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Open Directory Project Tips

Believe it or not, the 10 minutes it takes to make your submission will probably the most important thing you do this week. Here are some tips to improve your chances of success.

Start by reading the DMOZ Selection guidelines. Don't do like me and submit a dozen sites without really paying close attention to the guidelines. I didn't take the submission process seriously enough since I couldn't see any clear gain in the near future.

I suggest that you research the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) and have everything written before starting the online process. Then, choose a category (see below) from the directory and click "Suggest URL".

Let's look at some of the most important entries.

Title According to the guidelines, the "title should identify the site, not describe it". The title should be informative and concise. If the site belongs to a business then the official name of the business should be used as the title. See the DMOZ guidelines for more specifics Here are some examples of titles from their website.

- should not all caps
- the first letter of each word should be in capital, except for articles, prepositions and conjunctions
- do not use the URL as the title
- no punctuation marks or unnecessary symbols
Description The description should give specific information about the content and/or subject matter of the site. The description should be written for the benefit of the directory user, to give them an idea of what they will find on the website.

The description:
- should be informative
- should be concise
- should not try to sell the site
- should not be stuffed with keywords
- should not repeat the title of the site
- should not use superlatives like "best" or "cheapest"
- Information that could change, such as prices, should not be included.
Category Choose your category carefully. Find the appropriate category and drill down to the appropriate sub-category. Once there, take a look at some of the existing listings to ensure that your site fits. Submitting to the wrong category can delay your application. If your site has a regional flavor then make sure you submit it to a regional category as well. Regional submissions often make it into the directory quicker.

When faced with hundreds of submissions, editors tend to pick out submissions that they can process quickly. They often will add submissions that are obviously well written and follow the guidelines. If your title, description, grammar and category are wrong your application has a better chance of being put aside. Don't worry, someone will look at it, eventually.


DMOZ runs a public forum at

There is also a Public Abuse Report form is available if you feel that this measure is appropriate.

I hope that our tips have been helpful,
Good Luck with your DMOZ submission.

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