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The Google Directory

AKA The Open Directory Project AKA ODP AKA DMOZ

The Google Directory is the same as The Open Directory Project ( In order to get listed in the Google Directory you must get listed in The Open Directory Project. Google and DMOZ have a partnership where if a web site is listed in the Open Directory Project Google will include that site’s “Description” and “Category” for that listing on the Search Results Page. To see if your site is listed in DMOZ go to and type in “” (no www). Here’s how to easily see if a Google result is found in the Open Directory. Below is just a result of the top 4 sites in Google for “internet marketing” at the time of this writing.

Notice that sites 3 and 4 have a Description and Category, but sites 1 and 2 do not. The description and Category on #3 and #4 are taken from the Open Directory Project.
How the Google Directory (DMOZ) works
The Google Directory is run by HUMAN Editors. This means that when you submit your site to the Google directory listing, a real person will go to your site for review. The editors are volunteers. In theory, the editors are doing this to make the web a better place. When you submit a site to the Google web directory there is no telling how long it will take the editor to get around to reviewing your site. It could be hours, it could be months after sending a Google directory submission. I’ve even heard that some categories in the Google directory have sites that have been waiting to be reviewed even longer than several months. Google directory editors do not let you know if they have accepted, or rejected your listing. With DMOZ, it is a process of waiting and watching. Before approving your listing in the Open Directory Project, the editor will go to your site, and will browse around first. They are looking for several things that form the basic criteria for listings in the Open Directory Project. If any part of your site appears to be under construction they will automatically reject the site. The editor will then see if your site has been submitted to the Google directory’s best category for your listing. If they feel that the site would fit better in another category they might send it to that category editor for review in another area of the Google directory listing… or they may just reject your submission. When you submit a site to the Open Directory you are allowed to suggest a description. The editor may take this into consideration. Before you submit to the Open Directory Project you will want to study the language of other descriptions in that category. The description below is boxed in yellow. The Open Directory has a good outline of how to write your description, it says,”
(Write) A well-written, objective description will make listing your site easier.
Write in complete sentences and/or descriptive phrases using proper grammar, punctuation and correct spelling.
Do not use ALL CAPS in your description.
Avoid capitalizing every word in a sentence.
Don’t repeat the title of your site in the description.
Avoid using promotional language and strings of key words and search terms. Words and phrases like “cool” and “best darn site” will be removed.”
The important thing to remember when writing your description for the Google web directory is to make it the most accurate description of your site. The more accurate your suggested description is to what your site says, the more likely you are to have the editor use mostly what you suggested and approve your Google directory submission. It is the job of the Google web directory editor to make sure that the site has a good description that accurately describes what the web site is about – not what your business is about – not what are your keywords, but what the web site is about The best way to write a description is to keep it short, keep it keyword rich, and make it exactly what the site is about. This will create a much greater chance of having your Google directory submission approved.

Official tips on writing for DMOZ are found here.

The biggest factor in getting into a category is “does your site fit into that category?” You will want to study other sites in that category to see if there are others similar to your site.

So let’s say that now your Google directory listing has been entered into the Open Directory Project. The way that things are supposed to work is that each month The Open Directory will provide code for Google to use to update it’s version of the directory, called The Google Directory. In theory, about a month after you’ve been listed with The Open Directory, you will be then listed on the Google Directory. At such point, you should also have added to a search result pages showing your Open Directory Description and Category.

Once you have been listed in DMOZ it should take from 1 week to 11 weeks for Google to update the Google Directory to match the Open Directory.

Interesting Stuff: The Open Directory was bought by Netscape several years ago. When AOL bought Netscape, they also obtained the Open Directory Project. However, from what I’ve heard, DMOZ only has 2 paid employees. Doesn’t sound like AOL cares too much about the Open Directory, and it’s a shame, especially since the DMOZ plays a role in Google Results (which AOL now uses also).


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