Over the past several months,
the Open Directory Project has boomed in importance. In
fact, some people feel that the ODP rivals in importance to
the All-Important Yahoo!, which is a pretty awesome thought.
Why is the ODP so important?
Because it provides directory results to Lycos, HotBot,
Netscape, AOL Search, Google Directory, and the list goes on
and on. For a complete list of portal sites that use the ODP
data follow this link:
Simply put, submitting to the
ODP means that even if you can't get your pages indexed by
Lycos, HotBot, or AOL Search, you'll still have a presence
in those engines, thanks to the ODP.
So, what is the ODP? The Open
Directory Project, formerly known as NewHoo, produces a
comprehensive directory of websites by relying on a team of
thousands of volunteer editors.
As an editor in several rather
busy categories myself, let's discuss some do's and don'ts
regarding submitting to the ODP.
Top Ten Suggestions for Getting
Your Site in the ODP
- Submit in the proper
subcategory! Spend some time cruising the ODP and choose
the best subcategory for your site. If your site is in a
language other than English, you'll need to submit to
the World category.
- Create a businesslike and
professional title and description. Be honest and
sincere. Use your important keywords in your title and
- Complete the submission
form accurately and completely. You wouldn't believe how
many people complete the form and put the URL in the
title's spot or don't enter a description at all. Make
sure that the URL is listed correctly.
- Submit your main URL in the
best subcategory. If you have an interior page that
stands on its own and has a lot of relevant information,
you can try submitting it into a second subcategory.
- List a "last updated on
<date>" note on your site, but only if it's been updated
- Make your site the best it
can be! Do all graphics load? Are there any broken
- Make sure that your site is
easy to read with good color choices and an adequate
sized font. Here's what one editor had to say:
"A black background
and deep red font might look good in theory, but
just try to read it and see how you feel."
- If you have special
requests, contact the editor of that category by
clicking on the editor's name at the bottom of the
category page. For example, let's say that you want your
site to be listed in a third category, and you have a
legitimate reason for wanting it. Contact the editor and
explain your situation.
- When writing to an editor,
BE NICE! Do you honestly think an editor will go out of
his/her way to fulfill a special request if you send a
nasty note? No!
- When writing to an editor,
state your request simply and quickly. Editors don't
have time to read through a mountain of information.
Then, list your URL, the title of the site, a
description, and the category (the complete path where
you want the site listed). Don't make editors guess or
have to figure out the category themselves. And, don't
"demand" that your site be listed as cool!
Top Ten Things to Avoid
- Don't submit in upper-level
categories, such as Sports: Basketball. Instead, submit
to the proper and exact subcategory, such as Sports:
Basketball: Officiating and Rules: Basketball Hand
- Don't just list keyword
after keyword in the title or description. And, don't
use an abundance of marketing hype in your title or
description. Be professional!
- Don't create a description
that goes on and on and on. A few sentences are fine,
but don't make it any longer than that.
- Don't put your title and
description in ALL CAPS.
- Don't submit your site
until it's ready for traffic and has recently been
updated. Don't have a lot of broken links on your pages
or graphics that don't load. Sites with a huge "under
construction" sign on the first page and little else
aren't ready for traffic. Neither is a site that has a
"last updated on <date>" that is months ago.
- Don't submit pages of your
site to every single category that you can possibly
think of that halfway pertains to your site. Few editors
will allow a page or site to be listed in more than two
categories. Keep in mind that the editors write notes to
other editors about certain sites. The last thing you
want is for a bunch of editors to make comments such as,
"too many submissions," "repeat submissions," or even
worse, "spamming the index."
- Don't submit your site
every single day (or every other day) until it's
accepted. If your site isn't indexed in three weeks,
then submit it again, taking time to submit it properly.
- If your site is only one
page, work on it some more. Build original content!
Create some interior pages before you submit. Some
editors won't accept a site if it consists of only one
- The ODP has really gotten
strict about affiliate URLs, and those submissions are
generally rejected immediately.
- Be careful about using
technology such as flash, shockwave, etc., that requires
the editor to download an addon in order to view the
site. Many editors will reject those sites.
Keep in mind that ODP editors
are "volunteers" who aren't paid, and they're very busy
people with a multitude of submissions that pass over their
desk. Make your submission easy to accept and you'll get in.
Make it difficult for the editor and you're out.
In conclusion, if you have a
top-notch site and have taken time to submit properly,
you'll be able to land a spot in the All-Important ODP. Good
This article was written by Robin Nobles. Over the past few
years, she has trained thousands of people in her online and
onsite courses in search engine positioning strategies.
Visit this website to learn more:
This article was first published by Planet Ocean in their
Search Engine News Update Newsletter.