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DMoz Dilema

No complaints allowed, just constructive feedback...

     
4:07 am on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I know the topic of DMoz around here can sometimes be a touchy subject. Certainly its recognized as a very important directory. And it is that very fact that drives the frustration Ive read here on both sides of the fence.

Im asking the webmasters and editors for constructive and honest information. Please, no stone throwing here.

Ive been working on a single website for 2 years now. Its a themed site with three primary categories. Within those categories are 17 different, but related topics. Right now, each topic has about 40 50 pages, each of about 500 1,000 words. One of these topics contains a type of tool again, around 50 variations.

As standalone websites, Id bet that nearly all of the 17 topics could get into Dmoz. Early on, I made the mistake of submitting to a category that was too deep in the directory. So here is my question:

Should I begin dismantling the site or is there a chance (even remote) that Dmoz might eventually recognize the value the site might bring to the directory?

And yes, I do understand that dismantling the site would be for selfish reasons.

9:50 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I believe it's been established that nobody's home at dmoz so this would be a waste of time.
10:27 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Are you asking whether splitting your site onto 17 different domains would increase your chance of multiple listings? Probably not. Even if the sites are on different domains, editors strive to treat them as the same "network" of sites.

The question then becomes, would it benefit the directory to list your site 17 times? Ultimately, that depends not only on the depth of content but also on a few factors that are beyond your control--specifically, the topic of your site, and the structure of the category in question. If the subsites all have to do with different aspects of the same business, then one listing works for our purposes (though we usually want a second listing in the Regional tree if it's a business with a physical location.) If the subsites all have to do with different aspects of the same specific topic, like it's a Lord of the Rings site with extensive sections about each of the characters, then again, one listing works for our purpose. If the subsites are about EXTREMELY different topics, like Cajun cooking and living with Parkinson's disease, then we are going to want to list both of them regardless of whether they are on the same domain or not (assuming the content is rich, as you say.)

I know that may sound confusing, but if you think about it from the perspective of the directory, it would be easier for anyone who's using the directory to click on your main site and then use your own navigation to get to the page they want; there's no benefit for our users in duplicating that on our own site unless the topics are far enough removed that a user might have trouble finding his way from one to the other. (There are some other reasons we might choose to deeplink, of course, like if one of your articles was on a topic that has very few other sites about it at all; but that's the basic gist of it.)

Hope that's not too unclear; my brain's a little fuzzy today. (-:

10:34 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Im asking the webmasters and editors for constructive and honest information. Please, no stone throwing here.

I believe it's been established that nobody's home at dmoz so this would be a waste of time.

don't figure....

Its well established that DMOZ lists between 1000-2000 sites a day, where are you getting your information from (that was not asked for in this thread) about nobody being at home.

11:35 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, it was "established" in the last thread that zoobie tried submitting a second site to the ODP that has not been listed in two years. Presumably that's what he's referring to.

Quite a uselessly solipsistic piece of information for the OP, of course, since we have no way of knowing whether zoobie's site warranted a second listing in the first place.

12:00 am on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Billys, it is almost a universal truism that webmasters who think their personal sites deserve multiple listings, generally have sites that do not in aggregate deserve one listing. I haven't looked at your site (obviously), but ... describing it in terms of page count sounds like -- well, like something a failing sixth-grade student would say about his book report. It's simply not a factoid that would be thought significant by anyone who knew anything at all about information.

"Themed" is marketroid-technospeak. It has nothing to do with what the ODP does -- again, there is a strong correlation between "themed" sites and "unlistable" sites. The editors are fairly good at spotting search engine spider poison, and ... your description is of just that.

The best candidates for ODP listings are created by people who don't care about ODP listings -- like the gentleman in this very forum who marvelled that his new page had been picked up -- he hadn't suggested it, he hadn't even thought about an ODP listing, he just added it because HE KNEW STUFF ABOUT THE TOPIC THAT WASN'T ALREADY ON ANOTHER WEBSITE. And within a few weeks, a hungry ODP editor had found and listed it. Because it was information that wasn't already on another website, from someone that knew something.

