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Introduction Yahoo! Looksmart ODP NBCi

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.

Free Listing!
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.

Getting Started
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.

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 Company:

Supplier of blue widgets and widget manufacturing machinery.

Here's what we have done so far with keywords highlighted in red:

TITLE: Blue Widget Company

URL: http://www.blue-widget-company.com

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.

Finishing up
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.

Next: Submitting to NBCi

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