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Does DMOZ still have a role in SEO?

Kalee Raisor
Kalee Raisor Marketing Tips

I've been an editor at Dmoz since 2000, and there is a lot of good and bad information and incorrect information on the internet. Now, DMOZ is generally pretty closed mouth about itself, but I'm going to try and address a few things to help out.

Now, let's cover a few things that seem to be the most common misconceptions.

Does DMOZ have a role in SEO?

Yes it does! While it is not a significant factor like it used to be and it's not a huge win, it will contribute to your link graph in a good way by adding a back link on an existing page that Google knows has been manually reviewed by a human, and gives it value accordingly.

For example, let's say you have a company that creates software for pet shopping and the most relevant category is /Shopping/Pets/Software/, if your site is listed you now have a back link from PageRank 3 page that Google trusts. That's awesome!


Related video on why manual human reviews matter in directory links:


Why won't DMOZ accept my submission?

For the same reason that if you go write a few lines about your company or website and create a Wikipedia page it will get removed. At DMOZ editors have spent a lot of time trying to help people add sites, the best information is in the DMOZ documentation.

How to suggest a site to the Open Directory - Step 1:

  • Do not suggest mirror sites. Mirror sites are sites that contain identical content, but have altogether different URLs.
  • Do not suggest URLs that contain only the same or similar content as other sites you may have listed in the directory. Sites with overlapping and repetitive content are not helpful to users of the directory. Multiple suggestions of the same or related sites may result in the exclusion and/or deletion of those and all affiliated sites.
  • Do not disguise your suggestion and suggest the same content more than once.
  • Example: and
  • Do not suggest any site with an address that redirects to another address.
  • The Open Directory has a policy against the inclusion of sites with illegal content. Examples of illegal material include child pornography; libel; material that infringes any intellectual property right; and material that specifically advocates, solicits or abets illegal activity (such as fraud or violence).
  • Do not suggest sites "under construction". Wait until a site is complete before suggesting it. Sites that are incomplete, contain "Under Construction" notices, or contain broken graphics or links aren't good candidates for the directory.
  • Suggest pornographic sites to the appropriate category under Adult.
  • Suggest non-English sites to the appropriate category under World.
  • Don't suggest sites consisting largely of affiliate links.

Source: Suggesting a Site

Why was I rejected as an editor?

This one seems the most difficult for people, try to remember that the rules for submitting the site publicly are the same for editors.

First of all, if your intent is to submit your own website, no problem! Just be honest, objective, and follow the rules. List your site your site as an affiliated site and be honest you want to list it. Be prepared to put in some work though and help the place out, a lot of people pay for listed at and the Yahoo Directory, we take submissions for free, but we're all volunteers.

So take some time and go through submissions in your new category, review the sites, and pretty soon you'll understand why it takes so long to get your site approved!

Are there requirements for being an editor?

Everyone is welcome to join DMOZ. All you need is an interest or passion and a computer. While there are no specific prerequisites, we seek people who have a genuine interest in building a directory that is free of commercial interests and favoritism. Fairness and objectivity prevail here. Those who still believe the Web should be free and accessible to all, without bias and unnecessary noise, will most enjoy the DMOZ experience. Potential editors should demonstrate a keen eye for spotting quality and useful sites, attention to detail, and possess good grammar, spelling and communication skills.

Source: Becoming a DMOZ Editor

Now let's take a minute and address a few specific things from this reddit thread

OliverTheWanderer said:

I tried to become a mod and I was rejected and given the reason that I hadn't capitalized an "i" in the email I sent thus disqualifying me from modness.

Then I found out that before you can become a mod, you have to get approved by the mod in the area you are in and it was the same guy rejecting my sites that rejected my application.

FlatBackFour said:

I've read so many comments online about people applying to become a Dmoz mod - including people with tons of experience and very impressive professional qualifications - and being refused for no good reason.

These statements are totally incorrect, the only people who can approve or deny applications and very senior editors, called "Meta" editors. If your application was denied you can find why here:

Proper screening of new editor applicants is critical in keeping a clean and consistent directory. The ODP seeks honest and ethical editors who will embrace the project's overall spirit, and edit as a contribution to the greater Web searching community.

There are no strict guidelines, checklists or magic formulas used to evaluate new applications. Each applicant should be evaluated on his/her individual merit and unique qualities and circumstances. However, here some key points to remember, as well as advice routinely given to people who ask about the ODP's application process. Keep in mind, these are not hard and fast guidelines or checklists.

Source: Meta Editor Guidelines - New Editor Applications