That's the ODP working at its best. Try to stay in its target zone, rather than putting it in yours. (We know when we're being targeted; we have good fortifications for use as needed.)

1:04 pm on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>> it in terms of page count sounds like -- well, like something a failing sixth-grade student would say about his book report. It's simply not a factoid that would be thought significant by anyone who knew anything at all about information.

Hutchenson -

If it wasn't against the TOS, I think a lot of us would be a lot more specific in describing our websites. There is no need to insult me because I'm describing my site in very general terms.

>>I haven't looked at your site (obviously)

Not obvious, you have looked at it - only you don't know it. :)

>>And within a few weeks, a hungry ODP editor had found and listed it.

This assumes a website can be found. Not a good assumption. This is the chicken and egg dilema (although we all know the egg came first). You have to rank to be found and Dmoz helps ranking.

Finally, borrowing from Brett's post:

Which set of links between pages make the most sense?
A: Cup -> Coffee -> Beans -> Brazil -> Farming.
B: Marketing -> Fruit -> Football -> GoDaddy Commercial -> Peach Cobbler

A's links are "themed" or semantically correct. The links make sense.

Brett often describes "themed" as a way of setting up a site's structure.

Careers - Resume Writing - Interviewing Skills - Leadership.

Resources such as downloadable templates and calculators. That's what I'm talking about. But quite frankly I've got enough information and I'd like the mod to please close this thread.

1:31 pm on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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> This assumes a website can be found. ...
> You have to rank to be found

With respect, while it's accurate one has to rank to be easily found in the free serps, it's extremely inaccurate to suggest a site must rank before it can hope to be located by a directory editor, irrespective of whether one means ODP editors or some other directory's editors.

First, not every site, perhaps not even the majority, are listed via the 'suggest a submission' route. Many sites are added because they are found and/or are sought out. Finding well ranked sites is a breeze of course, but finding unranked sites isn't all that tough, and many times info on what prove to be very listable sites simply falls into one lap.

Where, or even if, a site ranks in the serps is not a relevant factor in the decision to list a site in the lil' corner of the ODP where I edit. I'm very comfortable in the belief that I'm neither odd nor unusual in that regard.

I do not rule out the possibility I may be a tad odd and unusual in other facets of my life.) :)

4:49 pm on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>it's extremely inaccurate to suggest a site must rank before it can hope to be located by a directory editor

"Extremely inaccurate" - are you kidding me? Are those your carefully chosen words?

I started this post by asking for constructive feedback - but it seems that's just not possible here. Apparently it is too tempting to throw insults around. My mistake was thinking that could be avoided.

>>describing it in terms of page count sounds like -- well, like something a failing sixth-grade student would say about his book report. It's simply not a factoid that would be thought significant by anyone who knew anything at all about information.

On a final note, I do feel sorry for people that make posts like this. Ive observed through the years that people with feelings of inadequacy often put others down in an attempt to make themselves feel better about their own shortcomings. Unfortunately, the internal high they get is short-lived and the behavior continues.

Look deep there is someone good inside, you just need to find him.

5:38 pm on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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7:40 pm on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Billy, what you got may not have been what you wanted, but it was honest. And it was designed to be constructive. Maybe I was too euphemistic. I'll be blunt.

Why risk your reputation in a futile effort? Don't suggest this site at all UNTIL you can understand just WHY it is that nobody with content worth posting would have said ANY of those three things you said about your site.

And as for dismantling the site: that would make the site less useful for surfers. Sites are reviewed for the ODP based on usefulness to surfers. Do you see how your "selfishness" (a euphemism: WE call it spamming!) could be counterproductive? If not, read the ODP submittal policy on "related sites."

8:21 pm on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I could have phrased it as balderdash, hogwarsh and poppycock and I would not have been incorrect. :)

Where a site ranks, or whether a site ranks at all, doesn't impact the decision by an editor to list a site. SERPs and rank are often critical to who will get the most page views, the most orders, the most chatter in blogs, etc., etc., etc. However, a site's rank is not a criteria, let alone an important criteria, for deciding whether to list a site.

