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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. :)
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! ;)
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.
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.
"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.
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 :)
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.
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!
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
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. :)
Brett, moderators and everybody here, Merry Christmas and Thanks!