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Do sites get dropped from dmoz?
curious how dmoz works

 6:50 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I must admit I'm asking how dmoz works because I was denied a listing. I have a competitor who has been listed for quite some time at dmoz in the category I'd like to be listed in.

They are a 5 page site, I am a 120 page site. I have all of what they do, plus about 20 times the info/pages, a forum, news, etc. I am a designer first, so I know the UI, design, IA, and general usability are all better.

First the editor said my resource finder didnt have enough resources listed. My resources went from 5 to 71, at least one in each state. Then the reason for not being included was that I supposedly didn't have unique content.

So my questions are:

Since this other site has far less information than I do, and not 'unique' information, will they get dropped, or is it "if you are in, you are in"?

Were they just lucky to get in before there were more sites on our topic?

Do I not have a chance to get in because there is already this site that deals with my topic in the category?

Is it common to not allow sites with similar info in the directory, even if they are different sources, and present the information differently?

I'd probably not have the sort of interest I do in this if I didn't see a 5 page site in the directory that my 120 page site dwarfs for usability, features, and information. It just seems the reasons I was given aren't being given out evenly, or they change over time.

<snip>I'd really like to figure out what I've done wrong, and they did right.

[edited by: NFFC at 7:39 am (utc) on May 20, 2003]
[edit reason] As per tos [/edit]



 7:29 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi there,

Since this other site has far less information than I do, and not 'unique' information, will they get dropped, or is it "if you are in, you are in"?

>> This should not be the case - as long as your site adheres to the dmoz guidelines, then there should be no reason not to include you.

Were they just lucky to get in before there were more sites on our topic?

>> As categories become more popular, there are more submissions and therefore more edits to be done by the editor. But by the sounds of it the editor has already checked you site, but just not listed it.

Do I not have a chance to get in because there is already this site that deals with my topic in the category?

>> Providing your site performs to the the guidelines, there should be no reason why you haven't been listed

Is it common to not allow sites with similar info in the directory, even if they are different sources, and present the information differently?

>> As long as your domain isnt anywhere else in the directory, your site should be listed.

As I said, I would pop over the resource-zone.com which the editor forum, and ask your question there (you can give the url etc which helps)


[edited by: Laisha at 12:03 pm (utc) on May 20, 2003]
[edit reason] Please see charter for the specifics regarding referrals to RZ. Thank you. [/edit]


 7:35 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I actually have been to the resource zone, asked if I was to be included or not, and the reasons I said they gave me for not being included are the ones I have in my post.

I ask these questions now because I was not included, but this other site remains... so I'm wondering if their reasons are applied to the entire category as a fluid every changing guideline. I do adhere to dmoz guidelines, I am ranked well with google... but it just seems this category has me locked out. Id be fine with it if there wasn't very obviously a site in there of substantially less caliber.


 8:45 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey Deft,
I used to be an editor for DMOZ so can say with some certainty that as categories become more popular editors become less willing to list sites there. Is there a sub category in which you could also list your site? I know this is never what people want to do, but it will atleast get you into the directory. If you category has no sub categorys it could be that this editor is new, In my time I have been through alot of sites which were rejected which were perfectly ok. If 'this' is the case you can do nothing but try and resubmit your site, with the inclusion of adding what has changed since you last submitted in the site description.

Editors rarely use the submitted site description anyway, so its a good place to leave a little info for whoever comes to review your site.


[edited by: NFFC at 7:47 pm (utc) on May 21, 2003]


 9:33 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Size doesn't matter, so they say...

Speaking in general, one could take an example from the Regional area.

One site may have 8 pages giving a nice informational overview of Anyville - a perfect candidate for listing.

Someone else may come along and see this listing and think "Aha, that will go well with the commercial hotel directory that I am planning. If I add similar content to that, and a forum and a news feed, maybe I won't look like a hotel directory any more - I'll look like a resource. Then I'll get a listing in a different category from the other directories, and I'll be able to sell my listing space to lots more hotels."

So what would be a logical process to happen here?

Lots of news organisations get listed, and they don't have unique news, but they have a unique way of presenting it.
Lots of places have forums that get listed, but they seem to be the ones with a thriving membership and lots of posts.
Lots of places have informational content that is listed, but they tend to be ones that provide a unique slant on their subject - an "added-value" for the user.
Lots of directories get listed, but they tend to be the ones that have a substantial and useful coverage of their area (and are not using affiliate content pulled from elsewhere).

