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Sunday, June 22, 2008

How to suggest a site to the Open Directory

The Open Directory Project is a web directory of Internet resources. A web directory is something akin to a huge reference library. The directory is hierarchically arranged by subject - from broad to specific. The ODP is maintained by community editors who evaluate sites for inclusion in the directory. They are our experts, and all submissions are subject to editor evaluation.

We care a great deal about the quality of the ODP. We aren't a search engine and pride ourselves on being highly selective. We don't accept all sites, so please don't take it personally should your site not be accepted. Our goal is to make the directory as useful as possible for our users, not to have the directory include all (or even most) of the sites that could possibly be listed or serve as a promotional tool for the entities listed.

To keep the ODP running smoothly and to assist us in exercising our editorial discretion, we have set up policies for submitting sites for our consideration. We may reject, delete, or edit submissions that violate these policies or that we otherwise believe, in our sole discretion, should not be included in the directory. We may also reject, delete, or block other sites that we believe to be associated with a user who has violated these policies.

You should take a few moments to understand these policies and the steps to submit a site before you begin. Failure to understand and follow these instructions generally will result in the rejection of a submission.

Step One

Determine whether a site is appropriate for submission to the ODP:

  • Do not submit mirror sites. Mirror sites are sites that contain identical content, but have altogether different URLs.
  • Do not submit URLs that contain only the same or similar content as other sites you may have listed in the directory. Sites with overlapping and repetitive content are not helpful to users of the directory. Multiple submissions of the same or related sites may result in the exclusion and/or deletion of those and all affiliated sites.
  • Do not disguise your submission and submit the same URL more than once.
  • Example: http://www.dmoz.org and http://www.dmoz.org/index.html
  • Do not submit any site with an address that redirects to another address.
  • The Open Directory has a policy against the inclusion of sites with illegal content. Examples of illegal material include child pornography; libel; material that infringes any intellectual property right; and material that specifically advocates, solicits or abets illegal activity (such as fraud or violence).
  • Do not submit sites "under construction." Wait until a site is complete before submitting it. Sites that are incomplete, contain "Under Construction" notices, or contain broken graphics or links aren't good candidates for the directory.
  • Submit pornographic sites to the appropriate category under Adult.
  • Submit non-English sites to the appropriate category under World.
  • Don't submit sites consisting largely of affiliate links.
Step Two
Do a quick search in the directory at dmoz.org (the home of the Open Directory) to be sure your site isn't already listed. This saves everyone time.

Step Three
Identify the single best category for your site. The Open Directory has an enormous array of subjects to choose from. You should submit a site to the single most relevant category. Sites submitted to inappropriate or unrelated categories may be rejected or removed.

Note: Some categories do not have "suggest URL" or "update URL" links. These categories don't accept submissions, so you should find a more specific category for your site.

Step Four

Once you've selected the best category for your site, go directly to that category on dmoz.org and then click "suggest URL." Follow the instructions on the submission form carefully. Descriptions of sites should describe the content of the site concisely and accurately. They should not be promotional in nature. Submitting a promotional description rather than an objective, well written description may significantly delay your site from being listed or prevent your site from being listed at all. Auto-submission software is (and always has been) a violation of this procedure. Sites submitted automatically are flagged and deleted after the submission is accepted, without notification to you. Persistent automatic submission may force us to ban you from the dmoz site, so we can provide resources to real human beings.
Procedure After Your Site is Submitted

An ODP editor will review your submission to determine whether to include it in the directory. Depending on factors such as the volume of submissions to the particular category, it may take several weeks or more before your submission is reviewed. Please only submit a URL to the Open Directory once. Again, multiple submissions of the same or related sites may result in the exclusion and/or deletion of those and all affiliated sites. Disguising your submission and submitting the same URL more than once is not permitted.

Updating Your Site

If a site has been accepted for inclusion in the directory but you are dissatisfied with how the site is described or titled, you may go to the category where it is listed, and fill out the "update URL" form. If you are dissatisfied with the category in which your site is listed, you may send an e-mail to an editor for the category explaining your disagreement. Be polite and civil -- threatening or abusive behavior will not be tolerated.

If (but only if) you are dissatisfied with the editor's response, you may then use the "Feedback" link at the top of the page to "appeal" the editor's decision. Be specific concerning your disagreement (including why you believe the editor's response is inadequate). Comments made through the feedback link are reviewed by the ODP staff, who will make the final decision. Please do NOT send correspondence to Netscape, as that will only slow down and complicate the process. We take all feedback seriously and give it our thoughtful consideration. But please remember that we must exercise our discretion and make numerous judgment calls as to how to make the ODP as useful as possible -- no matter what decision we make, we may not always satisfy everyone.

Getting Your Site Into Portals and Search Engines Using ODP Data

If your site has been accepted into the Open Directory, it may take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months for your site to be listed on partner sites which use the Open Directory data, such as AOL Search, Google, Netscape Search, Yahoo Search, and hundreds of other sites. We make updates of the data available weekly, but each partner has their own update schedule.

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