DMOZ - What it is & Why it is Important to Your Site Listing in Google
(Posted 1/4/2011) - A customer asked me to change the description of her website that appears in Google. The current description that Google displayed was outdated and she wanted a description that better described her current products and services. What she didn't realize was that the description didn't come from her website - it actually came from a directory at DMOZ (dmoz.org).
What is DMOZ? From the DMOZ site, here is a description of its mission:
- The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.
- The web continues to grow at staggering rates. Automated search engines are increasingly unable to turn up useful results to search queries. The small paid editorial staffs at commercial directory sites can't keep up with submissions, and the quality and comprehensiveness of their directories has suffered.
- Instead of fighting the explosive growth of the Internet, the Open Directory provides the means for the Internet to organize itself.
Is DMOZ being arrogant in describing itself as "the means for the Internet to organize itself?" Maybe not. Here's what Google has to say about their source for site titles and descriptions: "Google's creation of sites' titles and descriptions (or "snippets") is completely automated and takes into account both the content of a page as well as references to it that appear on the web. We use a number of different sources for this information, including descriptive information in the META tag for each page. Where this information isn't available, we may use publicly available information from DMOZ."
Other search engines also use DMOZ, although I'm not sure to what extent. To help promote your web site to Google and other search engines, you should make sure that your website is listed in DMOZ. Why not - after all, it is free! Here's how to get started:
- Find out if your domain is already listed in DMOZ (I sometimes register my customer's sites, so your site could be listed even if you don't remember requesting its placement). Go to dmoz.org and search for your website (enter yourdomainname.com in the search box).
- If your site is listed, click here.
- If your domain isn't listed in DMOZ, click here.
I hope this doesn't sound more complicated that it really is - listing your website in the DMOZ directory is one means to promote your site accurately to Google and other search engines.
Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year,
Prairie Skies Technical Services, LLC