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DMOZ Listing
Fortune Hunter

 1:40 am on Oct 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

My research is showing that being listed in the DMOZ directory is really a pay dirt victory for SEO. According to what I have uncovered so far content and a quality site are key for the editors to want to list your site in a certain category.

I went and checked out some of the categories I wanted to be listed in and found the sites to be very similar to mine. Basically an overview of services offered.

My site by contrast also offers some articles and links to other information (although not on the page I would submit to DMOZ).

I have been told how difficult it is to get listed in the directory and how everything needs to be perfect. My questions are...

1. What type of content on the page is considered better than another? How do I know if my content makes the grade so to speak to be listed in the directory?

2. If my site is like the others and I submit it what is a realistic chance for it being listed as well as time frame for its being listed?

Any thoughts from people that have been successful with this would be appreciated.

Fortune Hunter



 6:52 am on Oct 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

> 1. What type of content on the page is considered better than another? How do I know if my content makes the grade so to speak to be listed in the directory?

Unique content. Write your own content, don't copy.

> 2. If my site is like the others and I submit it what is a realistic chance for it being listed as well as time frame for its being listed?

It depends on what you mean with "like the others". If your site is about you / your company and you have written the content about what you are doing you have a realistic chance of being listed. Because of the way DMOZ works we can not predict when a site review will happen. Depending on a lot of reasons review can happen after a few days or sometimes it can be after a few years.

Fortune Hunter

 3:12 pm on Oct 15, 2006 (gmt 0)


You sound you like speak with the experience of a DMOZ editor. My content is totally unique I wrote it all myself, but my question was more directed at the fact that a bulk of the information is about my services and products. Although I do have a section of the site that has free articles (which I wrote), position papers (which I wrote), links to resources I think are helpful, link to my blog (at blogger), and tip sheets and special reports that are free if you sign up for my newsletter.

My question was prompted by the fact that I was wondering if my site had to be totally non-commercial and be a virtual encyclopedia of free information on my industry. If that was the case I figured my chances were pretty low, which brings me to my second observation.

I drilled down into the categories I wanted to be listed in and started looking at the other sites already listed there. I checked their content, source code, etc. I personally think my site is a little better. Some of the sites there were purely commercial, in otherwords they simply explained the company's services or products, but nothing beyond that. While my site also has the same thing I felt I went above and beyond by offering articles, resources, tip sheets, newsletters, etc. All for free.

What I wasn't sure of was if this was "good enough" to be included in the directory. I was very careful to select the right category I thought a specific page belonged and in almost all cases I submitted that specific page URL instead of just a link to my home page, which I thought was more broad. I also made sure my page looked nice, had clean links and wrote a good description. Hopefully I have done all the "right stuff" to be included in these categories.

Fortune Hunter


 3:21 pm on Oct 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

> I have done all the "right stuff" to be included
> in these categories.

Have you suggested/submitted multiple pages of your site, each to a different category, contrary to the submission guidelines? Or have I misread?

Fortune Hunter

 7:01 pm on Oct 15, 2006 (gmt 0)


No, you read correctly. I went through and found different directory listings that I wanted to be listed under then I would submit a URL for the specific page on my site I thought fit that directory listing the best. For example, I have a page that talks about my copywriting and I placed that specific URL in the directory under marketing consultants copywriters. I did the same for other categories as well.

I think in only one instance did I list the main home page and that was because the category listing was broad enough that I thought listing the home page would be ok.

Why do you ask, did I do something wrong?

Fortune Hunter


 8:33 pm on Oct 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

did I do something wrong?

Oh yes. Each time you did that, you acknowledged that you'd read and agreed the submission guidlines at [dmoz.org...] . I suggest that you read them now, paying particular attention to Step Three which begins Identify the single best category for your site.

By making multiple submissions to multiple categories, ODP editors will have to process your website multiple times. We don't appreciate your squandering of our volunteer resources.


