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ODP Descriptions and Titles
Laisha

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 2:50 am on Nov 11, 2000 (gmt 0)

(This is part 2 of this thread [webmasterworld.com])

Mrsubmit, you are right. It is a recognized problem at ODP, but so difficult to recognize as happening.

I believe that sometimes editors do this because the word "pencils" is in every line of the category, and they think it looks stupid. Other times, it is an effort to remove ALL keywords. And sometimes it is because they have the mistaken idea that "shorter is better."

Often, I fear, it is a form of abuse which is difficult to recognize and still more difficult to document and prove.

We DO know about this, and when it is discovered, we do what we can to remedy the situation.

Descriptions, in general, have become a major problem in the directory, IMHO.

Heck! Everything's become a problem, come to think about it.

When ODP was new, the abuse was obvious and not so frequent.

However, since ODP has become so important to the industry, the number of editors and the ratio of "good editors" to self-promoting editors have both risen sharply.

My biggest fear is that as more and more search engines and directories demand money, this problem will increase.

Sorry for the rambling. All I really meant to do was agree with you. :)

 

mrsubmit

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 4:13 am on Nov 11, 2000 (gmt 0)

Laisha,

Not rambling, I appreciate your response. I've read some of your posts and can tell that you're one of the majority of editors who truly care and go above and beyond to make that directory what it is. And I know other editors who do the same. :)

Regarding overuse of the kw's in other descriptions, when this has happened, I noticed other sites above and below mine with the same kw in the title and the description. So I can't get my kw in there once but they get it two or three times! ;)

RobJ

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 1:30 am on Nov 12, 2000 (gmt 0)

Mrsubmit - We don't doubt you. We are very aware of the problem. We try to curtail what you've described, but when we see it, it's generally an "Editor is Competitor" situation (described in another thread).

Of course, if you would like to join forces with those fighting such abuse... you DO know where the application to become an editor can be found I presume.

ettore

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 10:11 am on Nov 14, 2000 (gmt 0)

Mrsubmit:
What Rob said. And may I add that when you think that an abuse was committed, an e-mail feedback to an upper or top level editor could help us.

Overuse of keywords, description manipulation, or just plain "not good descriptions" (like the example you gave with pencils) can be easily corrected and taken care of. I usually get e-mails with submitters complaining for such problems, and I *always* check to see whether something has to be done.

CoastalEditor

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 10:37 pm on Nov 14, 2000 (gmt 0)

Again, I agree with the above posts. It is hard to keep a community of editors bound to a basic guideline, but through the influence of other respected Editors I believe this pattern will sweep through ODP. It is frustrating to see a category like I mentioned above, cellular phones, with cropped descriptions. I know that cookie cutter sites that offer a lot of the same products, yet owned by different companies make it hard to write an original description that includes valuable keywords for netizens to search for. Yet this is what needs to be done, and as said by others above, we are beginning to see this occur.

skibum

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 7:14 am on Nov 15, 2000 (gmt 0)

It seems that one possible reason for editing keywords out of descriptions, would be editors following the guidelines. Under #5 in the part about writing descriptions we have:

"Do not repeat the title of the site or the category"

Taken from: [dmoz.org...]

Often times the category name Top/whatever/cellular_phones/ (hypothetical example) would mean that a site selling cellular phones is not supposed to have that in the description. If a site is borderline, and does not get submitted with a well written description, the easiest way to come up with something sensible may just be to write something stating that the site sells cellular phones and accessories. If a site is well presented and clearly explains what it is about and what is offers, it would be much easier to write a description w/o repeating the category in the description.

For the purposes of reducing redundancy when creating a directory, the guideline not to include the category in the description makes perfect sense. It pushes distinguising characteristics of each site as far out on the tree as possible. When it is considered that these listings are used (primarily?) for returning results to a search it doesn't hold up so well.

CoastalEditor

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 3:49 pm on Nov 15, 2000 (gmt 0)

Skibum,
Agreed, this would be the easiest way, but I don't believe that is why we are there. I would hope that we, as editors, have enough integrity and gumption to write semi literate descriptions. I know that the editors at DMOZ are not there to make another search engine, but our duty is still to edit and maintain the worlds best directory. These are the points that I refer to from the guidelines:

Make clear what makes a site different from the rest

Our goal is to make the ODP the most useful resource on the Internet.

We want to be the most comprehensive directory in the world, while at the same time maintaining a content database that is rich in quality.

These are a few examples of why editors at DMOZ need to pay close attention to their editing. I believe the bar is raised high for potential editors in order to weed out lazy or self-seeking editors from the directory. Don't get me wrong, I think for the most part the ODP is filled with amazing editors who take a ton of time out of their schedules to work on a project voluntarily. But I also think the editors must remain true to the overall theme 'most useful resource on the Internet' and use the guidelines as what they are meant to be used as.......guidelines. All that to say that I agree, but think the bar is raised high for a reason, and every category needs to be edited with great care and attention.

