++Can't Get Listed in ODP++

From: T.Cameron


I have a question about the Open Directory Project (ODP). I registered a client in Oct of 2001 and they were up very quickly. In Jan. 2002, I registered two more sites and they still have not been listed. I register them once a month, and the sites are well optimized and doing well on Inktomi's partners.

I have e-mailed the ODP and received no reply. Any idea what is going on? Has anyone else had this problem?

I would really like to get these sites listed so they have a chance at Google, Netscape etc. They cannot afford Yahoo!, and setting up AdWords at Google did not get the sites listed in Google's directory. They only had the ad, no listing.


Phoenix Web Media

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Tracey,

Great questions! Many people have found trying to get into ODP (aka DMOZ) to be quite exhausting. ODP is very tricky because they have only volunteer editors. (I find it kind of ironic that ODP was first formed because of how hard it was to get listed in Yahoo! Now it's easy to get into Yahoo! - if you pay - but really, really hard to get into ODP!)

When you say that you've "registered" with them each month, you've actually just "submitted" to them each month. As you've seen, you're not registered until their editor physically puts your listing into the database.

Also, because ODP is a human-edited directory and not a spidering search engine, the optimization that you've done to your site will make no difference with your ODP listing. Directories only rank sites through the little bit of information provided in your listing. Eventually, if/when you do get an ODP listing, changes to your site's pages will have no effect on your rankings in ODP and its partner sites.

Since you have been submitting to them once a month but are not getting listed, there are a few things that could be happening:

* The editor of your category is way behind on his or her reviews, and perhaps is not even checking to see if they have any new sites to add.

* The editor doesn't believe that your site should actually go in the category you chose, and therefore is just ignoring it (or worse - trashing it!). It's possible that the category you chose might be too broad, or it might not be the best possible category.

* The editor may feel that the title and/or description you provided don't conform to ODP editorial guidelines, and he or she doesn't feel like taking the time to edit it. Over time, editing the titles and descriptions can add up to a lot of work for a volunteer with many site submissions.

There's really no way to know the exact reason for your site's not getting listed, and unfortunately, the editors rarely let you know.

Before giving up on them all together, here are a few things you can try:

* See if you can find a different category that also applies to your site, and submit to that one. Be sure to drill down to the deepest, most specific category possible.

* If your description is long and uses marketing hype, edit it down. Look at the other descriptions in your category and try to emulate those. Don't try to get keywords represented in your title, but simply use your company name. For those of you who are listed in Yahoo!, you might try using their title and description, as ODP would probably agree with one that the Yahoo! editors liked.

* Send an email to the editor of the category you submitted to. Explain your situation to them and ask them (politely) if there's anything else you need to do in order to get listed. Show them examples of other sites that are in the same category which are similar to yours, and explain why your site would make a great addition to that category.

* Try posting a message at the new ODP forum. They may be able to give you some tips (or even prod your editor into action!).

Hope this helps!


P.S. You also mentioned that your Google AdWords campaign did not get you listed in the regular Google listings. There seems to be a common misconception that somehow it will get you into Google; however, aside from the occasional "bug," Google seems to be very careful about keeping their paid stuff separate from their regular search results. Google AdWords is a good way to gain some extra traffic at a decent price (if you learn how to use it correctly), but DON'T buy ads in hopes of these somehow getting your site into their regular database. You've got to optimize your site and gain some quality links to it before they'll list it.

Use Google AdWords only if you're looking to purchase paid ads. Since Google now ranks as the number five business-to-business advertising property according to B2B magazine, it's definitely an important advertising vehicle. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, ads from Google AdWords are currently showing up at AOL also; therefore it's certainly something to think about if you're looking for added exposure.

And for the few of you who haven't purchased it yet (giggle), I highly recommend Andrew Goodman's special report on how to get the most out of your Google AdWords campaign. (I told Andrew that I wouldn't rest until each and every one of you on the list has purchased a copy - so what are you waiting for? But seriously, it's a great help, and it will definitely save you money in the long run!)

++Redirected Site Not Getting Indexed++

From: Grant Ayre

Hi there,

I have a client who wondered why his all-Flash site wasn't getting spidered and/or listed on search engines. Apart from his Flash pages being way too heavy for dial-up connections, I explained that there was nothing there for the spiders to crawl. Now that I've redesigned the front or entry page to be more amenable to spiders (using techniques honed on this list), there's still no apparent improvement. The enhanced front page still links directly to the heavy Flash pages. Is this enough to stop search engine spiders and limit the site's chance of getting listed?

Another potential problem is that the site is hosted on a free server - with a redirect. If you view the source code from the [domain name] you get empty metadata, whereas viewing the code from the [free server] you get all the optimised code. Very perplexing.

Appreciate it if you could help. Thanks.

Grant Ayre

~~~Jill's Response~~~


It sounds like your problem is not so much the Flash, but the redirect. Most search engines won't bother indexing these kinds of pages as they can be easily used to "spam" them. Your client should park his site at his actual domain name and definitely avoid the use of redirects. It's fairly cheap having your own domain, and if the client wants the site to be found in the search engines, it's imperative.

Good luck!

May 16, 2002

CEO and founder of High Rankings®, Jill Whalen has been performing search engine optimization since 1995 and is the host of the free High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter, author of "The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines" and founder/administrator of the popular High Rankings Search Engine Optimization Forum. In 2006, Jill co-founded SEMNE, a local search engine marketing networking organization for people and companies in New England.

High Rankings is an internationally recognized search engine optimization firm located in Framingham, MA specializing in search engine optimization, SEO consultations, in-house training, site audit reports, search marketing seminars and workshops. High Rankings has a 100% success rate for substantially improving client rankings and targeted traffic.

Jill speaks at national and international conferences and has been writing about SEO and search marketing since 2000. She's been quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post. Her articles have appeared in numerous print magazines and online websites including CIO Magazine, CMS Focus, The Internet Marketing Report, ClickZ, WorkZ, Inc.com, Entrepreneur, Lycos Small Business, WebProNews, SiteProNews and others. Jill has also appeared on many online and offline radio programs such as Entrepreneur Magazine's E-Biz Radio Show, SearchEngineRadio and the eMarketing Talkshow.

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