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Category: Net: Search Engines

Search: SEO as Editors

[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.

Search: Blog Listed On The ODP

After just over a month of waiting, my little blog has been granted a listed on the Open Directory Project in the Weblogs/Personal/R category (actually listed on 28th of December at 3:45pm UK time). It’s listed as “Richy C’s Blog – Random ramblings about life, the web, the ODP and interesting finds.”

Yes, I am an ODP volunteer editor and because I’m an editall I could have added my site to anywhere in the ODP I liked – but I decided not to. I just submitted my site in the standard way (on the 8th of November at eight minutes past midnight) to the most appropriate category, and then waited for an editor specialising in that area to come along and review my site. When I submitted my site, there were over 100 unreviewed sites in that category (and, yes, I did do a quick ‘spam cleanup’ by moving other sites to more appropriate categories and reviewing one or two others) and now the unreviewed count in that category is down to single figures! Congratulations and thanks to the editor that reviewed my site (you know who you are 🙂 !).

Many people “grumble” about how long it takes to get listed in the ODP, but this instance shows that it just depends on how “interesting” each category is to an editor. If you submit to a Business/ or Shopping/ category that is normally full of spam, inappropriate submissions, affiliate link farms and the like – then the human volunteer editor will feel “downhearted” at having to continually separate the wheat from the chaff-but interesting categories such as some Arts/ and Regional/ tend to ‘attract’ editors as they are actually really interested in the subject matter.

Some people, reading that, may think “Well, I’ll submit to a totally inappropriate category in Regional/ then and my site will be listed really quick in Business” – but it won’t work that way. Your site will be reviewed, marked “Not appropriate for this category” and then moved to a category in the Business ‘tree’. It will probably won’t initially go to the ‘best’ category for your site and will then sit in ‘limbo’ being moved around categories, wasting editors time, until it get to the category you should have submitted to in the first place. THEN it will be reviewed and maybe listed – having been delayed for what could be several months. Of course, widely submitting your site to any category and in bulk will quickly earn you the label of a ‘spammer’ and ensure that your site will not be listed – ever! Oh – don’t worry, we do have ways of telling if you are trying to submit a competitors website to get them banned…

If you want to help the ODP – then please consider becoming a volunteer editor for any category that interests you!

Search: Yet Another Forum

[ODP Forums]It appears that Yet Another Forum has been started for discussion about ODP (the Open Directory Project – aka matters. This one is called and is run by an ex-editor (who, I believe, was removed because of abuse or self-promotional reasons).

Already their board has five 5 threads: “dmoz versus yahoo” (which basically asks if you should pay to get into Yahoo or try and get into the ODP – answer: do both!), “dmoz editors test” (where someone asks if there is a test to be an ODP editor: the answer is yes – we do have an application process which people have to pass), “me & kctipton” (where the board administrator ‘John Scott’ states that he is an ex-editor and has a little rant) and “death of the open directory project” (where a member states that ODP will probably die because of bad spelling, grammatical errors, over-listing of sites and omission of sites) and finally “A Solution to the ODP problems” which is actually a good read. However, the solutions proposed aren’t quite workable (as I stated in my post on Resource-Zone).

The main question is: Do we really need yet another board/forum where editors are expected to contribute? We already have the “semi-official” Resource-Zone forum where a large number of editors help out (I help out quite a bit and I’m about the 4th most active poster there: currently with 424 posts to my name) – it’s run by editors, contributed by editors and semi-supported by the ODP staff (i.e. they occasionally read some threads, contribute sometimes but don’t “support” it in any official capacity).

Search: Google Cache oddity

[Google Pigeons]I’ve just noticed a slight “oddity” with my favourite search engine Google. Basically, Google has a cache facility which enables your to see what the page was like when Google indexed it using their Googlebot spider. Extremely handy if the site you are trying to access is unavailable for some reason.

Google also offer the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer users (a Mozilla version is also available) which makes available certain items such as “Search From Toolbar” (saving you going to the Google homepage) and direct access to the cache.

Now, here’s the oddity: Accessing the cache of my blog via the Google Toolbar gives me a URL in the format of (ok, there are a few more parameters, but I’ve reduced them to “bare minimum”). That link currently shows my blog with the latest entry dated November 13 2002 at 12:31am (entry “Game: Fling That Cow!“) – however, performing a search and then clicking on the ‘Cached’ link produces a URL in the format of – with a “last entry” date of December 15 2002 08:11pm (entry Movies: Films I’d like to see again) – just 2 days ago.

So: why has Google got two cached copies of the same page? Obviously the search system is using the “fresher” copy, but it’s still given me a reason to stop and think. And what does the QGa9rQIfcj0C bit mean? A bit of playing has shown to me, so far, that it’s a unique identifier for the page in Google’s cache: searching for other pages from my blog resulted in the code “OdxOQ8hwqvMC” (November 12th: Pick On George Bush). “Adjusting” the cache URL to read still shows up the individual entry page instead of the front page (which you would have thought by the format of the URL). fEJraafpn4cC is the code to my Games and Fun category page

Someone else has noticed this at Webmaster World, but no useful information came from that discussion.

Oh well – if I find out anything more (it’ll be interesting to find out if the “cache IDs” remain static over time), I’ll let you all know 🙂