 1:32 am on Oct 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Also, there's no reason not to submit a commercial website. If it's the homepage of a business that provides unique services (i.e. not an advertisement for or affiliate of a different business) and does not already have a listing under a different URL, then it is valuable to the ODP in and of itself. There's no need to try and hide it behind a bunch of free articles about your own services.

But yeah, you did make a mistake submitting each subpage of your site to dozens of different categories when you are already well aware that the subject of each of them is your own business. You should have submitted your homepage to the category most appropriate for it. If it's a brick-and-mortar business it's OK to submit it to the town you're located in in the Regional tree, too. But submitting each page of your website to a directory separately is definitely spamming. If your site is a museum and you've only submitted six subsections, then directory editors may be more inclined to let it slide, but if you submit dozens of deeplinks from a site about your own business services, most directories are going to start banning your submissions as spam.

Live and learn...

Fortune Hunter

 11:58 pm on Oct 16, 2006 (gmt 0)


My sincerest apologies, I did read the submission guidelines, but I didn't realize it meant only one submission for an entire site, I thought it was only one submission for a particular page. I have a diverse amount of services that are only semi-related so I figured it was ok to submit each page based on the correct directory. My mistake, hopefully they don't hold it against me too much.

Fortune Hunter


 12:08 am on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why should sites with broad categories be punished? The whole idea that there can only be 1 category for a site has always seemed ridiculous to me. There are numerous sites that have different sections that would fit into different categories. Especially in categories where there are few (or no) sites, DMOZ should welcome submissions, despite the site already being listed in DMOZ.

I also know for a fact that there are many sites with multiple listings in DMOZ. (Example- go to DMOZ and do a search for cnn dot com.)


 12:15 am on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Dmoz guys

Question, where a company has say a listing for say

www.widgetsMaintenance.com which sells widget maintenance to North Americans,

now the company expands internationally an sets up

www.widgetsmaintenance.de selling widget maintenance to Germans, services and content adjusted to reflect German law, culture, and economic demand, so very little duplicate content

If a listing has been given to www.widgetsMaintenance.com in dmoz

is it within Dmoz TOS to submit www.widgetsmaintenance.de which has different content only to the extent that it is localised for Germany


 1:33 am on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

LifeinAsia, Fortune_Hunter was explicitly NOT talking about a giant information resource like CNN or Wikipedia -- the site as s/he described it is a commercial site containing information solely about his/her own services and products. That has relevance only in the commercial area of the directory, and we only want one entry for it. (Unless it has a physical store, in which case a second listing in the Regional section is also useful to us.)

If it weren't that way, none of you would get a listing at all, because we'd be kept permanently busy listing each of Amazon.com's 28,000,000 deeplinks, and so on. :-)


 1:37 am on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

vite_rts, yes, you can submit your site a second time to World/Deutsch if it is written in competent German (by which I mean not just run through BabelFish or something--native speakers need to actually be able to read it.)

It doesn't matter if you have two URL's (like mywebsite.com and mywebsite.de) or just one (like mywebsite.com/english and mywebsite.com/german.) You can still have two listings for the same website if it's accessible to speakers of two different languages.


 6:15 am on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

>Why should sites with broad categories be punished?

We really don't have the means to punish sites. And if we did, "having broad categories" wouldn't be on the list of high-profile crimes.

All we have is a way to reward sites. And the obvious question is "why should sites with SHALLOW content be REWARDED?" And the only reasonable answer is "they shouldn't." The fact is, of course, that each person has a finite amount of available effort, and it can be used to dig deep, or to spread wide.

But the former is often useful to surfers looking for information, the latter generally isn't. On the web today, organizational sites combining breadth with depth, can easily and completely dominate the broad, shallow single-contributor sites. But there are many topics on which a single dedicated person with significant relevant personal experience can still create an unmatched resource, using only his own knowledge and effort.


