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5.3. Getting Open Directory Project (ODP) Listings

The Open Directory Project (ODP), http://dmoz.org, is the most important taxonomic directory on the Web. Formally hosted and administered by the Netscape division of AOL, the ODP is run along the lines of an open source project with the belief that "humans do it better."

The ODP believes that web-automated search is ineffective, and getting worse, and that the small contingent of paid editors at commercial web search engine companies cannot keep up with the staggering rate of change on the Webdecaying stagnant sites, link rot, new sites, sites intended as search spam, and so on.

The ODP is run and maintained by a vast army of volunteer editors. These editors follow internal checks and balances to keep the integrity of the directory. See http://dmoz.org/guidelines/ for more information about the ODP review process and guidelines for site inclusion.

You, too, can become an ODP editor in an area of your interest and expertise. See http://dmoz.org/help/become.html for more information about becoming an ODP editor. This is a partially facetious suggestion, but one of the most effective ways to use SEO to promote your sites is to follow the patterns and practices of the ODP to get your sites included. You'll find an FAQ about how to add your site at http://www.dmoz.org/add.html (this FAQ is also available via a link from the ODP home page).

The ODP taxonomy (categorization system) and the sites included in the categories are freely available as data for use by anyone who wants to run their own search engine as long as the terms of the ODP's free-use license is complied with.

Google, and most of the major search engines, do use information derived from the ODP, but each major search engine uses it in their own way. With Google in particular, information from the ODP is used to form the Google Directory, http://directory.google.com.

Most significant, inclusion within an ODP category means that your site is very likely to be included within the Google Web index (as well as the Google Directory, and in other major web indices) as a high-ranking result for searches within that category.

So it's worth submitting your site to the ODP, if only because it's the best way to get indexed by search engines, including Googleand, to a significant extent, to manage how your site is categorized.


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