EMPOWERING ORDINARY MARKETERS
TO BUILD EXTRAORDINARY LINKS.

How to Get A Link From DMOZ in 2013

by Jon Cooper
141 Flares 141 Flares ×

dmoz-head

If you don’t think a link from DMOZ matters, even just a little bit, then you’re simply ignoring the reality of this ancient directory. Whether it’s worth the time or not (that’s the real debate), I wanted to ask a few people who’ve had success getting a link from DMOZ even in 2013, because it still matters to some of us.

Some answers overlap, but I included them so you can understand what the majority are doing to get the link.

Chris Gilchrist at Hitreach

I’d like to preface my suggestions with a few thoughts on DMOZ. I already mentioned on Gaz Copeland’s recent G+ thread that I don’t think the value of a DMOZ listing is necessarily in the link itself but that acquiring it often has value. The following are worth considering:

  1. Some clients believe a DMOZ link has value, which makes it valuable to them, despite the true value of the link.
  2. If a client does value a listing it can often be quicker to just acquire it than try to educate/convince a client that it’s not worth your time and their money. The last 3 I’ve submitted took 10 minutes each to achieve but a conversation about DMOZ could easily use up 30 mins with each client and still not be successful in convincing them.
  3. If a client thinks you can’t get them listed, when they can see their competitors have been successful, they might question your abilities as an SEO.
  4. It pisses other companies, and SEO’s, off when you get your clients/assets listed which means they allocate time/energy to that exercise while you’re onto other links.
  5. Despite the link possibly being low value it generally adds perceived value/weight to a domain as people still use it as a quality indicator.

So please don’t go after a DMOZ link by default but do consider the points above.

With that in mind here’s what I did to get the last 3 submissions listed within 2-12 weeks of submission. They are all for UK based, real companies, as that’s who I generally do work for but I’m trying some experiments on project sites and will add the results here.

All these examples have been unsuccessful in being listed of a long period of time (6 months – 2 years) and were submitted multiple times during that period. They were then accepted fairly quickly after being resubmitted.

All I did each time was make the company details blatantly obvious on the website and use a very dry company description on the submission.

This leads me to believe the editors don’t want to spend time hunting around trying to establish the legitimacy of the site and by making it very easy and quick you greatly increase your chances of inclusion.

This makes sense to me given that amount of crap on the internet and the amount of submissions DMOZ editors must have to process. Spam sites can look so good, many are better than some real company’s sites, so by offering credentials to quickly validate the sites quality you are saving them a bunch of work.

Example 1: Pharos Parcel

Pharos Parcel needed a blog bolted onto their site and some link building. One of the first things they mentioned was they really wanted listed on DMOZ following 2 years of previous agencies being unsuccessful. They had tried 4 times apparently. After resubmission they were listed within 12 weeks.

NB: We couldn’t update the © year as their CMS didn’t facilitate that. Laugh or cry your choice.

Before (footer)
Pharos-Parcel-Footer-Before

After (footer)
Pharos-Parcel-Footer-After

Example 2: Best4Tyres

Best4Tyres.com, an online tyre merchant, had been trying to get listed for over a year. After we redeveloped their website we resubmitted them for inclusion and they were listed within 3 weeks.

NB: This time we added only the address to the footer & everything else to the about page.

Before (footer)
Best4Tyres-Before

After (footer)
Best4Tyres-After

Example 3: Holiday Parks

Holiday Parks, a chain of family holiday parks in Scotland, had been trying to get listed for over a year. This time we didn’t add anything to the footer (again a crappy CMS) and instead added it all to the about us page. They were listed within 8 weeks.

You’ll be able to find all 3 listings in the directory if you want to see the description text but all I would advise is to write them as if you worked at the company and had no enthusiasm whatsoever for the business. This will avoid any kind of promotional text or marketing undertones and leave just a very dry description which seems to be far more acceptable.

Joel Klettke at Vovia

My entire approach to DMOZ stems from the core fact that the site is crushed – absolutely crushed – with requests for additions. If the spammy directories have wait times of 3 – 6 months for approvals, you can only imagine how much more DMOZ has to wade through. So, they bring on editors. Editors who often do a less than stellar jobs and have ulterior motives for being on the ins with DMOZ. They get to pick and choose who they approve (and when).
Easiest way to get into DMOZ? Sniff out an editor and brown nose your way into their good books. Then, get down on one knee and pop the question. It’s a bit like I imagine dealing with the mob might be – make them an offer they can’t refuse.