So say we go back to our theoretical commercial directory, and it's not quite made the grade in any of those areas. The news is an RSS feed; the information seems like an afterthought; the directory only contains one hotel in each price bracket; and the forums only have 10 posts.

As a resource it hasn't sufficed anywhere - but then that's not the reason for the directory. The reason actually is to prove the claims of being "the top Anyville Hotel Resource" so that hotels will pay to be listed in the directory.

What could improve the chances of being listed?

The news section could have dedicated correspondents with news from the travel and tourism in Anyville, local regulations that have affected bookings, awards that have been given.
The directory section could have a comprehensive list of hotels with pictures and reviews from guests.
The forums could have four moderators struggling to cope with the onslaught of questions and debates about Anyville and vacations in the area.

But that's not normally what happens with a hotel directory, because the owner has moved on to the next project - a commercial real estate directory for Nextville...

As a purely personal point of view (and I'm sure a lot of people won't agree with this) the main problem I see with the many similar queries - and I'm not referring to the specific case here necessarily - is that the owners have the attitude of "what is the minimum I need to do to get listed".


 9:43 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Do sites get dropped from DMOZ"

Think you will find some answers here


They are quite keen on dropping whole categories at the moment.


 9:43 am on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't know the details of your site (though it sounds faintly familiar) but by your description it sounds like a directory of some kind (since you're talking about x number of listings per state). If that is the case and if the directory of yours is the focus of the site, 71 listings spread over all the states wouldn't be enough to get you listed.

Also, as a general comment I'd like to say that you can't really judge a site by how many pages there are on it. I've come across a few sites lately where the owners chose to split their information into 1 paragraph (or worse, 1 line) chunks and put each paragraph/line on a separate page (and I don't mean in an unobtrusive, little glossary pop-up kind of way).


 6:32 pm on May 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey there Motsa,

It sounds familiar because you were one of the guys who came in on the conversation at resource-zone. Let me say I appreciate it when you guys help out.

I used page count as an example, because each of my FAQ pages has a topic, and each of theirs has a topic. Their entire site is 8 pages/8 topics. In contrast just my FAQ answers 29 questions.

I understand that page count is not important, especially when sites have auto-generated pages, or simply break up pages that really should be 1 page.

Regarding the doctor finder, # of listings is low because these are the doctors we have found to be a certain caliber and qualification; You don't list 'everyone'. It's funny that if I were in turn to judge DMOZ by the number of listings for my topic, I'd find them unworty of listing by their own standards of "not enough listings".

Its not that I believe I'm worthy of a listing if I simply don't make the standards; it's that I feel that a site already there is clearly not as helpful, so I'm trying to understand what I did wrong.

My original question is wondering if this other site, (If I can't get in, this other site definitely shouldn't be in)will be dropped for being below the 'new' standards, or if they get a free pass and grandfathered along because they applied when standards weren't as high.

I'd like to understand and not think that there is a double standard in place.


 6:46 pm on May 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

There are two issues at work here:

  • You've set an exclusive standard for inclusion in your database.
  • This has led to a smaller amount of content, but has made it more unique (due to filtering the pool of possible entries).

    The problem arises because most likely editors aren't aware of the standards for inclusion in your database, and then they look and see that there isn't a lot of content.

    If I were you I would widely publicize on your page, your standards for inclusion, and why those standards make your list unique. Then I would reorganize the navigation on your site to make the actual content easier to find. Since you don't have a lot of entries perhaps it would be more useful to group them, rather than splitting it up by state?

    In any case, were you to do that, editors would see that your site presents unique content, and have an easier time locating that content.

  • deft_spyder

     8:44 pm on May 22, 2003 (gmt 0)


    Excellent suggestion! the standards for inclusion aren't represented well on the site. that may make my site seem lacking instead of exclusive.

    Thank you for helping me identify one possible area for improvement!


     11:16 pm on May 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

    Ah, now I remember. Thanks for jogging my memory. I second what rafalk has said but wanted to add a couple of personal comments.

    From an editor's point of view, a directory of doctors with a very limited number per state can come across as one of two things: either they just don't have built up the content yet or the listings are actually paid listings for said doctors and not carefully screened, unbiased lists. By including your standards for inclusion (and assuming you don't charge for that inclusion), you eliminate both perceptions.

    As a personal comment, you've got a lot of single paragraph and even single-line pages that you may want to rework into larger pages. The feel of the content gets a little watered down when it is spread out so much like that.

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