Most website owners these days are obsessed, for good reason with Google and Yahoo!, the two behemoths of Internet search. Those of us who remember the early days of the World Wide Web, back in the last century, know that before there was search there were directories. When Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web evolved into Yahoo!, it was a directory, not a search engine, and getting your site listed in the directory was neither particularly easy nor inexpensive. In response to this “Yahoo! Challenge”, the Open Directory Project evolved out of Netscape and the Mozilla Project, hence the dmoz.org address (which evolved from the directory.mozilla.org address). The Open Directory, as always, remains to be maintained by a community of volunteer editors, and you cannot pay to be listed, although a shortage of volunteers (compounded by a degree of infighting and power struggles within the editorial ranks) can often lead to lengthy waits before a submission is approved and added to the directory.
Although it is true that Internet users today turn to search (usually on Google) to find what they want online, rarely opting to wade through the hierarchical structure of a directory to find Web content, the Open Directory Project remains as important as ever. Here’s why:
- Inclusion of a website in the Open Directory has a positive impact upon a site’s Google PageRank.
- The Open Directory Project licenses its content distribution through hundreds of small search engines.
- The Open Directory Project data is included in the directory services of many of the major search engines, including Google and AOL Search. That’s right: Your search on Google will often reference site listings from the Open Directory.
Now you know why your site needs to be listed.
The submission process is simple. First, check to see if your site is already listed. Go to www.dmoz.org and enter your business name into the search box at the head of the page. A business can only be listed in one category. If you are listed, fine (unless you strongly believe that your listing should be moved to another category). If you are not listed, you can drill down through the hierarchy of categories to find the right place to list your site. If you would like to simplify this task, enter your type of business or the name of a similar business (perhaps one of your competitors) into the search box to see what listing categories might appear. Click on one of those categories to confirm that it represents the most appropriate place for your site to be listed. From that page, click on the “suggest URL” link to go to the site submission page for that category.
Enter the following information on the submission page:
- Your site URL. (Check the Regular option.)
- Your site Title (taken from the Title tag of your site’s Home page).
- A description of your site in 25-30 words. Try to write this as objectively as possible. The more that you embellish, the more likely it is that your description will be edited.
- Your e-mail address.
- Enter the captcha script at the bottom of the page, and hit Submit! You are on your way.
This post was written by Peter Pelland