How to get a forum listed in DMOZ

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The Open Directory Project or DMOZ is the largest web directory on the internet and is generally considered a directory that is worth getting a site listed in. It is run by a large army of volunteers and is owned by AOL. There is more than a fair share of DMOZ bashers on the SEO forums who like to suggest how bad DMOZ is and like making unsubstantiated claims of corruption at DMOZ being common. I don’t want to get into that for now. DMOZ is not there to provide a listing service to webmasters, but is there to build a collection of valuable and unique resources on a topic (there are plenty of debates that have gone on if they are or are not achieving that, but I don’t want to get into that for now).

The best way to get your forum listed in DMOZ is to:

1. Make the forum a valuable resource on the topic (a new forum will be rejected for a listing, as it has nothing of value that DMOZ would want to list; DMOZ will only list forums that have lots of members, lots of posts and lots of activity. The actual threshold of ‘lots’ will vary from niche to niche. Keep in mind DMOZ does not see itself to be there to promote websites, but list websites that are useful to people in that category – webmasters like to see DMOZ as a place to promote their websites and it is these different perceptions that cause a lot of the misunderstanding about what DMOZ is for; see What is DMOZ? Understanding DMOZ?).

2. Choose the one best category for your site and submit it to that category (the guidelines only allow you to submit to one category (unless your site is also regional in nature), so find the one best category; ignore the fact that an editor may or may not be listed at the bottom of the category, as this will not affect your review time)

3. Write a guideline perfect title and description (study the guidelines and look at the descriptions of the sites already listed; editors rewrite most of the descriptions submitted, but getting it right might increase your chance of being reviewed early – to get this you need to know how DMOZ works and how an editor thinks: As DMOZ is not a listing service, an editor uses many sources when looking for new sites to add. The suggested sites are only one of the sources (searching Google, personal knowledge, newspaper advertisements, following links on other sites are just some of these other ways). Editors often comment about the general poor quality of suggested sites, so some just ignore them and use these other sources to find sites. Other editors do use the suggested sites; others do at least browse the suggested sites looking for ‘gems’ to add. One way to stand out in the list of suggested sites to have a guideline compliant title and description. This will get an editors attention in the pool of keyword stuffed and marketing hype descriptions that are generally suggested)

4. Move on and forget about it. (There is nothing more you can do. You either get listed or you don’t. It may or may not take years before an editor reviews your site – that is just the way it is. Resubmitting is counterproductive as it just overwrites the previous one with the new date; emails to editors asking for favors will just be ignored; posting in forums for favors from editors will not work; offering a bribes or payment is more likely to get your site blacklisted; submitting to additional or higher up categories will not work and will only increase your time to review, as an editor will only move you to the one best category)

Rather than spend time worrying about what might or might not be going on, spend your time and energy on other web directories and other promotional methods.

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2 Responses to How to get a forum listed in DMOZ

  1. Holly November 14, 2009 at 10:59 AM #

    I have tried every angle and different catagories to get listed and still no luck. I even noticed in one particular catagory:

    http://www.dmoz.org/Reference/Education/Colleges_and_Universities/Admissions/Counseling_Services/ that the editor actually owns his own consulting company. I thought that was agasinst Google guidlines for editors. What hope is there for companies like ours if the editor is a competitor?

  2. Admin November 30, 2009 at 9:48 PM #

    A couple of comments:
    When you say you have “tried every angle and different catagories”, then that is against DMOZ’s guidelines, so you have been hurting your chance there. See this post in How Not to Get Listed in DMOZ:
    http://www.forumdr.com/how-not-to-get-a-site-listed-in-dmoz/393/

    DMOZ has nothing to do with Google’s guidelines. There is nothing in DMOZ’s guidelines about an editor not having a site in a category. It is fine as long as they declare in their DMOZ internal system that they have the site and as long as they treat other sites the same as theirs. If a DMOZ editor deliberately does not list a competing site, etc and this can be shown to be the case, then that editor will be removed. DMOZ takes this seriously. Abuse can be reported at: http://report-abuse.dmoz.org/ . However, not reviewing and listing a site within a webmasters expected time frame is not necessarily abuse.

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