 6:25 am on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

vite_rts, it should be obvious that when you start talking about a multinational firm with physical presence in two continents, you're talking about an organization that can draw on the skills and knowledge of lots of people -- and it's not at all unusual for such an organization to create adequate depth in multiple topics, and we'd be punishing surfers by not featuring their subsites in various categories. But perhaps not.

No, it's not prudent to ask to be measured by the same standards as such sites. You might get your wish. Count the number of full-time, professional, information-technology and content-creation employees Amazon and its suppliers have, multiply by the age of the site, and divide by the number of listings -- to see how many man-years you'd have to put in, to "earn" a single listing comparable to Amazon's. (Start working now, and my great-great-grandchildren might be able to review your site in their retirement years.)


 10:49 am on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Some clarification here,

firstly, I am refering to a site I was considering submitting, not questioning Dmoz rules or comparing with any other company or individuals submission.

Secondly, I merely used Germany as a none specific example, although I do intend to do German an other language sites, the site I have almost ready for submission is for an English speaking country

The site optimises our services to that particular country, charging in that countries currency, etc etc

Having a Dmoz listing for the First site, is it acceptable to submit the other site whose only commonality with the already listed site is the services , ownership, and perhaps style- corporate imaging.



 11:20 am on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just pointing out that multinational and multilingual are not at all the same thing.

We're happy to list multilingual websites within each appropriate /World category (provided that they're not machine translations).

We have a strong preference for listing the same root URL in all languages and relying upon the website's own navigational structure (little flags or whatever) to switch language.

Fortune Hunter

 1:12 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I didn't intend for the post to turn into a firestorm against the DMOZ rules when I made my mistake, but having read all the posts I think there are good points on both sides. When I submitted my site I carefully picked about 6-7 categories and submitted, because I felt I had good content to share on all those categories. Further, I had read that sites like CNN had hundreds or even thousands of links in different categories to different content.

While I will never compare myself to CNN, the point is really the same allowing sites with a diverse amount of content to be listed in more than one category. If the content is really diverse and valuable to people who may never search under the category where you are "approved", but may find you under another category, that adds value to their internet experience and allows them to find resources they would otherwise miss.

Now having said that I can see why DMOZ editors would also like to be careful because people can and will abuse this concept and detract from the value of the entire directory if they simply listed their site 30 times in different categories to get more exposure, but didn't really have the content to support it.

My feeling is that since DMOZ prides itself on human editors that evaluate each site on a case by case basis they should also consider evaluating each site on multiple categories on a case by case basis. Sure, such a step requires more resources and time, but the goal is the same, creating great listings and information for people that use the directory. That can and should include the possibility of multiple listings in the right cases.

Fortune Hunter


 3:00 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh, we do consider multiple listings for each site we review. That's part of why we have the submission guideline we do, requesting webmasters to submit each site only once: we consider deeplinking at the editor level. If you submit www.mysiteaboutmarsupials.com, then the editor who reviews it will decide whether the wombat and kangaroo subsections are really content-rich enough for separate listings. But if you go submitting all 800 pages of your site to every applicable category you can find, it's spamming and wastes the editors' time. I suspect that this is true not only of the ODP, but of every credible directory and, in fact, of non-directory websites you request a link from. Which do you think is more likely to have a positive result, sending an email to a webmaster requesting that they link to the one most appropriate URL of yours, or sending a five-page email screed requesting that they link to each of 250 webpages of yours from each of the crosstabbed 250 webpages of their own? :-)

If you really think your website is a great resource for multiple deeplinking, I'd recommend submitting the main URL and adding a bracketed note after the description saying something like [Please consider deeplinking the sections on individual marsupials.] This is more likely to actually have a result for serious news, academic, educational, and other informational sites, though. We almost never deeplink commercial sites. Like I said above, if we were going to start doing that--well, we'd be so busy deeplinking millions and millions of Amazon.com user reviews, we'd never ever have time to list a small business at all, you know?


 3:31 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)


But there is no indication (that I found) that different rules apply to commercial and non-commercial entities.