Unranked sites get added all the time. Editors have many many ways to find sites. Editors at ODP and elsewhere are not dependent on looking in search engines or even suggest a site bins. They can, and do, use those methods as well, but they are not limited to those avenues.

Not every decision on the web is related to the top 2 pages in G, Y, or M or being amongst the top shiny buttons on Jeeves' waistcoat.

8:59 pm on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>>>>Im asking the webmasters and editors for constructive and honest information. Please, no stone throwing here. <<<<<
First off Billy, it was a complete waste of time to put that remark in there. For some reason, editors especially perceive some slight in every post about the dmoz and will swoop down like a pack of buzzards to pick at the post. Forget it. These people will never give you decent advice.

>>>>>Ive been working on a single website for 2 years now. Its a themed site with three primary categories. Within those categories are 17 different, but related topics. Right now, each topic has about 40 50 pages, each of
about 500 1,000 words. One of these topics contains a type of tool again, around 50 variations. <<<<<

Second, don't dismantle the site. That would be counter productive to the theme. What you should do is be sure and have text links throughout your articles to lead your visitors to outside information that expands on the information.
Next, search out related websites and email them a personal message that informs them about the particular topic and explain how it may be of benefit to their visitors.
If you put the real work into this as much as you have already put into your site, you will have so many links into your site that roving editors are bound to find pages and topics and list them in the odp if they are as good as you feel they are.
Hope I am not telling you something you already know or have done. I can appreciate your frustration with getting listings.
Now, forget the negative here and enjoy yourself working on your site and Good Luck.

11:39 pm on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>Where a site ranks, or whether a site ranks at all,
>doesn't impact the decision by an editor to list a site

That's true in that no competent editor considers a high rank in a search engine any kind of prerequisite for an ODP listing.

However, being listed in a search engine like Google can help you get an unsolicited ODP link. If I'm working on a category about an author and there are only two links in it, and I want to find more links about her to make the category more useful, one of the first things I do is Google her name. A site that comes up on the first couple of pages of a Google search may get added by me without their having to do anything else.

Same goes for having a link pointed to you from an authority site. I often cruise the links pages of informational websites looking for other quality sites to add. Sometimes I even wander backwards, looking for sites that point TO a site I've already established is a good one.

So, yes, it *can* help you get an ODP listing if your site ranks highly in Google, has inbound links from quality sources, and links back out to quality sources. It won't help unless your site has informational content in the first place, though.

5:40 am on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I would like to say that Flicker is the nicest and most erudite editor that the odp has as an ambassador in this forum. NOT that I don't like g1smd...guy has incredible knowledge of htaccess and most anything technical you want to know.
6:29 am on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Out of 400K visitors last month 10 came from DMOZ referrals.

IMO it's a waste of time and I wouldn't change anything for DMOZ but others may get more referrals.

8:57 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Rarely its worth to submit that many categories/pages of your website to DMOZ,i dont get much traffic from them even if i got 3 listings there
2:32 am on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The DMOZ is important because many, many websites use its content, including google. A normal person may not typically use a directory but another webmaster might. Lets say a person is trying to get a list of restaurants in a certain area. A directory is the perfect place to get this information.

---

My website covers four counties. These counties are typically referred to by a regional title. DMOZ even has a category for this region covering these four counties. My website has a dedicated section for each of these counties and sections that are dedicated to the region in general.

Each county section has hundreds of pages dedicated to it and are full of content. A person currently looking for information on one of the four particular counties wouldn't even come across my site, even though it has far more information on each county than most of the other websites for that county. The website is a great place for people interested in the region, but at the same time has plenty of information on each individual county.

First question, do they even allow a website to be in more than one category?

Second question, how do I go about submitting to other sections?

I would hate to submit and then see them remove my website because I submitted to multiple categories. Then again, if they removed websites for being submitted to multiple categories, how do they know it's you that did it and not your competition?

