DMOZ submission tips

How to get listed in DMOZ

Getting listed in the DMOZ directory, also known as the Open Directory Project, used to be of paramount importance when optimising your website and although it no longer has the same pull that it used to, DMOZ inclusion is a good way to get good quality incoming links, (as they feed other directories and engines) and is a direct route into the Google Directory. Bellow I offer DMOZ submission tips - how not to and how to submit to the DMOZ directory.

DMOZ is not a search engine, it’s a directory that is moderated by human editors and from submitting to DMOZ to appearing in DMOZ can take a year in some cases. There are shortcuts into the directory, which I’ll touch on later on, but if you intend to submit to DMOZ, you must ensure that you stick to the rules, as if you step outside of them, the DMOZ editor will simply delete your submission and ignore all future submissions by you.

The rules of submitting to DMOZ:

  • Don’t submit duplicate URLS, duplicate content, mirror sites, or sites that are not substantially different.
  • Don’t submit sites with repetitive content, or content that could be seen as unhelpful to DMOZ directory readers
  • NEVER submit your site more than once. They sit in a DMOZ editor’s admin area and duplicate entries are automatically flagged up, which 9 out of 10 times sees all submissions binned and the domain name blacklisted in the DMOZ editor’s own admin area - which other DMOZ editors can access.
  • Don’t submit internal site pages to DMOZ, submit your root URL.
  • Don’t waste your time submitting sites featuring illegal material.
  • Don’t submit sites with broken links, graphics that don’t load or incomplete sites and never, ever, submit a site to DMOZ that has an under construction page on it.
  • Don’t submit a site with affiliate links on the index page, or a site that is substantially an affiliate site.
  • Don’t try and submit a site to DMOZ in a category that it doesn’t fit into - you are simply wasting your time.

How to give yourself the best chance of being listed in DMOZ

  • Try to choose the most appropriate category that has an editor. If you submit to a DMOZ category that has an editor, your submission will be looked at much quicker than a Cat with no editor. The category editor’s details are featured at the bottom of every DMOZ category page.
  • Submit your root URL. and not
  • Submit a short title. The name of the site is usually preferred by DMOZ editors. Don’t try to use an optimised string, if the editor doesn’t simply bin the submission as a result, it’ll likely be changed to the name of your site.
  • Use a short description of your site - under 20 words, use sentence case only, don’t use promotional language and DON’T repeat the title in your description. Keep it short and straightforward.
  • Ensure your email address matches the domain that you are entering wherever possible. DMOZ editors like to see an email address like, when they are looking at a DMOZ submission for the site
  • Once your site has been submitted, don’t resubmit for another month.
  • If the site has a contactable editor, it can be helpful to drop him a quick email to ask about your submission. Don’t ask why it has not yet appeared - you are likely to have it simply deleted for pestering them! Instead, ask advice from them. Something along the lines of: I appreciate you are really busy, and I’m sorry to trouble you, but I was wondering if you could take a minute to answer a quick question from a DMOZ novice. I have submitted my site to  (and then name the category), and I am wondering if you feel that is the best cat to list in. My site is (domain name) and I offer (product or service). I would appreciate any help or advice you can offer me. It doesn’t always work, but it’s worth taking the time to do it if you are not listed in DMOZ within a month.

How do I know all of this? I was a DMOZ editor for 4 years!

5 Responses to “DMOZ submission tips”

Antony Says:

Hi, thanks for the informative article (wish I’d have thought about reading advice like this before submitting to Dmoz).

As a former Dmoz editor, can I ask you whether it is worth re-submitting if a submission hasn’t been listed after a year?

Truthfully, I’m at a loss to understand why our submission hasn’t gone through.

From what I can see, we adhered to all the points you make in your article.

Thanks Antony

I would suggest that you write again to the editor of the upper category and ask him to look into it, before resubmitting. For example, if you are in the cat Shopping: Crafts: Toiletries, you have to go back to shopping before you find an editors name and that’s sunkist. His email address is If you email him directly and briefly explain the situation and briefly outline the details of your listing and ask his advice on how to move forward. Good luck with it. BM

peter coombs Says:

I must admit I find this a great mystery. I have submitted to DMOZ three times now over the last eighteen months, doing my best to follow all the rules and leaving a good three months in between the submissions. The last submission was about a year ago.

My site is clean and tidy, is a 12 yr old domain but guess media and graphics is a very competitive area.

But nothing, zilch

Interesting you say about the editors being listed at the bottom of the categories - hadn’t noticed that, pehaps its time to try again. Locate an editor and write to him, but first, remove the 301 redirect from your root URL. Editors don’t like 301 redirects, even if it’s fairly inocuouis, as yours is from the root to index.php. BM

Pokies Says:

Our sites has been offered a couple of times and nothing happened. We saw lots of other sites being accepted ever since. We made a last suggestion today but we think our premier gaming portal enjoys editors’ dislike or they expect something. I heard a lot of talking on editors being corrupt and in many cases they do not take real competitor’s site as they have their own site as well - listed of course. I can’t say I ever came accross any editors that I would call corrupt, in my time as a DMOZ editor. As for listing their own sites, yes they can, but they have to go through an editing process the same as you and me, from the editor above them, in the master category, or failing that, from another category. There were certainly lazy editors and editors that were full of their own self-importance and who liked to play god with their cats, but none were corrupt. The reason that your site isn’t getting on is that it’s an affilliate site and a very obvious one. The editors don’t want such obvious affilliate sites in their categories. Obvious affilliate sites offer nothing to the directory, so 90% of them are ignored.

SAM Says:

We submitted the following details to DEMOZ in May 2012.

Category: Business: Directories
Site URL:
Title of site: Business to Business Marketing Suppliers Directory Marketplace Connecting Buyers and Sellers
Site Description: Mango B2B specialises in Business to Business (b to b) supplier directory listings that are of a high standard.

Our site is still not listed (it has been four months. now)
Where are we going wrong?
When would you recommend we re-submit?

Does the category have an editor? If not, re-submit to a cat with an editor. I would suggest changing the Title to Mango B2B. BM

B2B Says:

Thank you for your help.

I re-submited following your suggestions.
and received confirmation:

“Submission Received
Your site submission has been received.
An editor will review your submission for inclusion in the directory.
Once your site has been accepted into the Open Directory, it may take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months”

Any idea how long on average it takes to get listed? It depends whether there is an active editor in the category that you have submitted to. If you have an editor that checks new submissions regularly - a week or so. If there is no editor, or the editor rarely works on his cat, it could be months, I’m afraid :) BM

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