In recent years, there has been plenty of debate across the SEO world on whether getting your website listed in a web directory confers any worthwhile ranking benefits. Let us just say that it's a question of relativity. There are web directories and then there is the open directory, better known as DMOZ. DMOZ is essentially the grand-daddy of all online directories. However, getting your website listed in the DMOZ directory is neither easy nor straightforward. In this guide, we will explore some of the tips, tricks and plain common sense approaches that have proven useful in getting a website listed on DMOZ in record time.
But let's cover the nitty-gritty first:
What is DMOZ and Why is it Important?
DMOZ is considered one of the most influential web directories online since Google and other major search engines use it to determine the authority of a website. As a matter of fact, you cannot get listed on the Google Directory if your website is not listed with DMOZ.
While there are many other web directories on the web, none can lay claim to the same sort of credentials as DMOZ. For starters, it is almost as ancient as the World Wide Web itself. It is also a volunteer edited directory, with each and every listing compiled by human volunteers.
The Most Effective Tips and Tricks to Get Listed on DMOZ Fast
It is worth pointing out here that there are no surefire approaches to getting your site listed within a particular time frame. Being a cloud sourced, human controlled process there is no way you can take advantage of bugs or loopholes in the code to get your site ahead of the queue. But there are certain proven approaches which will ensure that your submission stands the best chance of getting approved without undue delays if you follow them to the letter.
Become a DMOZ Editor
DMOZ are constantly recruiting new editors to join their editorial team. While this does not give you free rein to approve any listing requests, it offers you an opportunity to ensure your site (or sites for that matter) is listed speedily.
Applying to become a DMOZ editor is straightforward. However, there is a huge demand for places in the editorial team so you may have to bid your time and keep hoping.
Begin by identifying a specific category which fits your website's content. Below the list of websites, there is a link prompting you to "Volunteer to edit this category". Click it and you will be redirected to a page with detailed instructions about how to do the editing work competently. Make sure you read and understand the guidelines and tips effectively. You can then click "Proceed" to be redirected to the actual application form.
If your application to be an editor at DMOZ is accepted, you will be given limited editorial privileges. You can only edit one category at this level and that is why you should choose the category that best fits your website. But in case you need to have a website in another category, you can always request a fellow editor with full editorial privileges to help you expedite a listing in another category.
Don't Try Shortcuts and Underhand Tricks
Never try to use shortcuts and underhand means to expedite the registration of your site. Some "SEO experts" for instance advice that you add some patently misleading information to make your site appear consistent with DMOZ guidelines and then reverting to your actual content once the listing is approved.
Another ineffective trick is trying to submit your website under different categories with the hope that one of them will be picked. The DMOZ editors regularly sift for such applications and label them as spam. In the worst-case scenario, your website could be permanently blacklisted.
It is also becoming common to find adverts for some "automated submission services" to expedite your DMOZ application. Don't even think about it. For starters, such an approach is strictly forbidden in the DMOZ policy statement. Secondly, no automated process can make a better application intended for a human editor than you can do by following the clear guidelines.
Be Specific in Your Selection of Category
As explained above, submitting your site to multiple categories or even sub-categories is more likely to cause harm than good. Just as well, submitting your site to the most general category possible is not helpful. The more general your categorization, the likelier it is that you will join a long queue of prospective sites leading to further delays and frustration about how your request is processed.
Independent statistics show that sites which are submitted to correct and very specific categories in DMOZ are up to four times more likely to be registered compared to those which are not. It is a sobering fact considering that only about 31% of sites listed on DMOZ are submitted to their proper categories.
Make your Description Accurate, Objective and Concise
Each DMOZ application should be accompanied by a brief description of the website. This is where most people fail or excel in making their site approved for listing. Avoid any flowery or biased information. Do not include superlatives like "best", "greatest" or adjectives like "amazing" in the description.
Just as well, avoid stuffing the description full of keywords. Remember the application will be read by a human editor. Do not be too promotional as this will only prompt the editors to edit away the flowery language to project a more neutral tone. More often than not, editor-corrected descriptions are less than impressive.
Do Not Resubmit your Entry
I understand that it can be frustrating waiting for months on end for your application to be processed. However, do not make the mistake of resubmitting your request. This will only lead to further delays as your request will be moved to the back of the queue.
Continue Improving your Website Even as you Wait
Most website owners and editors spruce up their websites prior to applying for inclusion in the DMOZ directory. However, they neglect adding more content as they await the approval to go through. This can lead to rejection as DMOZ editors are specifically tasked with the duty of identifying fresh and engaging content at the time of approving a request. Ensure that you do not have banners declaring "under construction" even if this is only in the minor pages of the site. If certain pages do not have any or adequate content, do not publish them until they are ready.