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DMOZ Submission

Something fishy going on.

1:49 am on Mar 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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This email is not intended to offend anyone, however something fishy is going on with DMOZ.

I have submitted an ecommerce site to the exact category it belongs in to DMOZ over a year ago.

I continued to check with the editor(s) over and over every few months. They have my submission but it never gets listed.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this website. It is not a porn or gambling site. It is a plain old fashion ecommerce website.

I decided to call a very reliable source and what he told me is that the editor who has this category probably has a financial interest in this particular category and he/she is not permitting new sites to this category.

That makes perfect sense to me. Why else wouldn't it get listed?

He then suggested I get in through a regional/local means just so I can get listed in the directory, then eventually they would have to place me in the category that this site should belong.

It is not fair that certain editors can control a category/submission as to who could and cannot get in.

Even though its all volunteer, it still sounds like an illegal thing to do.

Has anybody else experience this? Can somebody help?

Please Advise.


9:28 pm on Mar 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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That pretty much confirms my original guess: the e-commerce category you originally submitted to, like many e-commerce categories, is probably backed up with a huge pile of submissions (much of which is undoubtedly spam). Since super spammers don't tend to target the categories of every town in every country out there, you didn't run into the same problem in the second category. If there were a conspiracy against your site by editors who didn't like you, it wouldn't have been listed in the regional category either.

There's not much you can do to make submission processing happen more quickly in high-traffic categories other than A) become a serial murderer of spammers or B) become an ODP editor. As I've said, reviewing free submissions isn't the top priority of ODP editors, so areas with hundreds or thousands of sites already listed and hundreds or thousands more waiting (most of which are garbage) are categories it may take a new site a year or even longer to be listed in.

Sorry not to have better news, but I'm glad our suggestion about the regional categories has helped you (and that no evil meta-editors were out to get you after all :-D )

10:01 pm on Mar 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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... it is my hopes now that some editor will see this regional listing and also place me in the main E-commerce category that I have been waiting for.

Does this mean now that I will have a better or faster chance of being picked up by a surfing editor and have my site submitted to my 1st category I have selected (but yet not in) almost a year ago too?


The short answer is "no".

It is possible that a Regional editor may spend time building his locality, partly by searching the Topical categories. This is not a likelihood, but it is more likely than a Topical editor searching the Regional branch to build up his listings.

At some future point, there may be an infrastructure which, when appropriate, would allow editors to simultaneous list a site in appropriate Topical and Regional categories. Most editors would love to have this sort of capability available, but staff priorities have not yet allowed it to happen.

An editor can list a site in "his" category, then repeat the add process to the other category. Unless he has permission in the other category (unlikely except for very senior editors), the listing will end up in the unreviewed queue of the other cat, just as if you had recommended it yourself.

Sometimes I do take the time to go thru a dual-listing process to both topical and regional. The large majority of the time, I do not do so -- with many hundreds of unreviewed sites where I can edit, most lacking even a single listing, it almost seems "unfair" to spend time trying to get any one site listed twice.

You ended up taking the best route. Recommend your site twice, once to its best Topical location and once to its best Regional location. That you are not dependent on an editor to make the extra effort himself.

-- Rich

10:17 pm on Mar 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks you for your response guys.

OK then a couple of more questions for you.

Does it really matter where you get listed on DMOZ?

Is it just as good that you got listed in a category period? Are they equal in power?

Also, why is everyone dying (including myself) to get a listing in DMOZ directory? Aside from PR what else can it provide?

From what I have been reading from these threads its just one link, so why then is everyone going crazy over a DMOZ listing?

Can someone please be as detailed as possible with these questions.

Thanks in advance for your response.

11:00 pm on Mar 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Two words: urban myth.

You've been suckered into believing a lot of unsubstantiated hype about ODP and its value. Read the last 100 threads or so of this forum to learn the truth about a listing. Some good gems of advice are in there.

You're listed once. That listing should not influence the other one _unless_ your site is so regionally focused (like dogwalking) that any other listing would make no sense.

12:10 am on Mar 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>so why then is everyone going crazy over a DMOZ listing?

