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DMOZ Submission



2:25 pm on Jan 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Good morning. Been lurking for a while and decided to step up and post something ;-)

I have read some of the posts re: DMOZ submission. I understand that you need to really take care when entering the info as far as detail (which I did). I also understand that it is basically "when I they get to it, sobeit". I also understand that multiple submissions can potentially hurt your chances. I also want to say that I have only been lurking here for a couple of weeks, so everything below is "pre-WebMasterWorld" ;-)

That being said:

I submitted my site to DMOZ probably a little over a years. I operate a site, that runs portal software. We are listed in the Web Guides section for our city in Yahoo Directories. There are really only 4 or 5 websites for our city of approximately 600,000 (but are a suburb of a much larger city) so the amount of potential competitor listings is limited and fairly static.

After submitting the site, I got no response for a while. While visiting the regional/localities page, I noticed "volunteer to edit this site" and volunteered. THAT, I did get a response from. I don't remember completely what it said, but basically, they didn't need me. I want to point out that the directory is dated and anemic; they have approximately 200 sites, and my site has over 500 and they are all legitimate local websites. I also noticed that in other areas of the "Localities" section, there are some dead links.

So, I waited a while (not sure how long) and submitted again, taking the same careful steps. No response to date. After that, I gave up and dropped the idea. I also want to point out that I did get the Yahoo listing after all this.

Any suggestions?

Should I try to to re-submit? Any other suggestions?

[edited by: skibum at 4:48 pm (utc) on Jan. 17, 2006]


7:24 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Some points:

- resubmissions (of the same site in the same category) overwrite the previous submission (which, for the by-submission-date way most editors view the category's unreviewed list, means: puts the submission at the end of the list), so that's only advisable if you realize the title/description you originally submitted for the site were wrong any you want to correct them.

- if the ODP locality category has 200 listings (including subcategories), as you say, that would probably preclude accepting a new editor applicant (as opposed to an existing editor with a track record) as editor for the category. Did your rejection e-mail contain something like "narrow your focus"? You might stand a better chance applying for a small subcategory that's in need of work, improving that subcategory and on the basis of that track record applying for a higher category.


2:40 am on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I guess what is more frustrating is that the area shows that it was last updated in December 2004... Yes, 2004...

I will try to submit again and also see if I can also volunteer again to manage the category. I honestly do not remember their exact response, but I guess it can't hurt to try again...

Persistance, baby, persistance... lol


4:31 am on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I will try to submit again

You have already suggested twice before.
If the site is still waiting review there is no need the suggest it again, you will just overwrite the previous suggestion and chance the date it was suggested.
If the site is already rejected there is also no need to suggest it again, this might be seen as spam.

Before you try again to become an editor you should study the rejection letter you got the previous time. And solve the reason(s) you were rejected for.
A category with 200 listings is (normaly) to large for a new editor. Pick one of its subcatagories.


3:34 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

>>Should I try to to re-submit?

Definately not (and welcome to the forum). As mentioned, you go to the end of the list when you resubmit.

Why not just verify your information is in their system by visiting thier forum? It's called resource zone.


3:50 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Why not just verify your information is in their system by visiting thier forum?
They stopped providing that a long time ago.


7:52 pm on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>>I understand that you need to really take care when entering the info as far as detail...

No, that's not true at all. You don't need to suggest a site at all. And hundreds of listings are added daily without any suggestion at all.

What you really need to take care of is:

(1) Making sure the site presents unique information,
(2) Making sure the commercial promotions (if any) don't get in the way of the unique information;
(3) Making sure the navigation and page design highlights the unique information;
(4) Making sure that attribution and other techniques clearly identify the unique information;

Did I mention unique information?

You'll see forum visitors claiming their site is "better" (whatever that means in what passes for neurological activity in their body) than some other site ... and so what? Can the visitor (that is, the ODP editor) easily find and identify the unique information? Do other webmasters independently point to that site as the authoritative source of unique information?

And you'll see forum visitors that go around to forums boasting about their "unique content," or claiming that "they could write hundreds of words proving they have unique content," and ... write it down: on my word, they're liars. If they could do that, and they cared to do that, they already have a whole website of their own that they could have filled with links, commentary, and attribution proving the uniqueness of their content! Ergo, they don't.