2:53 am on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The site should be suggested once to the Region level sub category. If the editor decides that the content is so rich that it deserves to be deeplinked in each County they can do so, however you should not suggest such deeplinks as that would be considered spamming.

I would expect this to be rare, since the Region category should be linked from the County category - on the public side it appears as a 'see also' link.

First question, do they even allow a website to be in more than one category?
Yes, at the editors discretion.
Second question, how do I go about submitting to other sections?
In the case you describe, you don't. If the site had a topical interest, or was available in an alternative language (non machine translated, and not 'falling about laughing at the poor human translation') it can also be suggested in the appropriate Topical or World categories.
Then again, if they removed websites for being submitted to multiple categories, how do they know it's you that did it and not your competition?
We know, and for rather patently obvious reasons, we won't tell you how.
2:56 am on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>The DMOZ is important because ....
Does it matter why it's important, or whether it's important? (That way lies flame wars between the people who use it to accomplish something, and the people who wish they could use it to accomplish something else.)

>My website covers four counties.... a regional title... DMOZ has a category .... site has content ...

>A person currently looking for information on one of the four particular counties wouldn't even come across my site....

Do the county categories not link to the regional categories? If not, then ... let us know the region, and we can get that fixed. "It would be a goodness."

>do they even allow a website to be in more than one category?

Yes, at editor discretion for "exceptional" sites.

>how do I go about submitting to other sections?

You don't. In the case described, the counties should be considered "virtual direct subcategories". Even exceptional sites would not be listed in both parent category and direct subcategories.

>I would hate to submit and then see them remove my website because I submitted to multiple categories.

Then don't. Webmasters don't get to choose whether their sites are "exceptional" -- they all say the same thing. What you can do, however, is: if there are specific non-organizational points of interest in that region (that have their own ODP categories, or COULD have their own ODP categories), focus on having the single largest source of online information for those points primarily with information available nowhere else, AND with links to the information that IS available somewhere else, and NOT at all promotional, and preferably based on your own unique knowledge: that is, take your own pictures, create your own multimedia, research your own history or geology or whatever. (Side banner advertising is not a problem -- it is ignored; it is the CONTENT that must be informative not promotional). Such a "deep resource" constitutes "exceptional content" -- and forms the cornerstone for an ODP category.

>Then again, if they removed websites for being submitted to multiple categories, how do they know it's you that did it and not your competition?

In practice, this is far less likely than an editor making an honest mistake and deleting an suggestion of a listable site. We don't worry about it. You can worry about it if you like -- every one can choose his own worries -- but again, out-of-date file backups is a bigger problem for at least 99% of 99% of webmasters.

What a competitor MIGHT be able to do to you, is make visible to the ODP the fact that you were running multiple "related" domains, by submitting all those domains to get them all rejected. But if you're keeping your stuff together like an honest man trying to build a reputation (as it sounds like you are), then that's not an issue. That's only an problem for people who are using multiple domains to avoid people figuring out who they are and what they do -- and most of their domains aren't listable anyway.

7:35 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Then don't. Webmasters don't get to choose whether their sites are "exceptional"

The entire state has only 3 editors and thousands of websites. My site has grown significantly since it was added over a year ago. The chances of them revisiting my site for a look over seem slim since many sites in both the counties and regional section are either broken links or broken sites.

One of the counties lists 10 websites. Two broken links. Three sub-category state and gov sites that have valuable information like butterfly species in the county. Three national sites with information like a partial list of cemeteries. The counties official site and the PUD. My website has over a hundred photos, guides, maps, and hundreds of pages of information on this county. The county even links to the wrong region by their own standards (probably a mistake).

All I was curious about is how I can say to them, "Hey, one of your county sections is pretty desolate. My website has tons of great information on this county, could you take a quick look sometime?" If people have no way of communicating with the editors outside of some restrictive single line form, it creates quite a barrier.

10:13 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Broken links?