John Doherty at Distilled

There are two ways to get a link from DMOZ in 2013:

  1. Become an editor yourself, build some cred, dig through all the links that have been submitted in the last two years (most are abandoned by editors), then become the editor of the category (or categories) where your site should be listed, dig through those links and approve/disapprove them, and then add your own links. Or,
  2. Become friends with the editor of the category that you should be listed in and get them to add your link.

The second one almost never works. In fact it can be basically impossible to find out who the editor is unless you are already an editor. Getting accepted to be an editor is not very hard, but you do need to prove yourself by adhering strictly to the guidelines and building your credibility as an editor. Then, apply to be the editor for the category you would like to be in. It’s important to note that you should not put in your own link before you have gone through the whole queue of links waiting to be approved.

 

I had a client who did this, who put in the work to become an editor, build their name, and then become the editor of two more categories. They were finally able to acquire two links from DMOZ, but it took a solid 15 hours of work. I’m not sure it was worth it, but they got DMOZ links in the education space.

Melanie Nathan at Canadian SEO

As an editor, I would tell them to make sure that their site fits the DMOZ criteria, and then submit it   As a SEO, I would tell them to apply to become an editor so they can add their own site (like I did) or locate an editor who is willing to help ‘facilitate’ their mission.  Low level DMOZ editors are only able to edit the specific categories they apply and get accepted for, whereas senior editors are able to edit almost anything.  Low level editors have the ability to push ‘suggestions’ directly to other editors though and, in my experience, editors give other editors preference

Geoff Kenyon at GeoffKenyon.com

The only reliable way I’ve found to get people into DMOZ is pretty simple – it’s to become an editor. Whenever I tried to do this, it took a while to write a good application (or two) and you have to wait a while in some cases. Several years ago I was working with a bike shop and to get them listed, I simply became an editor for a regional bike shop section of the directory – here’s an example (not the one I did though).

I haven’t done this in a while as it takes a good amount of work and I would rather spend my time working on other content or link building strategies than getting a directory link.

Conclusion

If you can become an editor, great, but for others who’ve tried numerous times and failed (i.e. me), building a relationship with one seems to be the right route.

Thoughts? Would love to start a discussion on who’s had some recent success outside of these 5, and if anyone thinks the link is still very much worth getting or actually worthless.

Also – make sure you check out my link building course & follow me on Twitter.

This post was written by...

Jon Cooper – who has written 121 posts on Point Blank SEO.

Jon Cooper+ is an SEO consultant based out of Gainesville, FL who specializes in link building. For more information on him and Point Blank SEO, visit the about page. Follow him on Twitter.

NEED LINKS?
Relax - I send out free emails full of
cutting edge link building tips.
28 Comments
  1. Joe Robison says:

    I was looking at DMOZ the other week and thinking of applying to become an editor, but the form looked long and I just assumed that no one ever gets picked to become an editor. I think I’ll give it a go now though, knowing that others have become editors.

    Is there any good way to figure out which sections are missing editors so we can more easily get accepted to become one?

    • Jon Cooper says:

      I wish there was a way, but so far I haven’t found one (thought the same thing too). An editor might be able to find out, but if you know an editor, they can usually get the listing for you instead.

    • Sahil says:

      Especially post penguin and panda i don’t think DMOZ links carry that much value or pass on so much authority to the domain. it’s just another high quality directory at the end of the day. People have so much addiction to the old links which now has no value.

  2. Gareth says:

    1) Buy a similar domain to one listed e.g. ponintblankseo-global.com

    2) Point/map onto original site

    3) Tell editor you have rebranded the domain and to amend

    4) 301 the authority to wherever

    Job done!

  3. Chris says:

    Okay I’ve never had much trouble with getting on DMOZ as you can normally give an editor of any category $10 to submit your site to the relevant category on your behalf.

    As Melanie stated DMOZ editors seem to get to the front of the queue & know the best way to write the listing.

  4. Surely the spammy nature of the tricks listed here and the fact that it’s clearly ‘who you know’ shows that DMOZ should have no value. I’d like proof, (other than a client wanting it) that shows it still carries weight.

  5. Honestly. I wasn’t too happy with the conclusion, what about the advice from Chris at hitreach?

    He simply did it by adhering to the rules and making it as easy as possible for an editor to approve – information in the correct places etc… surely this should be the #1 approach. Then, if all else fails move onto what everybody else said?

    • Jon Cooper says:

      The point is, at least in my experience, I’ve done that & submitted many times (over the course of 3 years), and even that didn’t work.

