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I inquired at the resource zone re status and was told that the site was not eligible for listing - it appears that an editor glanced at it and dissmissed it as an affiliate site (it definitely isn't).
I already wrote to editor above that category (there is no editor for my category), who told me to go to the resource zone, so I am running out of ideas.
Can anyone tell me what the next step is?
The url is included in my profile.
Can you tell me what you mean by 'too many links'? The links on the home page are to other pages of the site.
The only external link on the home page is to our Maui vacation rental site and then I have a couple of link exchange pages.
I don't understand what is spammy about it?
Multi-hyphenated (3+) domains have been used for so much Spam, especially in travel they probaby set off alarm bells when an editor almost anywhere sees that, regardless of content.
Are there other sites with the same content?
Are there other sites with the same property listings?
Does the company have a bunch of different sites on the same topic?
The ODP will usually list one site per company in a topical and/or regional category that provides unique content. Much of the time when a site is declined, this has something to do with the reason for it.
The RZ response was in the site submission forum and said that it had been reviewed and rejected. The editor who responded didn't appear to have looked at the the site himself, however.
That is very depressing to hear that a site might be discounted because of its domain name, regardless of content!
In answer to your questions, this is the one and only site, there are no other sites with exactly the same listings (we have several brand new properties) and we don't have a bunch of other sites.
Yes, some of the properties are included in other agency sites. That is probably the problem.
Maybe if we expand our repertoire with more propeties that are not represented anywhere else we might have a chance.
Thanks again for your insight.
Using this technique, I pulled up 36 results [google.com] for one of the descriptions on your site - same property description, clearly not unique to your site. That might not be the case for every single listing, but dmoz editors usually look at a selection of content on the site, not every single listing.
Getting a dmoz listing is easy if you have unique content, i.e. you've written it yourself. If you haven't written it yourself then it's likely to be published in several different places.
OK, mystery solved. If you don't have unique authoritative information about the properties, what do you have? (So far as the ODP is concerned, nothing!)
> ... but I wrote all the copy myself (after visiting them), unlike some other agency sites I've seen.
So? Promotional/advertising/hype doesn't count either as "unique" or as "content", no matter how "original" it is. This makes it very difficult to qualify for the "unique content" criterion.
If you don't have unique authoritative information about the properties, what do you have?
Funny you should say that because I actually had to be very persistent in getting crucial information directly from the property owners, information that was not to be found anywhere else.
Promotional/advertising/hype doesn't count either as "unique" or as "content", no matter how "original" it is. This makes it very difficult to qualify for the "unique content" criterion.
I wasn't referring to the phrases of advertising copy on the home page. I was talking about the descriptions of the properties, which are accurate and without hype.
I do understand what people are saying about lack of unique content, however. But it's easier to hear in a helpful tone than a dismissive one.
I do wonder, if I included only properties that are not featured in any shape or form anywhere else in the Open Directory, whether an editor would deem the site to be a useful addition to the directory.
It seems that even if I did that, agency-type sites just have too much prejudice stacked against them in some editors' eyes, for that to be noticed or appreciated.
Oh well :(
I'm not sure what you mean by "agency-type sites". Do you have (or are you acting on behalf of) an agency that actually exists with offices and employees and services and all? Or are you thinking of the site itself as some kind of "agency" that merely advertises services offered by someone else?
My husband's daughter runs the office out of her home in Kailua (I set up the business for her). She takes phone calls and emails from inquirers and helps them find a rental suited to their needs. As she lives nearby she is able to personally check out all the homes featured on the site and she is also available to help if there are problems with key pick-ups etc. We have a few novice property owners who really haven't a clue so they are benefitting from our experience of running our own vacation rentals in Maui (I'm in Maui).
If you do have a physical agency with actual real estate agents in it--or, to broaden this for others, any physical store which a local person could actually go to for real-world service--it can definitely facilitate an ODP listing to put a nice "about us" or "contact us" button prominently on the front page with all the pertinant information about your physical location and the services it offers.
We haven't included a physical address because it is a home office run by a single mother. However, I thought the 'contact us' link was quite prominent (?) and there is a phone number to call.
Sounds like a good idea to add an 'about us' page to explain the set-up to inquirers. People seem to like the personal service of a 'third party'.
I have to say it seems to be very difficult getting a new site found on the search engines these days. I chose the domain name etc pre-florida and I don't think it is helping.
Using this technique, I pulled up 36 results for one of the descriptions on your site - same property description, clearly not unique to your site. That might not be the case for every single listing, but dmoz editors usually look at a selection of content on the site, not every single listing.
You would probably find for any vacation rental that if you put a phrase (from their personal website) describing a feature in their home that it would come up on many sites because people tend to use the same copy for multiple adverts.
For instance, a phrase from our Maui vacation rental website:
"Hospitality House" in Hawaiian [google.com]
shows that we are listed on many different types of site. That doesn't mean that the sites that our adverts come up on are not unique (and I know that many of them are in the Open Directory).
With the site in question, sure I have used some descriptive terms provided by the property owner but I have rewritten all copy I received, for clarity, and to eliminate hype and repetition. All the properties had a lot of crucial information missing from their personal adverts and webpages and I spend a lot of time extracting this information from them directly! This is why services like ours exist - because property owners often are unable to manage and book their properties themselves.