You've probably heard the old adage "there are no guarantees in life." Just as there are no guarantees in life, there are most certainly no guarantees in the SEO world. This is especially the case with DMOZ listings. Although the term "DMOZ" comes from the site's original name, namely "" or "" for short, it is more formally known as the Open Directory Project (ODP). It serves as a multilingual open content directory of website links. According to the website, it is "the largest, most comprehensible human-edited directory of the Web. Whether or not the folks at Yahoo! agree with this has yet to be determined.

ODP/DMOZ supposedly powers core directory services for the likes of Google and AOL Search. Believe it or not, it is operated by Netscape Communication Corporation, the former web browser champion that was cybernetically crushed by its arch rival, Microsoft, during the first browser war. It promises to be different than other directories like Yahoo! and LookSmart in that it is not managed and maintained by a small group of paid staff members, but by a "constantly growing community of net-citizens who are experts in their areas of interest."

Post Image

To put it short, ODP is fueled by cybernetic slave labor.

All jokes aside, the DMOZ/ODP model relies on philanthropic volunteers to maintain its directory. It does not rank, promote or optimize sites for search engines. It doesn't even influence how search engines process search engine queries. DMOZ simply provides data to search engines. This is why SEO hustlers find this directory project relevant; they see it as yet another venue to practice their seedy craft.

Sadly, these SEO cowboys think they can scheme listing for their customers (read "victims") into the ODP in a guaranteed fashion. This is just plain wrong. First and foremost, the DMOZ site contain terms which explicitly state that they do not accept all sites, so even if you followed all of their other rules they still may not accept your listing. Below is a list of sites that, if submitted, will be instantly denied entry to the DMOZ club:

  • mirror sites or other sites that contain identical content with different URLs
  • sites with overlapping and repetitive content
  • sites with redirecting addresses
  • sites containing child pornography
  • libelous sites
  • sites that infringe on intellectual property
  • sites that advocate fraud
  • sites that encourage violence
  • sites that specifically abet, advocate or solicit illegal activity
  • sites that are declared as "under construction."
  • sites the primarily consist of affiliate links

The above listing is reason enough why sites can not be guaranteed admittance to the DMOZ VIP club. Their submission page clearly states that their goal is to make the directory "as useful as possible" for their users and not to include all possible listing or serve as a promotion tool for entities they do list. Please read that last sentence again--DMOZ is not intended to be used as a promotional tool. If you think about it hard enough, you will probably make the connection between SEO and one of its prime reasons for existence. Yes, you guessed it. SEO is clearly designed for promotional purposes. This is where DMOZ and SEO part ways; promotional activities are simply not part of DMOZ's prime directives.

It basically comes down to a few well-known facts. First off, search engine marketing "professionals" do not control the DMOZ Open Directory Project. While volunteers certainly contribute to it, there is a pretty good chance that any sleazy chicanery deployed simply to get one's clientele listed in their directory will be detected and removed. Second, the DMOZ editors reserve the right to include or deny listings as they see fit. They can deny a listing admission if its description sounds too promotional in nature. They will flag and delete submissions that seem to be created using auto-submission software. You may even get banned if you persist to spam them, something that unscrupulous SEO hotshots love to do in order to optimize the time they spend suckering their clients.

Even completely legitimate submissions may not get listed, at least not in a timely manner. Depending on factors such as the volume of submission to a particular category, it may take a very long time for a submission is even reviewed! According to DMOZ, even accepted sites can take anywhere from two weeks to several months to be listed on partner sites that use Open Directory data.

Short of becoming an editor yourself, there is simply no guaranteed way to get your website listed in DMOZ.