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ODP (DMOZ) A Guide to Getting Listed

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by verdox, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. verdox

    verdox Regular Member

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    Following recent discussions on Open Directory Project listings (DMOZ) I have decided to post a guide to a method I have used to get a site listed quickly.

    How important is the DMOZ directory?

    This is an important question, the reality is that in modern day SEO as a single link it is not really that effective anymore, this is from personal experience! A lot of category pages are not even indexed in Google, an ODP listing does not pack as much punch as it used to but people still give it far to much credit.

    Putting the above aside it is a quality link and is still worth adding to your portfolio of links if you can get it, but guys don't get too caught up losing sleep over this one link.

    Great, got it, so how do I get listed?

    The traditional approach is to find the correct category submit and wait, as many of you know this is a painful experience but the reasons for this are often misunderstood. The open directory project is human edited and depends on volunteer editors, the number of submissions it recives are enormous, even the most obscure categories are backlogged with hundreds of sites. The simple fact is that submitting your site will often not be enough; you have a very slim chance of ever making it into the directory. So what can you do? The answer is actually simple; you apply to become an editor!

    Category selection

    DMOZ will only allow you to initially edit one category at a time, the selection of your category is important, a small obscure category will often have no editor and your application will have more of a chance of success. Pick a category that has fewer than 100 listed sites; in my experience if you opt for a regional category it is better so for example pick:

    Regional: Europe: United Kingdom: Recreation and Sports: Sports: Martial Arts

    Rather than:

    Sports: Martial Arts

    Once you have selected an appropriately small category at the bottom of the page click the "Volunteer to edit this category" link and you will be taken to a form to apply to edit the category.

    The Application Form

    The following information breaks down each section and explains what to do. Before you proceed please ensure that you write up your application in a word document and save it, this is because you will be rejected and will need to use the information to apply again. That last point is critical so I will bold this out and state it again!

    You will be rejected and will have to apply again.

    In fact, you will be rejected several times! I was rejected two times before I was accepted, I will explain the process shortly but this is why it is important to save your application in a word document, you will not get a copy, it is not saved and you will need it again.

    Personal details

    The application form asks for personal details, such as name and email, use real information, do not lie, do not try to hide who you are! Be genuine. When adding your email address it is better to use one associated with a company name that has a professional website behind it, I used my personal work email address so that the domain was a genuine company that the editor could look at and directly find my details on so that they understood the information was real. This is all about trust! Provide real trusted details and if possible allow them to follow a trail to see that the information is real.

    Following are the next block of questions along with explanations on how to answer the questions.

    What is your internet experience?
    I specified exact details about my knowledge of HTML,CSS, Design and technical details along with the amount of time I have worked in the industry (to long!). Don't lie! But this is an application, so do embellish, this might not be the best place to point out your IM skills or how much you love scrapebox.

    Why are you interested in becoming an editor for the ODP?
    This is a tricky question! You can't say "to get my site listed" obviously, I wrote about community and how after all my years of internet experience I wanted to contribute some of my free time to the internet community as I passionately believed in providing an internet filled with quality content.

    Explain your interest in the subject category.
    This question is self explanatory, do not state you run a website in the area but explain why you are an expert in this field and why it motivates you.

    Sties with which you are associated.
    This is a tough one, if there is a trail they will find it. If you have a professional work site then by all means use this, it is better to list a site here but don't leave a trail of SEO sites and IM related sites, that won't go down well at all. I personally pointed at my wife's Ecom site and the site of the company I work for.

    Site suggestion


    The next step of the application is the hardest of all. You need to suggest three sites that are not part of the ODP that you would include.
    • Search for the sites on Goggle for your niche, drop a few pages in to the results and open up a few sites, check they meet the DMOZ guidelines (yes you will need to read them!)
    • Check DMOZ and ensure the sites are not listed anywhere
    • The description is where you will often get your application rejected! You cannot sound like you are promoting these sites, they have to be descriptive and not in any way promotional. Read the submission guidelines fully before writing these descriptions and ensure your description meets the guidelines.
    After you submit the application

    This is where the fun and games start; you saved all of your hard work so far in a word document right? You will find that you get a response rather quickly, often within a day or two, and it will be an email rejecting you, the email is large and contains a lot of generic reasons why it might be rejected, the bit you need (the important bit) is at the very bottom of that email as it will explain exactly why! At the very bottom will be the reviewer comments! The only human interaction you will ever likely see from the ODP, these comments will explain why they rejected the application. The important thing here is they expect you to correct it and apply again!

    Following is the real responses I had back so you can see what happens.

    Reviewer Comments:
    We ask for examples so that we can see how well you can seek out appropriate websites for the category and write guidelines compliant publishable descriptions for them - because that's the job :). Your proposed descriptions seem more like opinionated critiques or listing justifications. Please try again. Our editor guidelines and a look at existing listings should help you to write acceptable titles and descriptions.

