May 15, 2002
~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~
----> The Big Ten
*Search Engine Marketing:
----> Can't Get Listed in ODP
----> Redirected Site Not Getting Indexed
*This Week's Sponsor:
*Other SEO News:
----> Google Disapproval - AGAIN
----> Rant about Ranting
*Stuff You Might Like
----> Copywriting Course Clarification
----> Let's Make a Deal
Welcome to Advisor Issue 010. Yep, we're on the tenth issue already.
As usual, I've got some great stuff for you today. There's some Q&A
on what to do if you're having trouble getting listed in ODP/DMOZ,
some info on Web site redirects, plus some of my usual ranting and
So dig in and have fun! - Jill
~~~Search Engine Marketing Issues~~~
++Can't Get Listed in ODP++
From: T.Cameron [firstname.lastname@example.org]
I have a question about the Open Directory Project (ODP). I
registered a client in Oct of 2001 and they were up very quickly. In
Jan. 2002, I registered two more sites and they still have not been
listed. I register them once a month, and the sites are well
optimized and doing well on Inktomi's partners.
I have e-mailed the ODP and received no reply. Any idea what is going
on? Has anyone else had this problem?
I would really like to get these sites listed so they have a chance at
Google, Netscape etc. They cannot afford Yahoo!, and setting up
AdWords at Google did not get the sites listed in Google's directory.
They only had the ad, no listing.
Phoenix Web Media
Great questions! Many people have found trying to get into ODP (aka
DMOZ <http://www.dmoz.org>) to be quite exhausting. ODP is very
tricky because they have only volunteer editors. (I find it kind of
ironic that ODP was first formed because of how hard it was to get
listed in Yahoo! Now it's easy to get into Yahoo! - if you pay - but
really, really hard to get into ODP!)
When you say that you've "registered" with them each month, you've
actually just "submitted" to them each month. As you've seen, you're
not registered until their editor physically puts your listing into
Also, because ODP is a human-edited directory and not a spidering
search engine, the optimization that you've done to your site will
make no difference with your ODP listing. Directories only rank sites
through the little bit of information provided in your listing.
Eventually, if/when you do get an ODP listing, changes to your site's
pages will have no effect on your rankings in ODP and its partner
Since you have been submitting to them once a month but are not
getting listed, there are a few things that could be happening:
* The editor of your category is way behind on his or her reviews, and
perhaps is not even checking to see if they have any new sites to add.
* The editor doesn't believe that your site should actually go in the
category you chose, and therefore is just ignoring it (or worse -
trashing it!). It's possible that the category you chose might be too
broad, or it might not be the best possible category.
* The editor may feel that the title and/or description you provided
don't conform to ODP editorial guidelines, and he or she doesn't feel
like taking the time to edit it. Over time, editing the titles and
descriptions can add up to a lot of work for a volunteer with many
There's really no way to know the exact reason for your site's not
getting listed, and unfortunately, the editors rarely let you know.
Before giving up on them all together, here are a few things you can
* See if you can find a different category that also applies to your
site, and submit to that one. Be sure to drill down to the deepest,
most specific category possible.
* If your description is long and uses marketing hype, edit it down.
Look at the other descriptions in your category and try to emulate
those ones. Don't try to get keywords represented in your title, but
simply use your company name. For those of you who are listed in
Yahoo!, you might try using their title and description, as ODP would
probably agree with one that the Yahoo! editors liked.
* Send an email to the editor of the category you submitted to.
Explain your situation to them and ask them (politely) if there's
anything else you need to do in order to get listed. Show them
examples of other sites that are in the same category which are
similar to yours, and explain why your site would make a great
addition to that category.
* Try posting a message at the new ODP forum:
<http://resource-zone.com/ubbthreads.php>. They may be able to give
you some tips (or even prod your editor into action!).
Hope this helps!
P.S. You also mentioned that your Google AdWords campaign did not get
you listed in the regular Google listings. There seems to be a common
misconception that somehow it will get you into Google; however, aside
from the occasional "bug," Google seems to be very careful about
keeping their paid stuff separate from their regular search results.
Google AdWords is a good way to gain some extra traffic at a decent
price (if you learn how to use it correctly), but DON'T buy ads in
hopes of these somehow getting your site into their regular database.
You've got to optimize your site and gain some quality links to it
before they'll list it.
Use Google AdWords only if you're looking to purchase paid ads. Since
Google now ranks as the number five business-to-business advertising
property according to B2B magazine, it's definitely an important
advertising vehicle. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, ads from Google
AdWords are currently showing up at AOL also; therefore it's certainly
something to think about if you're looking for added exposure.
And for the few of you who haven't purchased it yet <giggle>, I highly
recommend Andrew Goodman's special report on how to get the most out
of your Google AdWords campaign:
</pagezero>. (I told Andrew that I
wouldn't rest until each and every one of you on the list has
purchased a copy - so what are you waiting for? But seriously, it's a
great help, and it will definitely save you money in the long run!)
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++Redirected Site Not Getting Indexed++
From: Grant Ayre [email@example.com]
I have a client who wondered why his all-Flash site wasn't getting
spidered and/or listed on search engines. Apart from his Flash pages
being way too heavy for dial-up connections, I explained that there
was nothing there for the spiders to crawl. Now that I've redesigned
the front or entry page to be more amenable to spiders (using
techniques honed on this list), there's still no apparent improvement.
