Submitting Your Site to The Open Directory Project: Some Do's And Don'ts
by Donald Nelson

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 
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 
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 

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