And you'll see people whining about other listed sites that have non-unique content. This is, of course, not the same as "not having unique content." And I think a lot of the confusion about ODP listings is, people who passionately care about non-unique (commercial) content and have no concern for unique information, lose the ability to recognize information (or develop a fear and hatred of it). All they see is what they care about. And the ODP lists sites with and without non-unique information. But the editor is looking for the unique information.

Did I mention unique information? I know I'm slighting it's importance here, but I'm trying to get to the real question: what does it take to get a site listed quickly?

One thing is, having unique information -- without that, the site won't get listed at all, or will get removed at first re-review.

But that doesn't guarantee a quick listing. No site is listed without a review.

What makes a quick review? Oh, chance, certainly: who knows whether a literature editor is going to sit and watch "masterpiece theatre" this evening, or a sports editor watch WWF, or both, or neither. And who knows whether any editor is going to look at sites in alphabetical order starting with "L", or in chronological order, or cherry-pick, or spam-prune? A lot of what a webmaster often sees as a ten-thousand-person conspiracy to deprive him of visibility is simply chance. We couldn't get all ten thousand (or so) editors to agree on ANY kind of global scheme of priority, and we'd be insane to try. It's just chance. But you can weight the dice in your favor.

The way to a quick review is to give a site a description that immediately indicates what unique content it has. Because when an editor is looking for unique content of that kind (and an editor is always and only looking for unique content of SOME kind!) the most likely sources are often checked first.

Another aspect of getting a quick review is having content that is OBVIOUSLY unique. If you have, say, a travel directory, how can the editor know it's unique? There are millions of them, and 99.9999% of them spend their lives plagiarizing each other. There's no reason for any surfer to ever want to visit any of them. And EVEN if a site is one of the 0.0001% of less-plagiaristic travel directories, the chances are an editor isn't going to look at it quickly? And why should he? The editor is looking for unique content, and 99.9999% of the time, that's not where it'll be found. So -- always focus on what is unique. Who are YOU, what do YOU know, what happened to YOU, what have YOU done lately, what would YOU do for money? The center of the website is YOU. And YOU're unique, even if you have a clone. So make sure the visitor knows it.


12:51 pm on Jan 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

i dunno. we have a site with 1200 pages of content, same owners, same host etc for 6 years, of which 50% of the visitors are professionals using type-in or bookmarks... yet we're not good enough for our category of the directory. How good can it be?


5:43 pm on Jan 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Well, whether you're "good enough" is apparently your own judgment: we don't know whether anyone has reviewed the site. Apparently, though, it is of the kind of sites of which most are spam -- so possibly it hasn't yet floated to the top of the toxic waste dump (which, as I mentioned, churns slowly.)

It should also be obvious that the word "article" is not always used in the same sense -- it may mean "information about a subject" or it may mean "promotion of a business." So I can't tell from your description whether the site has even tried to do something that the ODP would be interested in -- and I couldn't tell from a review whether it had succeeded.

See the difficulty? Such a site, however unique it may be, cannot ever be OBVIOUSLY unique...it can only be "demonstrably unique only after a long and painful process."


11:18 am on Jan 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yes fair enough. There probably isnt anything completely unique on any page (except for a few articles) but the site in itself is very useful to a certain group of people. Other such sites in my industry are in there with their descriptions


12:21 pm on Jan 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Ok, so I re-applied as a editor and was declined. I'll post the response, if I am allowed to; if not, I will summarize the response.



3:32 pm on Jan 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

To the best of my recall, quoting from email is not within TOS anywhere at webmasterworld.

Summarize if you elect to do so, but don't copy and paste from the email.


4:29 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Very well.

Various reasons for denial:

Incomplete app - not the case
Improper spelling - not the case
Sample urls are not appropriate - not the case, IMO
Not properly disclosing affiliations - definitely not the case
Titles and descriptions of submitted sample urls promotional, rather than unbiased and objective - this is a reponse that is very subjective based on the reviewer. Not all people agree on issues of bias. I can accept that, however.
Self promotion - I will not deny this, nor did I in the application. I disclosed that my local site includes 500 very relevant local businesses/community organizations, which I would have hoped they would have visited my url to see the quality of the sites - maybe they did, maybe they didn't.

