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Open Directory Project guide - part 1

By David Callan

The Open Directory Project (ODP) based at http://www.dmoz.org is perhaps the most important directory any webmaster can submit a site to these days. Even more important than Yahoo? You might ask. Well yes in my opinion anyway, you see the ODP, formally known as NewHoo not only operates its directory from its headquarters at dmoz.org but also supplies its directory data to such big player engines as Google, AOL search, Netscape Search, Lycos and Hotbot to name just a few. In addition to these 'mainstream' engines hundreds of other sites also use ODP's data.
This means that a listing in the ODP directory will enable your site to show up for searches done on any engines or sites which use the Open Directory Projects data, provided of course your title and description are optimized for the searched terms. The fact that lots of third party search engines and sites use ODP data is the main attraction of applying for a listing with them. The main attraction is not as one might think to be found at searches done at dmoz.org. Dmoz.org itself receives only a tiny percentage of the traffic that sites such as Google and Lycos receive.

In particular, a listing in the ODP directory can be very advantageous for sites wishing to rank high in the Google search engine. Google not only uses the Open Directory Projects data for the Google Directory located at http://directory.google.com but it also 'mixes' the data with its own to determine where sites should be ranked in the search results. A listing in the ODP will help boost Googles view of how important your site is (ie. boost your Pagerank) and hence help to increase your ranking for your chosen keywords and key phrases.

Presumably you now know that getting listed in the ODP is very important. Getting a listing is not hard, it does sometime take a little time but it's not hard and what's more it's completely free. This article is your guide to submitting to the Open Directory Project.

A few pre requirements

Before I continue on and tell you how to submit your site I'm first going to tell you not to bother.. IF your site doesn't meet a few pre-requirements that is. I believe these pre-requirements to be very important to the ODP and almost all other directories.

Firstly your site must be finished. That means no fancy 'under-construction' graphics with smiling builders waving their hammers back and forth on them, ODP editors don't care if you know how to use a free animated GIF's directory, either do I for that fact. That means no broken links, how do you expect an editor to review your site if he or she can't first view it. That means fast or average page loading times, editors are busy editing their chosen category, they don't have the time or the patience to wait for an eternity to see your site load.

Secondly your site should be unique and contain useful content. This means that your site should not be a mirror site with the exact same content as another site listed already within the directory. This means that your site should not be simply an affiliate farm designed specifically to promote products of other companies.

Thirdly and finally, your site should not be an illegal underground type site, ODP editors will simply move on to the next submission if they come across a site like this. Remember the ODP is a directory just like Yahoo and Looksmart so real people will visit your site, these people are experts in their chosen fields and can spot quality sites when they see them. If your site is of poor quality then I'm sorry but your rejected - "Next!!!"

Continue to Open Directory Project guide - part 2 >>

About the author
Article by David Callan. David is an Internet marketing professional and webmaster of http://www.akamarketing.com/webmaster-forums/. Visit his webmaster forums for the latest discussions on search engines, website authoring and Internet marketing related issues and topics.

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