Submitting your site to the Open Directory
The Open Directory Project (ODP)
The Open Directory Project was started in 1998 as an alternative to the
commercial directories like Yahoo and Looksmart. The entire directory is run
by volunteer editors numbering 34,699 at the time of this writing. Here's
their mission statement:
As the web grows, automated search engines and directories with small
editorial staffs will be unable to cope with the volume of sites. The Open
Directory Project's goal is to produce the most comprehensive directory of the
web, by relying on a vast army of volunteer editors.
One of the great things about the Open Directory is that it's free to submit
your site. (Put that credit card away for now!) Submitting your site here can
bring tons of traffic from many websites, most notably from America Online. AOL
pulls its search results first from the ODP, then from the Inktomi database -
more about Inktomi in the Search Engines section of this site.
First you need to go to the main Open Directory site at
www.dmoz.org. Once you are
there do a little research to find out what category you should be placed in.
Type your most popular search term into the box and click 'search'. A list
of categories and sites will come up. Find the one category that most closely
matches the content of your website and click the link to enter the category.
Click 'Add URL' at the top of the page. A lot of the advice for getting listed
in Yahoo and Looksmart applies here so if you haven't done it yet go back and
read those sections.
First you will enter your URL. Using the Blue Widget Company as an example
your URL would be http://www.blue-widget-company.com. If you can have
keywords in your URL then it may increase your ranking in America Online and
the other search engines.
Supplier of blue widgets and widget manufacturing machinery.
Next you need to enter your description. The trick here is to make a
brief, readable sentence that contains as many keywords as possible. Keep your
title to 25 words or less. Here's an example description for the Blue Widget
Here's what we have done so far with keywords highlighted in red:
TITLE: Blue Widget Company
DESCRIPTION: Supplier of blue widgets and
widget manufacturing machinery.
Notice how the most important keywords - 'blue widgets' appear once in the
title, and 1.5 times in the description. Since DMOZ and AOL use the title and
description to rank websites you should definitely have your keywords in both
the title and description as well as in the URL. Some webmasters will create
an entirely new website based around their popular keywords for the purpose
of listing in directories like the ODP.
We suggest you also enter your email address in case the editor for your
category needs to contact you with questions about your listing. Double check
everything and click 'submit'. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few
weeks before you are listed in ODP. Once you're listed there you can expect to
start seeing traffic from America Online and other search sites that use ODP
data within a month.