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Monday, 9 April 2024

DMOZ The Open Directory Project and Gambling Web Sites


The Open Directory Project

One of the first things a casino webmaster has to do once they have launched their casino portal website is to get people to visit it.  One of the goals of any webmaster is suggesting their site to DMOZ.

However DMOZ is notoriously difficult for gambling sites to be listed, primarily due to the nature of the sites that operate in this field.  The majority of sites suggested to this area are nothing more than affiliate link and banner farms, adding nothing of note to the DMOZ resource.

The question is, should striving to get your site listed in DMOZ become part of your overall search engine optimisation strategy?

As a former DMOZ Editor, I look at the value of DMOZ and more importantly the actual purpose of the directory.

In addition I provide you with information regarding what DMOZ Editors are looking for, when assessing a website to list within the directory.

DMOZ – Is Not a Listing Service for Webmasters

The first thing I would like to point out is that DMOZ is not a listing service for webmasters. However, if your were to read the numerous webmaster and seo forums on the internet, you would be led to believe that the sole purpose of the directory, is to provide a service for webmasters. This is completely incorrect. The purpose of the directory is to provide a resource for it’s end users, it’s visitors. To provide a useful resource of quality websites.

One of the many complaints leveled at the directory and their editors, particularly the Gambling Branch, is that the directory is very rarely updated and many of the listings are out of date and do not comply with the listing guidelines.

This is not actually the case, there are in fact at the time of writing this article just under 5,000 currently active editors. Including several with designated permissions in the Gambling Branch. In addition there are over 200 editors of which many are active who have permissions to edit anywhere within the directory.

The first rule and only rule of suggesting a site to DMOZ, is submit your suggestion and forget. Whilst this information is not what many webmasters want to hear, this is extremely good advice. Webmasters are better off spending their time adding quality informative content to their websites and obtaining links from other sources, rather than obsessing over obtaining a listing in the DMOZ Directory.

Value of DMOZ in Search

So why do webmasters still strive to attain a listing in DMOZ and what value if any does a listing in the directory provide a website when it comes to ranking in the major search engines?

There is no denying that a listing within the DMOZ directory, is a good back link to have for a website. Indeed a listing within the directory will also mean that backlinks will be attained from the hundreds of sites that utilise the DMOZ RDF files. This also used to include the now retired Google Directory.

In my opinion though, the value of a link in DMOZ is no different in terms of seo value than a backlink from another directory such as BOTW or from sites in sector that your site operates in. This is not to say that a link in DMOZ is bad, quite the opposite, but I must stress that a website does not require a listing in DMOZ to rank highly, even for competitive keywords which exists in the online gambling sector.

A DMOZ listing is just one of many numerous factors which the major search engines take into accounts when organising their search results.

All Well and Good but I still want my Gambling Site Listed

The most important thing any webmaster can do, is ensure that their site is designed for the visitor in mind and in turn provide quality informative content which anyone reading will find of benefit. If your site is just designed to drive traffic through affiliate links and banners, then I am afraid your site stands no chance of obtaining a listing within the directory.

If your site just contains adcopy reviews based on the materials provided by the affiliate programs you work with, then your site has no chance of being listed. However if your site provides objective, unique informative content, then it stands a good chance of being listed, when an editor with permissions in the category it has been suggested to reviews the site.

As an editor for DMOZ who had permissions to edit within the entire Gambling Branch, I can personally attest to the fact that the vast majority of suggested sites are nothing more than link and banner farms. Ask yourself without your webmasters hat on, if your site would indeed add value to the category you are suggesting it to.

Ensure the category you suggest your site to, is the one that reflects your site most suitably. Whilst suggesting it to an incorrect category does not mean your site will not be listed, it will however delay the time it takes before it is reviewed. As the reviewing editor will have to move your site to the most appropriate category, where it will then wait until an editor with permissions to edit there gets round to reviewing it. When suggesting your site to the directory, spend some time on the suggestion. Treat it with care and consideration. Do not use adcopy, promotional hype.

A suggestion using the title “Best Online Casinos” and a hyped description such as “Reviews of the best amazing online casinos available on the internet” will not be looked at favourably by the reviewing editor. Indeed this creates more work for the editor, as if the site is actually listable as per the DMOZ Gambling Guidelines, the reviewing editor will have to completely rewrite the title and description.

Once you have submitted your suggestion, do not suggest it again, even if after a year your site has not been listed. Doing so is counterproductive and if you make multiple resuggestions, it could get your site marked as spam.

If your site is listable as per the DMOZ Guidelines it will be listed. However no one can tell you when this can be. The best piece of advice is submit and forget.

DMOZ – Conclusion

A listing on DMOZ is a good link to have, but should not be regarded as the holy grail of seo. The rule is submit and forget. Remember that DMOZ is not a paid inclusion directory. There are countless paid directories which provide good value link backs to websites, popular examples include BOTW.org and Yahoo, which you can obtain listings on for a fee. DMOZ is not one of them.

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