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ODP and changing site URL

but NOT changing title and description

     
2:34 pm on Aug 2, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I have a web site (hosted on a free server) that I made kind of as a hobby a couple of years ago and as I began to get into SEO, I started to kind of use it as my SEO testing site. One thing lead to another, and now, although hosted on your average crappy, banned from half of the major search engines, forced pop up ads web host, this site gets some pretty darn good traffic.

So, I have decided to go buy a domain and pay for real hosting. The thing is, a lot of this sites current traffic comes from listings in the ODP (1 listing for 3 different pages of the site, so 3 listings total). So I was wondering, once I get a domain and a real host, can I have the urls of my ODP listings changed?

If so, what needs to be done? Just a friendly e-mail to the category editor asking for a URL change? I would like the current ODP titles and descriptions to stay exactly the same, because well, they are VERY good. Yes, the pages would still be exactly the same and therefore would still have the same content and therefore should still have the same title and description in the ODP listings, the only difference is it is just a different URL. Is it possible that for some strange reason that the editor could look at my site which is still 100% completely the same (except on a different URL), and see the need to change the title and description?

Thanks in advance.

2:46 pm on Aug 2, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>>Is it possible that for some strange reason that the editor could look at my site which is still 100% completely the same (except on a different URL), and see the need to change the title and description?

... yep. depends on your area and the editor, but when you draw attention to a high ranking site.... and, say, try to sub in a hyphenated domain... they may give you the url change, but they may kill a few keywords in the title or descript. to keep things equal/ not to give you a boost.

....it depends on your case, so be careful

2:58 pm on Aug 2, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Iīve tried just that several times. Thereīs a form on every cat, which I submitted. Only last part of the url, file name was to be changed. Although the editors in my cats have generally been very kinf to me, they never, not once, applied those changes.
I did not insist in order not to, well not to risk anything.
3:05 pm on Aug 2, 2001 (gmt 0)

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In ODP there is a 'change URL' link. I have used it to make a major conversion of almost one hundred domain names. What you are doing is updating their directory with current information, they don't object to keeping it current. The title and description will stay the same if the information is the same.
Remember, you are dealing with people and the easier you make it on them the more likely you;ll get what you want. Just tell hem you changed the url only!
6:14 pm on Aug 2, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Do they read here? Just when I posted above complaint an editor for the very first time has changed the url for one of my listings! Amazing. And no, they didnīt change title or description.
7:48 pm on Aug 2, 2001 (gmt 0)

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From my experienc it seems that ODP will generally correct factual errors in a description, and will change URL's if a site actually moves.

If someone has company.com already listed in ODP, and registers another URL www.keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword.com and submits that site, the editor is not going to be likely to change it.

In that case, there is nothing wrong with the current listing, and editors are encouraged to put the shortest URL that can be used for a site. It's much better to throw in the Keyword loaded URL if the main company URL isn't in the directory and the keyword URL does not reveal the company.com URL

If an update request is submitted, chances are the editor WILL re-review the site, as they would for a new submission. It might be a different editor with a different opinion of the best cat for a site or the number of times it is listed.

If the site in question is not already listed with it's own domain, moving the sit eto a domain is likely to kill any rankings it currently has

1:30 pm on Aug 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>>Do they read here?

actually... :)

Every category where there are sites listed has a link where you can submit an update request: you can find it on the upper right of the category page, close to the addUrl link.

When you submit such a request you must be aware that, depending on the area and the number of active editors, it may take some time before an editor notices it and actually proceeds to evaluate the requested change. Same thing here as with first time submissions, since both are added in the same queue. Wait a few weeks, and if nothing happened send a polite e-mail to the category editor (or to an upper category editor if that category has no listed ones).

You must also be aware that every such request is evaluated based on what ODP Guidelines [dmoz.org] say about listing sites, and that your site WILL be re-checked, whereas not necessarily be re-described if the previous description was written in compliance with the guidelines and no major changes occurred in the site's actual content.

You may be willing to update your listing information for a variety of reasons...

- Your site is listed with the Url www.freedomain.com/waddawadda/mycompany/ and you buy a domain www.mycompany.com : in this case there's nothing wrong in changing the Url and editors won't object to keeping it current.

- Your site is listed with the Url www.mycompany.com and you ask for an update to www.keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword.com : in this case if the company.com Url still does/will work you are not likely to get the update done. Should you plan to actually drop the company.com one, you should state it clearly in your request, so that the editor will be aware that this update is a really needed one.

- Your site is listed with the Url www.mycompany.com and you ask for an update to www.keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword.mycompany.com : unless you are actually moving all content from the first Url to the second and the first will become an empty page (unlikely, but who knows), don't waste your time here.

- Your site is listed with a really misleading/bad title or description: take the time to read the Guidelines and look at other titles and descriptions in the same or other similar categories, in order to be able to write down a short, informative, better one to submit (remember that you should describe the *site's content* not the *company activities/location/etc*). Point out in the notes why the current title/description is misleading/wrong. In this case you are likely to get attention, and maybe find *your* good ones used to update the current one. (should this happen, please consider becoming an editor in this category :)

- Your site changed its content (splitted in themed sections, moved the previous content to another Url and used the current one for providing different info, etc.) and you want to keep the Url listed but change the thtle and/or the description: same as above. You are likely to get it done, provided that the current content is not just a doorway page leading to "real" informative sections (in this case the "real" sections can be listed in the proper categories).

