an Open Directory Project
By Sumantra Roy
Getting your site
by the Open Directory( http://www.dmoz.org ) is vitally important as far
engine positioning is concerned. In order to see how you can do that,
see my article at http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?3319&open-directory.htm However, sometimes, it may so
that try as you might, you just do not manage to get your site listed
in the Open Directory.
Or, it may also happen that the description under which your site is
is not optimum.
this case, the only solution is to become the editor of the category to
which you want to submit your site. Here's how you should go about
go to any category of the Open Directory and click on the "become an
editor" link at the top of the screen. If that category does not
contain such a link, simply go to a lower level category which does
contain such a link.
read the third paragraph, which says that the Open Directory does not
bar editors who have business affiliations with the category. In
practice, however, it will reject just about any new editor who has a
business affiliation with the category. If you scroll down the page,
you will find that the Open Directory asks you whether you have any
business affiliation with the category. If you
admit to having an affiliation with the category, you will most
certainly be rejected.
you may think that you can solve this problem by not admitting that you
have any business affiliation with the category. However, the Open
Directory also asks you about your experience or interest in the
category. For a category which deals with business related sites, it is
very difficult to project your
expertise in it without admitting that you are affiliated with it.
your strategy should be to locate a category in which you can
legitimately show some experience and interest without having to admit
that you have any business affiliation. By far the easiest way to do
this is to become an editor of a regional category which deals with the
city in which you live. Once you
can become an editor of one category, it is usually much easier to
become the editor of the category to which your site belongs. This is
because when an existing editor applies for a new category, the Open
Directory does not ask for his/her experience or interest in the
are the steps you should follow in order to become an editor of the
category applicable for your web site:
Start off by going to the Open
Directory. Click on the Regional category, then click on the continent
in which you live,
and then on the country. In this way, drill down to the category for
city or locality in which you live. Now, scroll down to the bottom of
page and see whether that category already has an editor. If it does
this is the category for which you should try and become an editor.
if this category already has an editor, don't apply to this category
the Open Directory does not generally accept a new editor in a category
already contains an editor. In this case, select a category below the
category which does not have an editor.
Once you have selected the
category, click on the "become an editor" link at the top of the screen
and fill in your first name, last name, email address, username and
For the "Describe your experience and interest in this subject area:"
box, just say something like "I am a resident of X.", where X is of
the name of your city or locality. In the "What is your Business
with this category?" text box, say something like "I have no business
with this category."
Open Directory now asks you for 2 or 3 sites which you would have added
to the category had you been an editor of the category. The best way to
do this is to let Yahoo!
do the work for you. Open a new browser
window, go to Yahoo! and search for the name of your city. Yahoo! will
list several categories and sites for that city. Browse through these
sites and categories and select a site which is applicable for the
category to which you are applying. Now, open another browser window,
go to the Open Directory's home page and type in the domain name of the
site in Open Directory's search box and note whether that site is
already listed in the Open Directory, either in the category
to which you are applying or elsewhere. If it is not listed, then this
be one of the sites which you should submit. If it is already listed in
Open Directory, then ignore this site and select a new site and check
that site is already listed in the Open Directory.
this way, select three sites which are applicable for the category to
which you are applying and which are not already present in the Open
Directory. Type in the URL for the first site in the appropriate text
box. Now, you
need to select a proper title for the site. The title that you choose
always be the official name of the site. If the official name of the
is not apparent from the home page itself, browse around the site and
at the "About Us" or "Contact Us" pages (if the site has those pages).
check out the bottom of each page to see if the site has any Copyright
notice. Once you know the official name of the site, type it in the
box. Now, choose a proper description of the site. Here are the rules
writing a proper description for the Open Directory:
Make sure that the description
a visitor what the site is all about. Things like "Have a look at the
does not tell a visitor what the site does.
Avoid using ALL CAPS or
exclamation marks. Phrases like "The best web site dealing with
widgets!!" or "Offers the BEST QUALITY, CHEAPEST WIDGETS you can find
anywhere" are inappropriate.
Don't capitalize every word in
your description - capitalize only the first word. Of course, if some
of the words in the description are proper nouns, then you should
Write the description in the
Don't make your description too
long - limit yourself to 15 words at the most.
Check your description for
typos and grammatical mistakes.
