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Listing Your Site On Open Directory

December 13, 2004

Most people are familiar with with the Yahoo Directory. Although Yahoo has recently removed their directory from their front page (in favor of promoting some of their other two bazillion projects), for a long time the hierarchical directory was one of the most familiar sites on the web. A listing on the Yahoo directory can still send a respectable amount of traffic, but their change to paid inclusion has made getting listed an expensive proposition.

The Open Directory Project (aka “DMOZ”) represents an excellent free alternative to paying for a Yahoo listing. An “open source” community-edited service, Open Directory has grown larger than Yahoo’s aging offering. Since many “portal sites” and “start pages” include the Open Directory listings as their own Yahoo-like service, a good listing on the Open Directory can often directly send more qualified traffic than an equivalent listing on Yahoo’s directory. There is indirect value to be had as well — most search engines add “weight” to a site as a result of it being listed in the Open Directory, causing it to appear higher in search result rankings. This sends even more qualified traffic.

Requesting a listing is simple. Go to the Open Directory site, find the category that best describes your site, and click the “Add URL” link at the top of the page. You will be presented with a form to add your site. Be sure to use the proper URL of your home page — this means the address of your site (ie: “www.mysite.com”), preceded by the “http://” you see in your browser’s address bar (ie: “http://www.mysite.com).

Your site name should match the title of your site, and your description should be simple and to the point — descriptions that are obviously ”marketing speak“ are liable to be changed, or cause your listing to be ignored. Submit your site only once (if you have multiple sites, of course, you can submit each of them).

It’s difficult to predict how long it will take to get listed; each section of the directory is edited by a volunteer, and as with any volunteer driven process, some folks are efficient, some are slow, and some don’t show up for work. Be patient. If you haven’t received a listing within 3 months or so, go ahead and try again. Submitting multiple times more often than that is likely to cause your listing to be denied.

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