What about gap.com? It is commercial and would fit into
- Shopping: Clothing: Men's
- Shopping: Clothing: Women's
- Shopping: Clothing: Teens

So I would say the firestorm is about the impression of "one size fits all" for submissions.

So perhaps if the submission guidelines were written a little differently, perhaps rewording your suggestion of
If you really think your website is a great resource for multiple deeplinking, I'd recommend submitting the main URL and adding a bracketed note after the description saying something like [Please consider deeplinking the sections on individual marsupials.]

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 3:40 pm (utc) on Oct. 17, 2006]


 3:43 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Nope, it gets listed in the parent category, Shopping/Clothing.

It would be a waste of our time and our users' to list the same website in every subcategory of the same exact category. Think about it... why even bother to HAVE subcategories if every single one has the same 40 department stores listed in it?

Generally speaking, if your website has information about, say, blue widgets, green widgets, and red widgets, we'll list your website in the parent category, Widgets. (You may like that better anyway, because the higer-level categories have more visibility and better PR. Our users definitely prefer it that way; trust me.)

If your website had information about, say, blue widgets and the life of Steve Irwin, then we'd be much more likely to consider deeplinking, because people looking for information on one of those subjects is highly unlikely to find the other.

The dichotomy isn't actually between commercial and noncommercial sites, it's between single-issue sites and high-information sites. With VERY few exceptions, commercial websites are single-issue sites. They have all the information you could possibly ever want about ONE company and its related goods and services. A high-information site, like CNN, the Smithsonian Institute, Stanford University, Wikipedia, etcetera, has tons of information on many SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT topics. Therefore, it's useful for us to list a site like that multiple times. Putting in additional listings for every single type of clothing carried by gap.com would benefit nobody but the Gap.

Forgive me if I don't consider one poster complaining about the fact that CNN's website has more listings than their own a "firestorm," exactly. ;-)


 4:00 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have read this thread with interest, because it applies to me.

I have site listed in DMOZ under a regional category. But a couple of the subjects the site covers are specific to other categories. I appreciate further submissions are not allowed, but is there anyway to suggest to an editor that those page groups might be approriate to be included in his or her category?


 4:23 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

>Having a Dmoz listing for the First site, is it acceptable to submit the other site whose only commonality with the already listed site is the services , ownership, and perhaps style- corporate imaging.

Read the ODP submittal policies, with CAREFUL reference to the bit about "related sites." And answer this: "what are the most severe sanctions mentioned in the whole submittal policy? and what actions trigger them?"


 4:29 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Flicker

No firestorm okay :-), just a question,

cos I'm not sure that the other posts address my question.

If I elect to use country specific tlds for promoting my company, even though they are all English language TLDs, is it aceptable to submit the country specific TLD domains, the content is not entirely duplicate cos its country specific.

Obviously, if its not okay, I am happy to have the one Dmoz listing as I wouldn't want that 1 affected


@ Hutchenson

Just read your post, I guess thats a no then


 4:46 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm not complaining about CNN having more listings- I was just using it as an example. I think it's a perfect example of why some sites should be allowed more than one category.

As a user, if I'm trying to find sites that have men's clothing, I'd want to find all the sites I want under Men's Clothing. I don't want to have to go to Men's Clothing, then have to go up a level for general Clothing as well because they also sell women's clothing and didn't qualify for multiple categories. If I go to Men's Clothing and don't see Gap.com, I may decide that Gap.com doesn't have clothing for men, so I'm not going to waste my time by going there.

What about commercial sites that are more general? For example, expedia dot com. You can make reservations for hotels, air, car rental, cruises, etc. Yet you can't find it listed in any of those subcategories. (This may be due to Expedia's submissions, but the "one category" limitation was probably a mitigating factor.)

Say I want to make a hotel reservation. Am I more likely going to look under "Recreation: Travel: Consolidators" or "Recreation: Travel: Lodging: Consolidators" to find a place to book a hotel?