- Your site is listed with a descriptive but not-so-keyword-rich description. Please take the time to read the guidelines, the category description and FAQ, as well as the main category description and FAQ. In some categories (Real estate ones, just to cite an example) there are particular rules for describing sites, and all listings should follow that standard, which actually is not a "keyword- rich" one. Keyword-stuffing in site description is not allowed anyway. Don't waste much of your time here.

Basically, asking for an update in ODP with current information, is never considered a bad thing since it improves the quality of the directory. If your site is already listed with a good title and a good description, which is in compliance with the guidelines, it's unlikely they will be changed. If you sneaked in with a wonderful super-keyword-rich-stuffed one, chances are that sooner or later it will be pared down anyway, so don't be worried too much about soliciting editors to make really needed changes.

8:16 am on Aug 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

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"If your site is already listed with a good title and a good description, which is in compliance with the guidelines, it's unlikely they will be changed. If you sneaked in with a wonderful super-keyword-rich-stuffed one, chances are that sooner or later it will be pared down anyway,..."

This is exactly why <edited by Marcia>, it is only a directory some places, the rest it is a search box only, which can find very little because it searches by the very key words they strive so hard to remove! Why do they offer sites search boxes knowing full well most typical search terms have not only been removed, catagories are not considered search terms either. The purpose of key words are to focus a search not to favor certain sites, how the heck can people search for what my site offers when the very common terms they would search for have been stripped from my description? As a directory they are so so, as a provider of search boxes they are one of the worst.

(edited by: Marcia at 9:36 am (gmt) on Aug. 14, 2001

9:33 am on Aug 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Robert, ODP is not a search engine, but a highly valuable resource provided to the internet community, a directory powered by capable, dedicated people who volunteer to give freely of their valuable time and talents to make their contributions on behalf of us all. They are, therefore, deserving of our appreciation and respect.

Additionally, not only do several of our WebmasterWorld moderators serve as ODP editors in addition to serving our membership here, but a good number of our membership are also editors.

A provision prudently included in our WebmasterWorld Terms of Service, which states the following, appears to apply here:

Always be respectful of other users, the system, and the moderators. We put the system online in good faith, please use it in good faith.

The task of the ODP editors is not to provide keyword-rich search results for those of us who submit, but to build a directory according to the ODP Guidelines which have been developed over the years. The guidelines are available for all those who submit, who are free to choose to submit if they agree, or to refrain from submitting at all if that is what they choose to do.

I can appreciate the fact that some people, such as yourself, might experience some degree of frustration with not having their ODP listings appear as they might like, but in those cases, there is a provision in the Charter of this Forum which clearly indicates that ODP issues are to be taken up through proper channels there.

Another provision in our Terms of Service applies in some cases:

This forum system is not a venue for personal or private vendetta's. Keep your personal business as just that - personal. This forum is not a venue for personal disputes.

Again, this keeps the board informational and educational as well as pleasant and respectful for all of our WebmasterWorld members.

Perfection, who asked the original question in this thread, received a detailed, highly informational response from ettore, who was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to respond, as did other members who responded.

I'm afraid anything further will really have to be taken up directly with ODP.

10:25 pm on Aug 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

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For those who come later, the offensive word that was edited out of my posting is commonly heard on commercial broadcast tv, in any regard I appologize for using it to express my feelings.

The ODP may not call itself a search engine, but their DMOZ Search Box which many web sites carry certainly does call itself a search of the DMOZ and it conducts its search by the words in the description of a web site. If the purpose of this box is a trick to bring the user to the directory, than I guess it works. If the purpose is to search the directory for typical words and phrases such as Goto would suggest we use for people to find our sites, than it doesn't work.

I agree the task of the ODP editors is not to supply key word rich descriptions. However I submit their job isn't to come in and strip all keywords from a catagory either and then leave, leaving us without an editor.

The reply by Perfection was excellent and I wish he were the editor I was dealing with, maybe there would be some understanding of the issues involved. I don't have a vendetta, only a desire to have a findable listing in a catagory worth visiting by those interested in the subject and not putting the very existance of my listing at risk by asking editors when they exist or higher level editors for assistance they don't believe we're entitled to.

I think the Search Function of DMOZ is a seperate issue from the Directory and should be addressed.

12:42 am on Aug 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Personally, I'm convinced that editors at ODP (or any other volunteer directory, Go comes to mind) can be competitors and may purposely pare down a description to render it useless. I've also heard of instances where they dole out listing favors to their business cohorts. This is an old, old problem and not news to anyone here.

That said, I've also known of instances where higher-level ODP editors go out of their way to chase down even relatively small abuses and correct them. The only thing that works is to document the editorial problems as thoroughly as possible and then start contacting the higher editors.

6:30 am on Aug 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Something else weird also seems to be going on with the search box function of the DMOZ and Netscape. Before you could use any DMOZ Search box and find your site by title. Now when you use the DMOZ through Netscape's browser search box Netscape can't find the site except in their secondary Goggle listings.

On DMOZ I can still find my site by title, but even on that page when asked if I want to try the search (that just found my site) again on Netscape, Netscape can't find it, but Netscape can find it by searching for the few remaining words in the description and no longer seems to be including words from the title. AOL search the DMOZ still seems to be working normally, something is up with Netscape's use of DMOZ search. I also point out Netscape doesn't plaster the DMOZ main directory catagories across its browser page, they only offer the search box so if the search box can't find the words or phrase in your description you don't exist.