End your description with a
you have typed in the URL, Title and Description of the first site, do
the same for all the three sites and click on the Submit button.
Open Directory will soon send you an email asking you to send a
confirmation. Simply reply to that email to confirm your application.
If you have followed the above
instructions, within 2 or 3 weeks (if you are lucky, it will be
sooner), you should get an email saying that you have been accepted as
an editor. Go to the Open Directory
and log in as an editor. Read the Directory Guidelines thoroughly and
yourself with them. Your objective from now on is to become an editor
the category which is applicable for your site. When you apply to
an editor of this category, the Open Directory will evaluate the
of your editing in the category which you already edit, and will see
your editing meets all the guidelines. Hence, it is very important that
know the guidelines thoroughly.
this, check out whether there are any unreviewed sites (i.e. sites
been submitted to the category but which have not yet been reviewed by
editor) in the category of which you are the editor. If so, evaluate
the unreviewed sites, and add the sites which are applicable for the
and delete the remaining sites which are not applicable. When you are
sites, make sure that these sites are really applicable for the
Also make sure that the Title and the Description that have been used
appropriate for the Open Directory. If they are not, edit them so that
meet the Open Directory guidelines. Sometimes, you may be at a loss to
whether or not a particular site should be in the category. If you are
feeling comfortable about adding a site, don't add it. There is no harm
not adding a site which is applicable. However, if you add a site which
not applicable, you will be at a disadvantage when you apply to become
editor of the category which is applicable for your site.
browse through all the sites which are already present in the category.
Edit the Title and Description of any site if it does not meet the Open
Directory guidelines. If you feel that a particular site that is listed
in the category does not belong to the category, post a message in the
Editor Forum and ask the other editors of the Open Directory as to
whether the site belongs to the category. If they say that the site
does not belong to the category, delete
Within 2 or 3 weeks from the
time that you are accepted as an editor, you should have cleaned up the
category. By this, I mean that your category should not have any
unreviewed sites, and should not contain any site which does not belong
to the category. Also, the
Title and the Description of all the sites present in the category
should follow the Open Directory guidelines.
it is time to apply to the category which is applicable for your site.
Click on the "Bookmarks" link in the main Editor page, scroll down and
click on the "[Add @link]" link. In the "Category to link to:" text
box, type in the complete path to the category which is applicable for
your site. For instance, for the Computers: Consultants: Business
Systems category, I would type in "Computers/Consultants/Business
Systems". In the "Link name:" text box, type in a word or phrase which
describes this category.
Open Directory will now display a link to the category in your
It will also display the number of sites which are present in the
and the number of new (unreviewed) sites. Note down the figure for the
of unreviewed sites. If the category does not contain any unreviewed
the Open Directory will only display the number of sites present in the
go to the category which you want to apply to and browse through all
Generally, there will be some sites for which the Title and/or the
does not meet the Open Directory guidelines. Make a note of these
Also note whether that category already has an editor.
you have gone through all the sites, scroll down to the bottom of the
category and click on the "edit" link. When you are asked to explain
why you want to
apply to the category, mention the number of unreviewed sites which are
in the category (assuming that the category does have some unreviewed
Also, mention the fact that the Title and the Description for some of
sites are inappropriate for the Open Directory. Give examples of a few
sites. If that category does not already have an editor, mention that
the same methods discussed earlier to fill up the remaining fields and
click on the Submit button.
After applying to the new
category, log in as an editor every day or so, until you find that you
are listed as an editor of that category. Then, add your site to this
category, or, if your
site is already listed but does not have an optimum description, change
that other editors who edit higher level categories will be looking at
your category from time to time and may change your site's description
if it is not found to be appropriate. Hence, while you should try to
give your site an optimum description, you should not violate any of
the Open Directory guidelines.
the Open Directory allows editors to cool certain sites if they feel
that these sites are the best in that category. If a site is cooled, it
is listed at the top of the category, even though its alphabetical
placement may have been a lot lower. Avoid the temptation to cool your
own site. Because so many
editors try to cool their own sites, the Open Directory keeps a sharp
for this practice. Cooling your own site will simply draw attention
by Sumantra Roy. Sumantra is one of the most respected search engine
positioning specialists on the Internet. To have Sumantra's company
place your site at the top of the search engines, go to http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?3319
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