    At this point I did as requested and applied again, the response was:

    Reviewer Comments:
    Please try a little harder with the descriptions. As you can see, we don't do long lists of brands stocked because they quickly become obsolete. We might say 'includes list of brands stocked' though.

    I did as requested and the next email I had was an acceptance email.

    That is it! You are in, you can now go ahead and list your own site, I wouldn't do that right away, approve some others, give it a few days and then hit your own URL.

    The key things here that you should take away from this guide are:
    1. Provide genuine information
    2. If you can associate yourself with a real company to provide trust
    3. Pick a nested category with less than 100 sites
    4. Expect rejection, simply follow the reviewer comments and apply again
    A bit of perseverance is all you need and you will get accepted.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 17
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  2. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Wicked guide mate. Actually kept my attention the whole way through. Funnily enough I applied about 1 hour ago. I saved my app. So I will follow your instructions when I get rejected:)

    Ps you said that you can only edit 1 category initially. So how long before you can edit/apply for more than 1 category??

    Ps +REP left :)
     
  3. sandrine10

    sandrine10 Power Member

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    nice share verdox.thanks
     
  4. phpbuilt

    phpbuilt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks and rep given. Its nice to see contributions like this to BHW, becoming a DMOZ editor is certainly a worthwhile endeavor.
     
  5. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Wow I got in:)
     
  6. verdox

    verdox Regular Member

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    Glad to see this has helped people :)
     
  7. SEORocks

    SEORocks Junior Member

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    Question: I use to try and get my clients into both Yahoo and DMOZ and lately I haven't seen the push, it use to give to my sites.

    Do you think they are both so saturated that they don't give the benefits they once did?

    Great Post!
     
  8. Bross

    Bross Senior Member

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    Thanks, but the truth is that Dmoz is nothing.
     
  9. verdox

    verdox Regular Member

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    It really does not, it is not worth the stress! The above guide is a quick and easy way but as I said dont sweat over it, it is just a high PR link, you can scrape a few links with the same PR in a few hours :)
     
  10. scopezero

    scopezero Regular Member

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    Thanks a lot for this share , i have never ever read a post or article on dmoz listing as informative as this one

    I know dmoz is just a PR link for someone , but this comes very handy , if u have a client who wants his site in dmoz


    Thanks again mate and reps added
     
  11. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I don't know how much effect dmoz listing has, as I understand it, results from google can come from dmoz listings as well right?

    All I do know is that the only site I have ever got listed in dmoz was one for a client, I only ever done strictly White hat, as a service for about 12 months, now for the last year and a half he has been on his own and he is still in the top 3 spots for the most generic key term in his niche, whether that has anything to do with his dmoz listing I don't know, but it is one of my most successful client projects.
     
  12. debt800

    debt800 Junior Member

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    Thanks a lot for this DMOZ breakdown. I did everything you said and I was approved as an editor in less than 24 hours!!

    One question though, you say that once your an editor you can add your own site (Of course I know you don't want to do this right away) but wouldn't it look suspicious if I add my site in a completely different category? For example say I got approved for quilting in Canada but I want to add my automotive repair site?
     
  13. verdox

    verdox Regular Member

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    Yes, dont do that :) Stick to the rules, help them out with vetting some sites and add your own but into the right category for god sake!
     
  14. Dan Da Man

    Dan Da Man Elite Member Premium Member

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    Is it even worth getting listed in yahoo anymore as well?
     
  15. debt800

    debt800 Junior Member

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    Ya I think I'm getting the hang of it now. SO you didn't have a problem waiting a while and submitting your site to a different directory? The mod of that directory was ok with that?
     
  16. seoguy81

    seoguy81 Power Member

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    Hey Verdox.. finally!! Great thread. Rep given :)

    Questions:
    While I haven't tried it out yet.. is it possible for editors from one category to approve sites in another category?
     
  17. waikikicane

    waikikicane Registered Member

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    After you are an editor, you can move submissions (your site) to the appropriate category. Once its there, the editor for that section can make your submission live.

    While it doesn't guarantee you acceptance, the fact that another editor took the time to bump it along may be enough to get you accepted. At least that is what I have done in the past.
     
  18. andriyleu

    andriyleu Newbie

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    Very old method. I used it :) And I had my sites inside like a year ago. Anyway its good for newbies.
     
  19. Joeblack99

    Joeblack99 Newbie

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    Wait, so after all that you're still relying on someone else's say so to get your site listed? You're just hoping that because you're an editor too they'll list it?

    Great post, well written, but seems like too much work for only a slightly better COS than just submitting your site in the first place.
     
  20. waikikicane

    waikikicane Registered Member

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    Lets say you are the editor for Lawyers in Boston. How many websites can you personally have about lawyers in boston? At some point you will want to expand out to say lawyer in New York... unless you've been made the editor of another category (lawyers in New York) you are going to need the approval of that category's editor.

    After a few months you can request other categories. Unless you've been a total slacker (and the category is available) you'll get it.