an Open Directory Project Editor
By Sumantra Roy
your site registered by the Open Directory(http://www.dmoz.org)
is vitally important as far as search engine
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However, sometimes, it may so happen that
try as you might, you just do not manage to
get your site listed in the Open Directory.
Or, it may also happen that the description
under which your site is listed is not optimum.
this case, the only solution is to become
the editor of the category to which you want
to submit your site. Here's how you should
go about doing it.
go to any category of the Open Directory and
click on the "become an editor" link at the
top of the screen. If that category does not
contain such a link, simply go to a lower
level category which does contain such a link.
read the third paragraph, which says that
the Open Directory does not bar editors who
have business affiliations with the category.
In practice, however, it will reject just
about any new editor who has a business affiliation
with the category. If you scroll down the
page, you will find that the Open Directory
asks you whether you have any business affiliation
with the category. If you admit to having
an affiliation with the category, you will
most certainly be rejected.
you may think that you can solve this problem
by not admitting that you have any business
affiliation with the category. However, the
Open Directory also asks you about your experience
or interest in the category. For a category
which deals with business related sites, it
is very difficult to project your expertise
in it without admitting that you are affiliated
your strategy should be to locate a category
in which you can legitimately show some experience
and interest without having to admit that
you have any business affiliation. By far
the easiest way to do this is to become an
editor of a regional category which deals
with the city in which you live. Once you
can become an editor of one category, it is
usually much easier to become the editor of
the category to which your site belongs. This
is because when an existing editor applies
for a new category, the Open Directory does
not ask for his/her experience or interest
in the category.
are the steps you should follow in order to
become an editor of the category applicable
for your web site:
Start off by going to the Open Directory.
Click on the Regional category, then click
on the continent in which you live, and then
on the country. In this way, drill down to
the category for the city or locality in which
you live. Now, scroll down to the bottom of
the page and see whether that category already
has an editor. If it does not, this is the
category for which you should try and become
an editor. However, if this category already
has an editor, don't apply to this category
because the Open Directory does not generally
accept a new editor in a category which already
contains an editor. In this case, select a
category below the current category which
does not have an editor.
Once you have selected the correct regional
category, click on the "become an editor"
link at the top of the screen and fill in
your first name, last name, email address,
username and password. For the "Describe your
experience and interest in this subject area:"
text box, just say something like "I am a
resident of X.", where X is of course the
name of your city or locality. In the "What
is your Business Affiliation with this category?"
text box, say something like "I have no business
affiliation with this category."
Open Directory now asks you for 2 or 3 sites
which you would have added to the category
had you been an editor of the category. The
best way to do this is to let Yahoo!
do the work for you. Open a new browser window,
go to Yahoo! and search for the name of your
city. Yahoo! will list several categories
and sites for that city. Browse through these
sites and categories and select a site which
is applicable for the category to which you
are applying. Now, open another browser window,
go to the Open Directory's home page and type
in the domain name of the site in Open Directory's
search box and note whether that site is already
listed in the Open Directory, either in the
category to which you are applying or elsewhere.
If it is not listed, then this can be one
of the sites which you should submit. If it
is already listed in the Open Directory, then
ignore this site and select a new site and
check whether that site is already listed
in the Open Directory.
this way, select three sites which are applicable
for the category to which you are applying
and which are not already present in the Open
Directory. Type in the URL for the first site
in the appropriate text box. Now, you need
to select a proper title for the site. The
title that you choose should always be the
official name of the site. If the official
name of the site is not apparent from the
home page itself, browse around the site and
look at the "About Us" or "Contact Us" pages
(if the site has those pages). Also, check
out the bottom of each page to see if the
site has any Copyright notice. Once you know
the official name of the site, type it in
the correct text box. Now, choose a proper
description of the site. Here are the rules
for writing a proper description for the Open
Make sure that the description can tell a
visitor what the site is all about. Things
like "Have a look at the site" does not tell
a visitor what the site does.
Avoid using ALL CAPS or exclamation marks.
Phrases like "The best web site dealing with
widgets!!" or "Offers the BEST QUALITY, CHEAPEST
WIDGETS you can find anywhere" are inappropriate.
Don't capitalize every word in your description
- capitalize only the first word. Of course,
if some of the words in the description are
proper nouns, then you should capitalize them.
Write the description in the third person.
Don't make your description too long - limit
yourself to 15 words at the most.
Check your description for typos and grammatical
End your description with a period.
you have typed in the URL, Title and Description
of the first site, do the same for all the
three sites and click on the Submit button.