Use the "Update" link at the top right of the page and report those links.

In correcting those errors, an editor will go looking for a new URL for those sites, and it is also possible that an editor will also look at some of the unreviewed sites in that cateogry, and/or, may go to Google to find a few more sites to make up for those that are removed.

If yours is prominent, and looks listable, then maybe it will be considered at that time.

1:38 am on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I never mind being sent a polite feedback (to the editor link at the bottom of a page) suggesting a change to one of the categories I work on. I rarely respond to such emails (there are some weird people out there who get very nasty very fast,) but I always consider them, and I've corrected several problems that were brought up to me in private feedback.

The odds of any site being listed in both a "parent" and a "child" category are pretty slim, though. Usually when we place multiple links to the same site, it's because the site is a worthy addition to categories that are very far from each other in the directory's structure, so it saves our users time and helps them find resources they might not notice on their own. If there's already a link leading from /State/Localities/S/Somewheresville to /State/Region, then there's no compelling reason for us to list a site that's already in /State/Region a second time in /State/Localities/S/Somewheresville, because our users won't have any trouble finding the first listing from there.

5:39 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't base a network of sites strategy on getting into DMOZ. Obsessively pursuing one goal can lead to trouble. You could end up getting 15 DMOZ listings and then be eliminated from Google with a cross-linking penalty.

You can get listings for different pages/sections of sites in different categories. But you probably won't get the same url in different categories. My main site fits 2 entirely different categories and over the years it's been transferred back and forth and now its disappeared due to reorganisation of the cat it has lived in recently. If I had organised it better at the beginning and set up 2 different sections (different directories, different landing pages) focusing on the two themes then maybe I would have got 2 entries.

Truth is though, you can probably get 2 or 3 links as good as DMOZ in less time than it takes to reorganise even a small site.

11:19 am on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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twist,

dont worry about dmoz - your site is listed so you get all the backlinks from all the clone sites - thats all you need.

No one uses DMOZ anyway i bet if you check your stats you will be lucky to see a handfull of visitors from it, ive worked on loads of sites over the last few years some having over a milion visitors a month and they are lucky to see even 5 visitors from it, so imo its just a dumping ground to get volumes of backlinks, its a pointless directory its only any good from a backlink prospective so dont give it a second thought.

The reason your sector is not likely to be updated is because the original editor would have listed his own site for the backlinks together with a few others at the time (that they were perhaps not in direct competition with) then they have moved on - job done.

As i say, dont give it a second thought - look on the bright side, you are listed, have the backlink advantage and dont have to waste your time being an editor just to get you own site listed.

10:38 pm on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>If people have no way of communicating with the editors outside of some restrictive single line form, it creates quite a barrier.

There are other ways of communicating with editors. But ... there is no other way of suggesting a site. And we don't need one, since that way makes the most efficient use of editor resources.

In economic terms: editor time is the critical resource, and the optimal system design does whatever it takes to conserve that. Which means, among other things: only the one path for suggesting a site, stringent limitations on how a site may be suggested, and no path at all for lobbying for a site (which is a total waste of time for the editor victimized: think of yourself as the Ancient Mariner complete with Rime and Albatross, and the editor as the late wedding-guest with a severe allergy to feathers. It may be a jolly good tale, but ... sometimes that doesn't matter: and if it were a time when it DID matter, the wedding-guest would be in the audience of his chosen performance, not rushing through the dark streets.)

11:56 pm on Mar 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Anyone perhaps know if Google is planning on updating it's directory any time soon? I've got on DMOZ about a month and half ago. Hoping to see my site soon in the Google directory thinking it will increase my traffic and hopefully ranking.
12:00 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google usually updates their directory every couple of months or so, I believe. Often it does not update every category though.

Once Google grabs a new RDF file from the ODP site, they usually take about 2 weeks to import the data into their system.

The ODP produces new RDF files every few weeks, with an occasional gap if the process fails at all. Most months there are 3 or 4 updates, sometimes only 2 or 3.

12:59 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the info.