and its mothership Lycos also use ODP data.
- Altavista Yeppers...them too. (are you seeing a pattern here?)
- Inktomi They've used ODP data to purify their listings (quality control).
- Netscape...and on and on...
That is pretty much the who's who of internet search engines. There are also hundreds of smaller sites using the ODP data too.
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?
- No broken links off the home page?
They can't review it if they can't view it.
- No under construction signs?
Ewee, just kinda says go away.
- No inappropriate content to the submitted category?
- Many editors use alternative browsers and will not approve deeply tricked out websites. At a minimum, double check your site in Netscape, IE, and Opera.
- Did you run it through a speell checker?
- This is not a mirror of another site?
Mirror sites should not be submitted to the ODP.
- Are your pages fast loading?
Most editors will not approve a site based on huge pages. (keep under 50k total html and gfx).
- Is your site quality and validated HTML code?
Try validating the code and look for errors.
- Is your site legal?
Sites containing or linking to illegal content are not allow.
- Is your site and affiliate link farm?
Sites consisting of nothing but links to affiliate programs will not be accepted.
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:
- Title: enter a title for your site.
Remember, you are not worried about keywords or alphabetical listings here. There is little boost to be gained from a keyword rich title or description - it's about category - its about getting your url listed.
Titles that are clear advertisements will not be accepted.
To get ideas, look at the other titles in your category.
The whole point of ODP submission from a promotion standpoint, is to get your url into the engines and get the site boost from sites like Google. Therefore, don't spend and over amount of time thinking up a trick title. Just give it the most appropriate title you can.
- URL: the full http URL to your site.
Enter the real destination URL to your site, not some redirect.
Double check that you haven't made a typo by cutting the url and pasting it in to your browser.
Trying to submit duplicate or near duplicate sites via trick URLs, usually results in both urls getting removed.
- Description: A one or two sentence description of your site.
Keep it as short as possible.
Promotion or hype words generally mean rejection.
If an editor has to edit the title, it will usually be rejected before it is accepted.
Don't duplicate the title. Don't attempt to pass things like free offers, prices, or capital letters.
Just simply describe your site in a no nonsense fashion.
Some editors will be good enough to check your sites main meta description - make sure your description is is spam free.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- The Official ODP Submission Policies, direct from DMOZ.
- ODP Submission Tips by an ODP Editall (editalls are editors than can edit any listing in any category). Laisha brings up many points I didn't cover above, and is on the mandatory reading list for anyone submitting to the ODP.
- ODP Submissions with a focus on appropriate categories.
- Open Directory Project Submissions An alternative viewpoint on ODP submission. We do not agree with their suggestion that you should load up your titles and descriptions with keywords.
- ODP Submission another nice article on submission.
- ODP Directories Forum at WebmasterWorld. Moderated and visited by ODP editors daily.
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