Open Directory will soon send you an email
asking you to send a confirmation. Simply
reply to that email to confirm your application.
If you have followed the above instructions,
within 2 or 3 weeks (if you are lucky, it
will be sooner), you should get an email saying
that you have been accepted as an editor.
Go to the Open Directory and log in as an
editor. Read the Directory Guidelines thoroughly
and familiarize yourself with them. Your objective
from now on is to become an editor of the
category which is applicable for your site.
When you apply to become an editor of this
category, the Open Directory will evaluate
the quality of your editing in the category
which you already edit, and will see whether
your editing meets all the guidelines. Hence,
it is very important that you know the guidelines
this, check out whether there are any unreviewed
sites (i.e. sites which have been submitted
to the category but which have not yet been
reviewed by an editor) in the category of
which you are the editor. If so, evaluate
all the unreviewed sites, and add the sites
which are applicable for the category and
delete the remaining sites which are not applicable.
When you are adding sites, make sure that
these sites are really applicable for the
category. Also make sure that the Title and
the Description that have been used are appropriate
for the Open Directory. If they are not, edit
them so that they meet the Open Directory
guidelines. Sometimes, you may be at a loss
to understand whether or not a particular
site should be in the category. If you are
not feeling comfortable about adding a site,
don't add it. There is no harm in not adding
a site which is applicable. However, if you
add a site which is not applicable, you will
be at a disadvantage when you apply to become
the editor of the category which is applicable
for your site.
browse through all the sites which are already
present in the category. Edit the Title and
Description of any site if it does not meet
the Open Directory guidelines. If you feel
that a particular site that is listed in the
category does not belong to the category,
post a message in the Editor Forum and ask
the other editors of the Open Directory as
to whether the site belongs to the category.
If they say that the site does not belong
to the category, delete the site.
Within 2 or 3 weeks from the time that you
are accepted as an editor, you should have
cleaned up the category. By this, I mean that
your category should not have any unreviewed
sites, and should not contain any site which
does not belong to the category. Also, the
Title and the Description of all the sites
present in the category should follow the
Open Directory guidelines.
it is time to apply to the category which
is applicable for your site. Click on the
"Bookmarks" link in the main Editor page,
scroll down and click on the "[Add @link]"
link. In the "Category to link to:" text box,
type in the complete path to the category
which is applicable for your site. For instance,
for the Computers: Consultants: Business Systems
category, I would type in "Computers/Consultants/Business
Systems". In the "Link name:" text box, type
in a word or phrase which describes this category.
Open Directory will now display a link to
the category in your Bookmarks section. It
will also display the number of sites which
are present in the category and the number
of new (unreviewed) sites. Note down the figure
for the number of unreviewed sites. If the
category does not contain any unreviewed sites,
the Open Directory will only display the number
of sites present in the category.
go to the category which you want to apply
to and browse through all the sites. Generally,
there will be some sites for which the Title
and/or the Description does not meet the Open
Directory guidelines. Make a note of these
sites. Also note whether that category already
has an editor.
you have gone through all the sites, scroll
down to the bottom of the category and click
on the "edit" link. When you are asked to
explain why you want to apply to the category,
mention the number of unreviewed sites which
are present in the category (assuming that
the category does have some unreviewed sites).
Also, mention the fact that the Title and
the Description for some of the sites are
inappropriate for the Open Directory. Give
examples of a few such sites. If that category
does not already have an editor, mention that
the same methods discussed earlier to fill
up the remaining fields and click on the Submit
After applying to the new category, log in
as an editor every day or so, until you find
that you are listed as an editor of that category.
Then, add your site to this category, or,
if your site is already listed but does not
have an optimum description, change the description.
that other editors who edit higher level categories
will be looking at your category from time
to time and may change your site's description
if it is not found to be appropriate. Hence,
while you should try to give your site an
optimum description, you should not violate
any of the Open Directory guidelines.
the Open Directory allows editors to cool
certain sites if they feel that these sites
are the best in that category. If a site is
cooled, it is listed at the top of the category,
even though its alphabetical placement may
have been a lot lower. Avoid the temptation
to cool your own site. Because so many editors
try to cool their own sites, the Open Directory
keeps a sharp look-out for this practice.
Cooling your own site will simply draw attention
Article by Sumantra
Roy. Sumantra is one of the most respected
search engine positioning specialists on the
Internet. To have Sumantra's company place
your site at the top of the search engines,
go to http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?3761
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