The enhanced front page still links directly to the heavy Flash pages.
Is this enough to stop search engine spiders and limit the site's
chance of getting listed?
Another potential problem is that the site is hosted on a free
server - with a redirect. If you view the source code from the
[domain name] you get empty metadata, whereas viewing the code from
the [free server] you get all the optimised code. Very perplexing.
Appreciate it if you could help. Thanks.
It sounds like your problem is not so much the Flash, but the
redirect. Most search engines won't bother indexing these kinds of
pages as they can be easily used to "spam" them. Your client should
park his site at his actual domain name and definitely avoid the use
of redirects. It's fairly cheap having your own domain, and if the
client wants the site to be found in the search engines, it's
~~~Other SEO News~~~
++Google Disapproval - AGAIN++
Okay, now they're just being ridiculous. Once again, I get another
good Google ad running smoothly, and the invisible Google God sticks
his/her nose in and disapproves it. So you can't say that your domain
is HighRankings.com - it has to be highrankings.com (no caps). C'mon,
GG, gimme a break! Now you're just being silly. I swear they can't
stand it when you have a high clickthrough percentage since that's
what always seems to bring good old GG out of hiding. Kinda silly as
I'll betcha many are simply giving up on AdWords all together because
of the frustration. If it weren't for Andrew's special report and my
own stubbornness, I would have given up long ago. Grrr....
++Rant About Ranting++
This is not really a search engine marketing topic, but it's something
that's been on my mind lately. When I write these newsletters and
post stuff in forums, I try not to be too judgmental regarding the
various ways people do things. I have my ways, and others have
theirs. I try to teach you proven techniques of SEO, i.e., things
that I know work because I've used 'em for years. I also try to warn
you about things that I feel aren't so good. Yes, it's all based on
my opinion…but my educated opinion from my own experiences.
Occasionally some issue comes up such as LookSmart's new "business
model" which I feel very strongly about. In those cases, I find it
really hard to hold my tongue and not go off on a huge rant. When I
read Danny Sullivan's excellent, unbiased coverage
<http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/02/05-looksmart.html> of the
LookSmart debacle (Danny would probably call it LookSmart's road to
maximize monetization!), I wondered just how he could write that way.
How was he able to report both sides of the issue so coolly and
calmly, and never really let on what his own feelings were on the
matter? I'm sure it has something to do with his many years as a
journalist, but still! I suppose that is the answer, though. He's
got friends on both sides of the fence (SEOs and search engines
alike), and his place in the search engine marketing world is to be
the one to bridge the gap, so to speak.
So then I thought, well, I should be able to do that, shouldn't I?
But then it hit me that since Danny already does such a great job of
it, there's really no need for me to do more of the same. There *is*
a need for someone like me to call 'em as I see 'em, however! Yeah, I
may get hot under the collar at times, and I might start spouting off
my opinions, but you can rest assured that I'll always tell it like it
is, even if it may not be what some want to hear. I guess that's what
I mean in my email signature when I say that this newsletter is "All
the SEO advice that's fit to print - and then some!"
++FBI Fraud Site++
I wanted to give you this link to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center
(IFCC), a site established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)
<http://www1.ifccfbi.gov>), in case you ever feel like you were the
victim of Internet fraud. For instance, Internet fraud might be
paying for something online but not getting it, or getting something
different than what was represented online. Of course, you should
always first try to deal with the company in question directly, but if
you aren't satisfied with the results, you can report it to the IFCC.
~~~Stuff You Might Like~~~
I didn't have a chance this week to review any new stuff that you
might like, but did want to clarify a couple of minor issues in last
week's review of Karon Thackston's "Step by Step(TM) Copywriting
Course" </copywritingcourse>. Don't
worry - this has nothing to do with the copywriting course itself;
that's still as wonderful as I said it was! I just erred when I said
that Karon has been a copywriter for 17 years. It's actually been 18
years (so sue me!). I also mentioned that she has specialized in
online writing since 1995, but that wasn't quite accurate either.
(Okay, next time I'll talk to the person about these things first,
instead of just trying to glean it from their Web site!) She's been
working online since 1995, but she specializes in many different kinds
of writing, not just online writing. She writes SEO copy, Web copy,
brochure copy, flyers, ezine ads, press releases and ezine articles.
She also ghost-writes articles for others.
So apparently she does just about anything that has to do with
At any rate, in case you missed my review of Karon's awesome
copywriting course, you can read it here:
By the way, comments from Advisor subscribers who've already purchased
it have been extremely positive! If you've had a chance to read some
or all of it, please let me and/or Karon know what you thought.
Thank you for the great feedback you send me each week! I don't know
if you've noticed or not, but when I post each week's newsletter in
the archives of my site </archives.htm>,
I've also been including snippets of feedback in boxes along the right
side of the page. I keep expecting that the feedback will taper off
over time, but thankfully it hasn't yet! In fact, I think I get more
with each issue. The cool thing is that I get so many emails that say
things like, "I NEVER write to newsletter people, but I just HAD to
write to you!" hehehe...gotta love it! I'll certainly do my best to
keep it interesting and amusing. And you guys keep on sending in your
questions and comments. Deal?
Catch ya next time! - Jill