That's a really good question. I try to tell people to worry less about it all the time, but they rarely listen to me.

I think a DMOZ listing is somewhat prestigious, like one of the many "best of the web" awards out there. I remember, long ago before I was an editor, when I first learned my site had been listed in the ODP; as I'd worked hard on the site, it made me feel good to have my work recognized. So there's merit in that. And the link has brought in some traffic over the years, both on its own and through the Google mirror of the directory. Some people like to use directories for searching. How *many* people that is depends heavily on the category. There probably aren't too many people who surf through categories like "Full Service Web Designers, Letter E" when they're looking for a web designer. The regional listing is probably more likely to send visitors directly your way. My educational site sees a modest amount of hits from the directory.

Obviously I think the ODP is valuable or I wouldn't be spending my free time working there; but I think a lot of webmasters vastly overestimate its importance to their e-businesses, and I've seen a lot of disappointed people who realy thought the ODP listing was going to turn around their floundering sales or shoot them up the Google results. It's a quality link, it's free, and I don't think there's anything wrong with being proud your site was selected (it is a competitive process, so it's as if you won a small award of sorts)... but I wouldn't hold your breath on your traffic tripling or anything else magical happening because of it, no.

All IMHO, of course. (-:

12:52 am on Mar 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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DMOZ for me has too many 404 links

After submitting my site over 2 years ago, I am still not in, but when I made a doorway page (as a test, as I hate them) I got in straight away. It seams that I can get any doorway page to be accepted, but my main site will not be accepted.

To me, DMOZ is dead until some big management change happens.

1:08 am on Mar 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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GoogleGuy posted the following comment this week on Google News forum:
... I'd concentrate more on getting quality links and not obsess about trying to lots and lots of ODP links.

Draw your own conclusions.

1:16 am on Mar 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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To me, DMOZ is dead until some big management change happens

Is it dead becasue it has not/did not list your site? or is it dead because if *only* adds 1000-4000 new sites a day :-)

IMHO, 1000-4000 is impressive and way beyond what any other directory comes close to doing. If its doing that well, what management changes are needed?

5:42 pm on Mar 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I volunteered as a DMOZ editor over a couple small and somewhat obscure categories last month. Boy, was that ever an eyeopener.

In one of the categories there were *hundreds* of unreviewed listings. Of those hundreds of unreviewed, some went back as far as early 2002.

For those that haven't edited, you may not appreciate the amount of time that it takes to get these backlogs cleared out. Of the 250 or so unreviewed in one of my categories, it took me roughly four hours to just weed out the duplicates, the affiliate sites, and the pure spam. Those are the easy ones. It took twice that long to go through and figure out which 75 or so sites were in the wrong categories.

Twelve hours of work later, there were 75 entries left unreviewed in my category. Only a half dozen of those were obvious good submissions which I could activate. None of them could go in cleanly, they all needed to have their descriptions edited. So, now, the category has 70 entries left with no clear picture of what's needed. Some just don't have enough useful content, some straddle the fence between two categories, some may or may not be affiliate or well-disguised spam sites and some are legitimate useful sites that will get added. These get cleared out a handful per week.

That means only SIX obviously on-target good websites to add out of 250 submitted sites. I apologize to those who have great content to get into the directory. There are 39 problematic sites editors have to go through before getting to yours.

Add in that some of the best, most on topic sites, for a category never actually get submitted (because many webmasters concentrate only on building good sites and not worrying about micromanaging their SEO work). So, some amount of time is spent scouring the web looking for sites that you'd like to see in your directory.

And this is for just one category that isn't in one of the hot spots of the directory. Some categories have two, three, or four times as many submissions unreviewed.

So, while I'm sure there have been cases of editors blocking new submissions to protect their own sites, its FAR FAR FAR more likely that slow-to-appear sites are just sitting in the never-ending backlog waiting for someone to pour themselves into that category for a while.

DMOZ is a fantastic resource - as Google becomes more and more choked with spam (hi there Ebay affiliate passthrough sites), I find it more and more useful. Unfortunately, the same factors that are causing search engines to be clogged up with garbage is causing the backlogs at DMOZ to fill as well.

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