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Oct / Nov 2003
Submitting Your Site to the Open Directory Project
By Donald Nelson (c) 2003

One of the most important steps in any site's publicity campaign is submission to the Open Directory Project since this directory provides search results for many of the most important search engines and online portals. The ODP is not a robot driven spider, but a human edited directory and you must observe a few important points if your submission is to be successful.

1. Make Sure That Your Site Has Original Content.

If you are only publishing a collection of affiliate links or, if your site is a clone of other sites that are plentiful on the web, then your submission is likely to be rejected. If you are dealing with affiliate products you can of course add content, such as product reviews or additional information and thus show the editors that your site has something original to offer.

2. Check Your Site For Spelling Errors And Make Sure That Your Site Looks Good.

Though the editors are looking for original content, they are only human and will be annoyed by errors and by a clumsily built site. It is my experience that professionally designed sites, with good content, always make it into the directory eventually (more on the time factor later).

3. Be Sure To Put Your Contact Information On The Web Site.

An e-mail address is not enough. I spoke to one editor and he told me that if he doesn't see a physical address or telephone number then the entrants in his category "are toast." Especially if you are selling something, you need to build credibility with your customers, and in this case, with the Open Directory editors, by giving proper contact information.

4. Choose The Right Category For Your Submission.

When you submit a URL to a robotic search engine there is not much to think about, but whenever you submit to a directory an important part of that submission is choosing a proper category. Go online and see where sites similar to yours have been placed in the directory. When you find the category that you think is best, press the add URL link. In some categories the editors put a note mentioning the restrictions for that category. Please heed these notes carefully and don't submit to this category if your site doesn't meet the criteria.

5. Record The Date And Category Of Your Submission.

It is good to keep a record of when you submitted and to what category you submitted your site. If your category has an editor, make a note of who the editor is. This information will be useful if you need to make an inquiry about the status of your submission. How long does it take to get listed? I have had one site listed within two weeks of submission and I have also waited eight months for other sites.

6. Don't Sp@m The Directory!

Submit your site one time and be patient. Generally, you are only allowed to submit to one category, though if your site is huge and has many subdivisions, you may be able to submit sections of the site to different categories. It takes time for entries to be processed, especially in categories where there are many submissions. If you hastily resubmit your site, then it will end up on the bottom of the list of sites to be reviewed, since they are stored according to date.

7. Contact The Directory Through Proper Channels If You Have Questions About Your Submission.

If the category where you submitted has an editor, it will be indicated at the bottom of the page, and you can send him or her a message. Another excellent way to make contact with the editors is through their online forum located at There you can ask about the status of your submission, but you must give them the date and category to which you submitted your site. You can ask questions about the procedures etc, but one more thing, don't argue with the editors. Find out how the editors of the directory work and do your best to meet their conditions and you will be successful.

About The Author
Donald Nelson is a web developer, editor and social worker. He has been working on the Internet since 1995 and is currently the director of A1-Optimization a firm providing affordable search engine optimization and other website promotion services. You can get his monthly newsletter "A1-Web Promotion Tips" by sending an email to:


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