Search: SEO as Editors

January 9th, 2003 by Richy B. Leave a reply »

[ODP Search Engine Optimisation]One question, which I’m sure a few people will ask (and, in fact, I was asked at the interview), is how will me being employed as a SEO (search engine optimiser/optimizer) affect my editorship at the Open Directory?

Basically, it won’t. Many other editors work in the Search Engine Optimisation field and as long as we don’t give “our clients” preferential treatment then everything is ok.

Admittedly, our editing logs may be investigated closer than a “standard editor” (as history has taught us quite a few editor SEO just abuse their position as editors and that sort of thing needs to be monitored) but as long as we follow the guidelines then everything is alright.

One good instance of this is when I was working for my previous employer. None of their websites (around 5 of them) were listed in the ODP – so, I felt it was my “duty” to ensure they were listed. I submitted them to the appropriate category within the Business branch and then logged in as an editor. I then reviewed all the sites awaiting review there (around 60 of them if I remember correctly) and gave “my sites” standard descriptions and listings – look at the category and you can’t tell which ones were “mine”.

Most sites are also “allowed” a duplicate listing within the locality where they are physically based. So, I went into the appropriate category in Regional/ and hunted down their location. However, since they were based in a very small town/large village their locality hadn’t been created yet. So I had to create it, list them and then go on a hunt for other sites to help fill that category. That category now has around 20 sites listed.

In this way, yes, you can argue that I do give “my sites” a little preferential treatment – but in a way that benefits others. I do not add “hyped” descriptions or keywords (as that’ll get me removed as an editor), I do not “cool” my own sites or any sites I have any sort of connection (however tenuous) with – hell, I very rarely cool ANY sites (only usually “official” sites in categories with over a dozen sites), and I also ensure competitors websites are reviewed at the same time as “my own” and are not discriminated against.

For more information about SEO’s and the ODP, see the ODP’s guideline on Conflicts Of Interest and the section on editor Account Removal.

I know when I submitted my blog to the ODP, I did try clearing out all the other blogs awaiting review in that category. I moved all the foreign language sites to the appropriate World/ category (which is for all sites not in English) and then started reviewing the sites that were left. After around a dozen or so sites, I got bored and kept on meaning to go back to that category, but I never did. Therefore, quite a number of people had their sites reviewed (or speeded) up by me just submitting my blog. Another editor then went through the remaining queue (around 100 sites) reviewing them and mine – and within a month or two, my blog was listed there.

I guess, what I’m trying to say is that yes, we do have corrupt editors that are concentrated on self-promotion (and, if you find one that you suspect may be doing this – either report it to myself or to a meta editor (their editor aliases have ‘meta’ against them in that list – just go to replacing ‘EDITORNAME’ with their editor alias/name: do NOT ‘CC Staff’ – only 2 people are ‘ODP Staff’ and they get enough email already – the meta’s handle abuse investigations) and it WILL be investigate and if the editor is abusing their privilege, they WILL be removed from the ODP.

However, the majority of editors (including myself) are NOT corrupt and really love being involved in the ODP and the editor community and would not want to sacrifice their editorship. Think of the ODP editors as the police force – 99.99% of all police officers are honest, hard-working people who enjoy their job, but the 0.01% that are corrupt/take back-handers/abuse their position give every other police officer a bad name.

This post is over 6 months old.

This means that, despite my best intentions, it may no longer be accurate.

This blog holds over 12 years of archived content - during that time, I may have changed my opinion of something, technology will have advanced (and old "best standards" may no longer be the case), my technology "know how" has improved etc etc - it would probably take me a considerable amount of time to update all the archival entries: and defeat the point of keeping them anyway.

Please take these posts for what they are: a brief look into my past, my history, my journey and "caveat emptor".


  1. Meredith says:

    That’s a truly excellent statement for those not familiar with the ODP’s inner workings, especially for those who would be suspicious of your possible conflict of interest. I know your editing history very well, so I know you’ll do just fine in both roles – it didn’t even occur to me that one might compromise the other. If anything, your knowledge of ODP will probably be a big help in your new job! And congratulations, too.

  2. I am an SEO too. I am an editor for GoGuides, Zeal, and a few small directories, but I get rejected time and time again for DMOZ.

    My site got listed in the local region, and then removed when I submitted it to my category as well. Now my newsletter is somehow listed as one of the two dozen site promotion newsletters, but my main site seems like it will never get accepted…I dare not submit it for fear of loosing my newsletter listing…

    Many webmasters are impatient and do not understand how search engines work or how large directories work.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: