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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Getting listed in both Yahoo and the Open Directory - DMOZ

These two directory systems are killing me. Does anyone have some advice for getting a directory listing in either the Yahoo! directory or the DMOZ directory? At this point, I have been trying for almost a year to get listed in both, but with very little success through standard means. I have submitted a few applications over the last 12 months, yet nothing has happened.

Al least with Yahoo!, although I am hesitant, there is some recourse. With some funding, $295 to be exact, Yahoo! will guarantee that your site is reviewed within 30 days. However, it does not guarantee that you site will be listed, only reviewed. For that reason, I have been hesitant to spend any portion on the income from this site to guarantee that listing from Yahoo!

DMOZ (or effectively the Open Directory Project) is a little different. The site is a directory that is used to power a lot of sites, and some sites like Google (which provides ~60% of the traffic to this site) give added to those sites that appear in the directory. However, getting listed is a pain.

While I refuse to believe the some of the initial posts I read a year ago accusing the DMOZ of corruption – the longer I struggle with getting a basic listing, the more I tend to believe them. Here’s why.

In addition to simply adding my site to the Open Directory Project, I thought it might be interesting if I also applied to be an editor of a category. The site advertises that they are always looking for qualified people to help make the directory better. Given my deep experience in the Internet, Directories, and E-commerce – I felt I was an ideal candidate for that.

So, per the instructions, I found a category that was a) not very large, and b) currently showed as having no editors on it. That way, but volunteering I could add immediate value to the directory. I quickly filled out the application pointing out my experience and waited to hear back.

Not more than a couple days later, I received the following perplexing response:

It was a form response that showed that no one clearly evaluated the application, just moved it through the process without paying attention. Why do I assume that? Because the response was in direct opposite to what I did. I applied to a very small category, and there was absolutely no editors (there still are not) for that category.

What gives? I speculate that the directory really is not open itself, or extremely poorly managed. Perhaps both are true in this case, but when an organization portrays itself as open and clearly operates in a model that is contrary to that – it is hypocrisy at its finest.

Then there is the whole aspect of trying to get your site listed in there. Not only did the directory experience an outage last year where it effectively lost thousand of requests for inclusion in the directory, but it also could not accept applications for several months. Then, once fixed – things were no better as applications are processed at a snails pace.

The Open Directory is an informational abyss where you cannot get a status, cannot contact anyone, nor do they provide you with any ideas as to what is happening. As with most people, you read the directions, follow them, submit your site and then hope that you have done it correctly in order to get listed if there is even an editor for the category. I have submitted my site a couple of different times to a few categories over the past year with no results.

What a disaster. How again do other major directories consider DMOZ highly and give it any weight? It just does not make sense.

Have you had a better experience or do you have any advice for me?