All Hail King DMOZ!!!!!!!!and more :)

Bradley

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 5:24 am on Nov 28, 2000 (gmt 0)


My two cents:

The importance of obtaining a listing in DMOZ is obvious. The "description reduction" is frustrating, BUT I do think there is a way to remedy the situation. My ideological belief is to not list a company's DESCRIPTION, but rather list the site's COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE compared to the competition. The company should list how they are different and better than the competition (factual support would be needed) If this were to happen, web surfers would have a better idea as to what to expect when clicking on a link.

My only concern though is that a site's competitive advantage could easily become marketing fluff.

skibum

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 4:06 am on Dec 2, 2000 (gmt 0)

Bradley - I agree completely. My interpretation of how a directory works best is to push information as far out on the tree as possible and to minimize redundancy. Ideally, this would lead to a unique description for each site, and in turn help the user quickly identify which listings to click on to best satisy the quest for information, product purchase, research, or whatever the purpose of the search may be.

Stricko

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 5:26 am on Dec 5, 2000 (gmt 0)

I'm digressing a little bit, but what's the posting conversion to actual submissions in ODP and how long does it usually take? eg Yahoo used to decline most free listing sites.

I'm finding some of my clients take months to be listed and with all the problems everyone else is experiencing.

I have been fortunate enough to have descriptions re written to include keywords. I asked the editor nicely (not to include keywords, even though they were) but to qualify the search more by being country specific or product specific. I found this tactic made the editor realise that is would be beneficial to everyone if they included my revised description......never had a title rewritten out of 17 appeals!

Mike_Mackin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 5:20 pm on Dec 15, 2000 (gmt 0)

>I've been noticing some of the ODP categories have been edited down to the url or almost nothing.

This was the original post here.

Thought you might find this atricle a good read.

[dmoz.org...]

Billythekid

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 8:01 am on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

>>Of course, if you would like to join forces with those fighting such abuse... you DO know where the application to become an editor can be found I presume.<<

I've tried this route and never even received an email, not even saying we don't like you. Just been ignored. Sadly, I like being an editor for human powered directories but have given up on DMOZ. I may be wrong but it looks like the editors could care less about building the directory. Sorry if this sounds harsh but at least one person could have gotten back to me as the submission of application reply said would happen but no one ever bothered. :(

Edited by: Billythekid

Billythekid

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 8:01 am on Dec 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

Thread reply doubled...please delete

Stricko

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 12:29 am on Dec 21, 2000 (gmt 0)

I've been rejected from being an editor with in two days stating that they think my intentions were to only represent clients, not the directory as a whole. Isn't that how most editors start?

Stricko

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 12:29 am on Dec 21, 2000 (gmt 0)

I've been rejected from being an editor with in two days stating that they think my intentions were to only represent clients, not the directory as a whole. Isn't that how most editors start?

Laisha

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 4:27 am on Dec 21, 2000 (gmt 0)

>I've been rejected from being an editor with in two days stating that they think my intentions were to only represent clients, not the directory as a whole.

Any idea what in your application that assumption would be based on?

Stricko

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 4:55 am on Dec 21, 2000 (gmt 0)

I'm assuming that ODP keeps a record of all past web sites that I have submitted. I believe they are making this assumption (even if it is correct) as I haven't submitted sites regularly. I imagine editors would constantly submit quality sites in their spare time indicating that they truley want a great directory. I, however submit perhaps two sites per week which have no consistency as all our clients are diverse.

Laisha

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 5:20 am on Dec 21, 2000 (gmt 0)

You're attributing too much background checking to them.

All they have to go on is your application.

You'll want to make sure your spelling and grammar is good, that you make sense in the application part, and that your sample URLs are well-described and appropriate for the category you're applying for.

And try, try again. :)

*Note: I have no doubt that you personally are doing all those things. This is a general statement. :)

rzfree



 
Msg#: 102 posted 4:11 pm on Dec 23, 2000 (gmt 0)

Hi all
My 1st site was accepted in DMOZ without changing a word in title/description, all main keywords in. Thats shareware pgm home. Title = just name of soft. Descr = 2 sentences, 23 (!) words. Of course, it could be that editor just care less, but I tried to make it a really good description, logical, hard to edit. Took me the whole evening constructing it, re-reading posts here and links, english is not my native language after all (Lithuania here). Every minute worth it.

Brett, moderators and everybody here, Merry Christmas and Thanks!

Rytis

DaveAtIFG

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 9:27 pm on Dec 23, 2000 (gmt 0)

Good work rzfree! Congratulations!! And welcome to WmW! It's nice to hear a success story! :)

Billythekid

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 102 posted 3:25 am on Dec 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

Great rzfree and Merry Christmas to u also. :)

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