SEO Information

Getting Listed in the ODP, Google Directory


First of all, the Google directory is really just the open directory project (ODP: url here) with a few adjustments. While listings on DMOZ.org are arranged within their category according to simple alphabetic order, listings in the Google Directory are based upon PageRank [link]. Thus, sites with higher PageRanks will show up higher on the list of sites under any given category. You can see the PageRank of a site pictorially by looking at the little green bar off to the left of each listing. The other major difference is that the Google Directory updates its listings only once every few months. Therefore, a website that is accepted into the ODP today may have to wait 3 months or more before it is listed in the Google Directory. If you go to DMOZ.org, you can see all the latest listings because each category page is updated immediately after a new site is added.

Now, on to the real topic at hand: getting listed. Obviously, in order to get listed in the Google Directory you must get listed on DMOZ first. As many webmasters can attest, this can be much more difficult than you might think. Simply submitting your site under the appropriate category, however, may indeed do the trick. The ODP editors are technically supposed to consider your site for inclusion into the directory within a few weeks of submission. In reality, however, many ODP editors (now keep in mind, they are all volunteers), don't even log into their accounts that often. And when they do, they may simply not feel like reviewing all the newly submitted sites. If they do review all the new sites, they may very well decide to turn yours down for one reason or another.

Assuming you've built a high quality, non-spam website, however, they really don't have much of a reason to turn it down - unless, of course, it was submitted to the wrong category. The main point here is that you can't really depend upon the submission process. It may work for you, and it may not. If you've tried it, and it hasn't resulted in your website being listed, you may want to try an alternative approach.

It's no secret that just about anyone can become an ODP editor. Yet, most people who take the time to apply get turned down. Going through the process is worth it, however, since editors get to add whichever sites they wish to the categories they preside over. Simply becoming an editor in order to submit your website is usually highly frowned upon, and if you proceed to neglect your category, it really isn't fair to ODP. However, if you are willing to do the job of editing a category in exchange for adding your website (provided, of course, that you have a website worthy of adding to the ODP), then one can think of it as a business deal: you get your site listed, and they get another free editor to help maintain the directory.

Okay, so you want to help out the ODP, and you just happen to have a good website you want to get listed. Good, then you are ready to apply for an editing position. When applying to become an editor for the ODP, we highly recommend that you apply for a very small category - preferably a category with 15 or fewer sites, and no subcategories. Now here's the thing: you do not have to apply for the category you want your website listed in - in fact, you don't even have to apply for a category that is of the same topic as your website.

For instance, if you have a website that sells flowers, you could submit an application to some obscure social science category. Then again, you may be able to find an obscure category that is somewhat related to your website topic - in this case, for instance, a small category under botany. The point is it doesn't really matter what your initial category is. Once you've put in a few days time fixing up that category, you can then apply to become editor of a larger category - perhaps even the category you want to your website listed under.

Even if another person edits your target category, you can still get your site listed. You can submit your website to one of your own categories, then send the site over to your target category. Sites sent from one category to another by editors are usually looked at sooner than ones submitted by the general public. You can also apply to be Greenbuster of your target category, which is a position below full editor. This allows you to suggest websites to a category and edit websites submitted by others. One important thing you cannot do as Greenbuster is directly add websites to the public DMOZ category. This isn't usually a big obstacle, however, since editors regularly look at - and accept - sites suggested by Greenbusters.

Just a few more suggestions and you're ready to go. When applying to become an editor of any category (even if you are already an editor), don't forget to provide three website suggestions instead of just two. Also, be honest about your website affiliations, and your interest in the category. Even if your main goal is to get your website listed, you can still apply for a category that interests you. If you are willing to give some of your time to ODP, the reward can be a healthy increase in PageRank and status for your website.

Bradley James is the Chief Editor at Google Advisor. The website provides free information for webmasters relating to the Google search engine, PageRank issues, AdWords and AdSense strategies, and more.


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