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Is the Open Directory Project still important?

The Open Directory Project (ODP or has recently received a lot of negative press. Is the ODP still as important as it was?

What is the Open Directory Project?

The Open Directory Project is an Internet directory that started in 1998 as an alternative to Yahoo's human edited directory. When Google began using the ODP as the source for the Google Directory, it was almost guaranteed that a web site received better Google rankings when it was listed in the ODP.

What is the problem with the Open Directory Project?

In contrast to search engines that use software programs to index web pages, volunteer editors read and classify the web sites that are submitted to the Open Directory Project.

Many categories in the ODP don't have a volunteer editor anymore and the editors of the other categories cannot handle all of the submissions they receive. Some categories have a backlog of several months.

Rumor has it that some ODP editors accept money to speed up submissions and that some people became ODP editors just to promote their own web sites.

Is it still worth to submit your web site to the Open Directory Project?

It is still worth to submit your web site to the Open Directory Project but you shouldn't be disappointed if your web site doesn't get through. Many web sites mirror ODP content so a link from the ODP means that many other web sites will also link to your site.

However, there are many other Internet directories that can also have a positive effect on your web site. Don't focus on the ODP alone but submit your web site to many different directories and search engines so that your web site is not dependent on a single source.

More about the benefits of being listed in Internet directories can be found in the recommended resources section below.

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July 2005 search engine articles