      I’m not saying “no, don’t do that”, I’m saying if you’ve hit a wall (and been there for a while), then go find an editor or try to become one yourself.

  6. Neal says:

    I have bought many domains that already have a dmoz listing. Quickest and easiest way by far.

  7. Jeff says:

    I haven’t tried, but surely Fiverr would be the simplest approach.

    Or the more convoluted way – pick up an expired domain that already has a DMOZ listing, and 301 it to the target site. Hat tip to Terry Kyle for that one.

  8. Thanks for the info, it makes perfect sense, I will always advise my clients to add there company number and full contact detail on their websites to get past these issues

  9. Iniquitous says:

    Good work here Jon, DMOZ has been one of the trickiest directories in the past years to get our client’s website listed in. Some get approved, some do not. We find the older and larger the site is, the more likely it will get in.

  10. Zahid S says:

    Many thanks Jon. I’m really struggling to get my domain listed with dmoz. Your article really cleared most of my doubts.

  11. It’s wild to believe that it is so difficult to be listed on dmoz. I wonder if I will be included. I assume it would only be a matter of time. I didn’t realize you had to be an editor or have connections. i guess most new companies will never be listed…..

    • Finally got listed. I tried to be an editor but was rejected. I think it was because there was no need as there were too few requests in my category. Anyway, got listed and am happy. Not sure it really matters though.

  12. Lina says:

    I thought this was article on how to better dmoz submission
    Still interesting reading material, thank you

  13. DMOZ editor says:

    Points to note:

    1. Trickery is the worst idea possible. It puts your site(s) at risk of being *permanently removed* from the directory. And yes, it has happened many times, so please don’t think this is idle talk.

    2. Jon Cooper, your examples are misleading. Holiday Parks was listed no less than 5 years ago, probably at least 7, so saying you got it listed for your client is not at all true. P.S. it was submitted to the wrong category.

    3. Contrary to what you read elsewhere, we accept new editors every day of the year, and I’d guess that 98% of them own a site. As long as you’re honest about your affiliations and don’t favor them over other sites, you are welcome to be an editor. Of course you’re here at dmoz.org to get your site listed! We aren’t stupid and we don’t live in caves! Just be honest and fair, that’s all we ask.

    4. When you suggest your site to the directory, READ THE GUIDELINES! Yeah, I know “oh I did that but you still didn’t list it”.. but the fact is, you haven’t. The vast majority of suggestions are to the wildly wrong category and submitters have completely ignored the instructions on how to write a good title & description. Don’t even bother submitting a description about how great your site/company is, or how wonderful the product is. Look at descriptions and titles in the category, and write something like that. THAT will get your site noticed in the submission queue. If you’ve done that work for us, we’re far more likely to list the site sooner.

    Want more info? Try reading these articles:

    http://blog.dmoz.org/2007/10/08/why-hasnt-my-site-been-accepted-into-dmoz/
    http://blog.dmoz.org/2009/03/09/what-makes-a-good-title-and-description/

    • Jon Cooper says:

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your 2 cents, it’s much appreciated!

      All the advice is awesome, but just want to point out that it wasn’t me in any of those examples who did that, it was Chris (he wrote that particular response).

    • Chase says:

      Well, all of your tips sound easy enough. Your snide remarks are quite pathetic, however. Are you really insinuating that 99% of the people who submit a site are just plain stupid?

      People understand categories quite fine. The major problem that no one talks about is that DMOZ is quite possibly the crappiest website I have ever seen.

      The categories are a nightmare! It’s like a giant library that has had one too many bombs blow up in it.

      Every time I visit DMOZ I feel like I have somehow time traveled back to 1970.

  14. I think the problem is that we’re so used to pitching our websites (online and off) that it has become second nature when submitting to directories. Thanks for the links, I’ve gone through them and I know now why my website hasn’t been listed.

  15. Rahu Kale says:

    Great post Jon,
    You have brought some best tricks for Dmoz. It will really help us moving forward.
    Keep share such things and guide us.
    Cheers to you.

  16. Charlie says:

    I have submitted about four sites to DMOZ about a year and a half ago – NOT one has been included! I have re-submitted again and again (this year), but to no avail. I even tried to be an editor – but was “rejected!” I finally gave up after my sites AND myself were rejected! Boy, what a let down that is.

  17. Bill says:

    That DMOZ editor is full of it imo. I have submitted 2 different well designed sites that have useful information – correct categories – no spam – no keyword stuffing – dry descriptions. Never get listed.

141 Flares Twitter 72 Facebook 0 Google+ 39 LinkedIn 30 141 Flares ×