 5:23 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

>I don't want to have to go to Men's Clothing, then have to go up a level for general Clothing as well because they also sell women's clothing and didn't qualify for multiple categories.

That's how directories are used. The ODP is no exception: Yahoo and the late sincerely-lamented Zeal work the same way.

But in any case, you don't have to do it that way, and you don't have to like doing it that way. In fact, you don't have to use a directory at all. The choice is there, if you want to use it. Many people don't (as most people here will already know.)

But, this is perhaps an important point: if you don't want to USE a directory, you simply aren't going to be a good source of suggestions as to how to BUILD one.

Always focus on what you know, where you can build credibility based on your experience. And don't worry that most people won't ever need your experience -- that makes you no different than anyone else.


 5:50 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's how directories are used.

Not sure what you're saying here... Are you criticizing me because I (and other people) don't use directories in the limited way they are setup (which could be why not many people use them), or are you agreeing with me that directories are not setup for the logic in which many people look for things?

I never said I don't want to use a directory. I do, in fact, use them. The reason I don't use them more is precisely because I can't always find what I'm looking for in the category I expect.

Am I really that far off base to think that people prefer to go to exactly the category they want instead of having to hunt around several related categories?

I'm not posting these messages to start a flame war. We are in the process of building a niche directory-type structure for one of our domains. So if no one else uses directories the way I see as being more efficient, then I'm not going to waste my time building it that way, and we will follow everyone else's structure.

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 5:57 pm (utc) on Oct. 17, 2006]


 6:39 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Before this thread takes another step in any direction let me make this perfectly clear: The days of the devolution, degradation or "spinning out" of ODP threads in the Directory Forum is over. In that regard I would appreciate everyone's cooperation, when it comes to DMOZ threads, if everyone helps to keep the thread focused on the original issue framed framed by the OP.

If someone wants to raise a new or related issue please do so by starting a new thread. I know it can be a P.I.T.A. to deal with pre-mod but you all know there are good reasons for it.

I personally appreciate the fact that anyone who volunteers their time editing for the ODP ALSO volunteers to spend time posting here in an effort to explain their view and experience and their interpretation of DMOZ rules and procedures. The fact that any editor posts is not the same as a statement of ODP policy and we're not going to use any editor's post as the jumping off point to debate general ODP policy or general pratices. At best the statements posted here are any one editor's attempt, amongst some 70,000 editors, to explain an action that some other editor has taken or failed to take.

Let's stop beating up on the guys and gals who are kind enough to serve double duty, in volunteering to work for the ODP and volunteering to answer questions at WebmasterWorld.

[edited by: Webwork at 2:41 am (utc) on Oct. 18, 2006]


 8:15 pm on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Okay, it's taken a few minutes to re-read this thread and it is my view that one thing that happened here - as in other ODP threads - is that we have an OP (original poster for you noobs) who raises a question that gets a decent answer AND THEN the thread starts to veer off into new areas, new intervenors asking questions beyond the scope of the OP, etc.

In the case of this thread the initial issue related to whether good content was the prerequisite for admission and then veered off into a thread about submitting to multiple categories and onwards.

In looking at other DMOZ threads I can see that they often go from potentially having a discussion/debate about one issue to opening up to multiple issues and then the gates of hell sometimes break loose. ;0)

So, for now - until I get a better handle on how to move the ODP dialogue into a more focused and productive trend - I am going to apply a bit of a blunt instrument approach to moderating: One thread = One issue.

I really don't wont to act bossy nor do I wish to cut off valuable dialogue but something has to be done to raise the level of the dialogue about the ODP so bear with me while I experiment.

At this point I am going to attempt to split this thread into 2 threads: One about content quality (brief) and a second about submitting to multiple categories. I think they are both very good subjects and you all have done a very good job of raising the issue and responding to those issues.

Thank you.

[edited by: Webwork at 8:17 pm (utc) on Oct. 17, 2006]

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