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 experts, and all submissions are subject to editor evaluation.
The ODP is not an search engine and they pride themselves on being highly selective. They don’t accept all sites, so please don’t take it personally should your site not be accepted. Their our goal is to make the directory as useful as possible for all users, not to have the directory include all of the sites that could possibly be listed or serve as a promotional tool for the entities listed.
The Open Directory Project has set up policies to help keep process smooth and to assist them in exercising their editorial discretion. They may reject, delete, or edit submissions that violate these policies or that they otherwise believe, in thier sole discretion, should not be included in the directory. They may also reject, delete, or block other sites that they 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.
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.
Do a quick search in the directory at dmoz.org to be sure your site isn’t already listed. This saves everyone time.
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.
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.
Note: 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 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 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. Comments made through the feedback link are reviewed by the ODP staff, who will make the final decision. But please remember that the ODP must exercise their discretion and make numerous judgment calls as to how to make the ODP as useful as possible.
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.
Please recognize that making the ODP a useful resource requires the editors to exercise broad editorial discretion in determining the content and structure of the directory. That discretion extends to what sites to include, where in the directory sites are placed, whether and when to include more than one link to a site, when deep linking is appropriate, and the content of the title and description of the site.
In addition, a site’s placement in the directory is subject to change or deletion at any time at our sole discretion. You should not rely on any aspect of a site’s inclusion in the directory. Please understand that an editor’s exercise of discretion may not always treat all submissions equally.