They obviously stated that they would love to provide personalized responses to all candidates, and can only provide generic responses as to why a candidate would not have been accepted.

I hope this helps anyone else that may be interested in applying. I also welcome any comments.



5:08 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

localguide -- as far as I know there is no WMW prohibition on you publishing your DMOZ application for comment.

Or, if there is, plenty of other sites will let you.

You just may need to delink the URLs you supplied.

When you do publish it - here or elsewhere -- people will then have a fair opportunity to comment on it.


6:59 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you do so, you should be prepared not to use the same application or the results of a discussion of the application again. For some very obvious reasons, we don't trust people using applications published somewhere very much.


12:19 am on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It's odd how differently different people read what I think of as a perfectly straightforward document.

First, surely, SURELY one item in that list was "category is TOO LARGE FOR A BEGINNING EDITOR or has too many editors already." What is it, what is it about that first clause that makes it disappear from people's eyeballs before it sinks down to their brain? Now, true, the most common reaction seems to be to skip everything else in the note and fixate on the second clause (which really isn't one of the frequent reasons ... it should probably be replaced by something like "category is too prone to the predations of the more vicious forms of deceptive spammeisters, and therefore needs a very experienced and trusted editor."

However phrased, you should consider the possibility that the category has more than 20-50 sites and submittals total, and as a result is considered "too large to begin with." The hard part of this is, of course, you can't see the number of submittals ... so it's not possible to be certain whether the condition applies. As for "too vicious a spam target" -- that you can pretty well tell by a Google search. (If a thousand spammers target a Google search term, dozens of them will machine-gun the ODP just to suppress the editors.)

SECOND: The issue of promotional language (which you DO treat honestly) is a hard one. I have no difficulty with it ... but once, several years ago, a friend who was NOT a native speaker of English asked me to help write a promotional flier for his wife's business. It was a real eye-opener ... I simply couldn't do it. So I accept that there are people who have the opposite affliction -- who simply cannot write or read information, whose minds transmit and receive only promotions. And some people obviously have a more balanced approach -- they can learn to do both. So, for your consideration, some approaches that have helped me:

You might try this thought experiment: Write a description of a website. Then look at each adjective you wrote. Try to imagine a website that you would describe as the opposite of that adjective. Would you list that other website? If not, then omit the adjective -- surfers may safely assume that it applies to all websites.

Again, look at each of the adjectives. Ask yourself: are there webmasters who would NOT wish that adjective to be applied to their sites? If not, then omit the adjective, it's utterly uninformative hype.

Now, some webmasters would not wish their site to be described that way. Good. Which kind of websites are more common? Then only give that detail for the OTHERS. If most car dealers sell "new and used" cars, don't mention the age of the car unless a dealer sells ONLY new, or ONLY used cars.

And a few general rules: you are not, ever, describing the "quality" of a site. Anything that at all relates to quality should be removed. Nor are you ever DESCRIBING the owner of the site. You are at most identifying him. ANYTHING, ANYTHING AT ALL, about the WEBMASTER that is not useful identification should be removed.

"Joe Schmoe is dedicated to bringing you the best ..." -- stop right there: you don't know and can't know how committed Joe is to ANYTHING, you don't know and can't know whether Joe will hand carry his whatever to Ulan Bator, and thus you can't speak to the surfer as "you"; finally, it is not your job or your right or even within your KNOWLEDGE to say whether Joe's whatever are better than anyone else's.

Say rather, "Joe offers ...; delivers to Northern Tibet".

See the difference? One is information, the other is almost-certainly-false hype.

Many current active and respected editors were rejected on their first (and sometimes second and third) applications. Since editors don't get paid like mercenaries, or stroked like salesmen at pep rallies, they have to be self-motivated and self-driven. Multiple applications are evidence of that.

(Of course, editors also have to be capable of learning something ... and so the applications should be showing improvement.)

Think about it. Can you do this? Is this what you want to do?

I didn't see the application, so I can't speak to detail.


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