DMOZ, ODP, Link Juice, Page Rank and SEO

In the past, I have recommended to clients that we submit their newly developed website to the Open Directory Project (also called ODP or dmoz – www.dmoz.org).  I did this as an SEO tactic.  Historically, ODP

  • dmozhas given a great backlink from their website to your website and helping your page rank (aka link juice)
  • been the “go to” website for search engines to access and index information on newly “set live” websites

But it seems like something is changing. Over the past while I have been asking myself whether listing a new website with www.dmoz.org is as important as it used to be. I ask this question because

  • often ODP website submissions do not get listed for a very long time, if at all
  • many categories within the directory do not have editors to review newly submitted websites
  • you can submit your newly developed website for indexing to search engines such as Google, !Yahoo and Bing
  • search engines do not always pick up new website data from the Open Directory Project

In the past, having your site listed with the Open Directory Project (aka dmoz) was a great way to get an inbound link with some power behind it. Linking from www.dmoz.org has been the Online World’s Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and provided you with link juice. Link juice, according to netlingo.com, is online jargon referring “to the quality of a web site’s link power, (as in page rank), number of link votes, etc. – that are obtained from backlinks or links from someone’s site back to yours.” So if you had a backlink (or had an inbound link) from the Open Directory Project, it boosted your page rank and therefore, “the importance” of your page. This was a good SEO tactic.

Historically, search engines retrieved new website listing data from dmoz to update their search engine results. Newly listed websites were regularly picked up and indexed by search engines within a short period of time of their listing on the ODP – usually on a weekly basis. Now with webmaster tools, I can submit websites to search engines directly and have the sites indexed within days of “setting them live.”

So does that mean that you dismiss ODP?

I don’t think so and this is why… ODP continues to be the only FREE human reviewed directory for the World Wide Web. And it is still the only volunteer directory on the web. There are others, for sure, but they all come at a price… some are a one time deal and others have annual fees.

SEO Recommendations

1.  SEO_phpCheck your listing – if you have listed previously with ODP. I know of several reputable, previously listed sites that ODP has dropped. You may have to go through the resubmission process.  Contact an editor.

2.  Be prepared to spend time tracking your ODP submission. Get on the forums to discuss your submission or email directory editors to inquire about your submission.

3.  Listing in a category with an editor may shorten your wait time (if it’s an appropriate category).  Even with an editor within a category, you might have to wait a long time for your submission to be reviewed.

4.  Consider using other directories – for a fee. Although ODP is the only directory that categorizes websites for free, there are others that you can choose from. Check out botw.org, dirjournal, joeant, skaffe, goguides, rubberstamped or sevenseek. All these directories provide backlinks and will add SEO value to your website.

Although I have high regard for the ODP and the work that they have done (voluntarily!), it seems that its importance and relevance is diminishing.  It might be time to consider other directories.

What has been your experience with ODP and what do you think about its value?

Web copywriter, lover of words, WordPress workshop facilitator. When I'm not writing, I am gardening, drinking coffee or letting my cat lounge on my lap.

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2 comments on “DMOZ, ODP, Link Juice, Page Rank and SEO
  1. dandelionweb says:

    Dawn you make good points. Google’s webmaster guidelines used to say “Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project…” This was removed in 2008 suggesting that, at least as far as Google is concerned, backlinks from directories such as the O.D.P. have less value now. I just don’t know that I’m interested in investing time submitting and monitoring site listings with the O.D.P any more.

  2. Ruth Maude says:

    Dawn you make good points. Google’s webmaster guidelines used to say “Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project…” This was removed in 2008 suggesting that, at least as far as Google is concerned, backlinks from directories such as the O.D.P. have less value now. I just don’t know that I’m interested in investing time submitting and monitoring site listings with the O.D.P any more.

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