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DMOZ Guidelines & Our Strategy...

Hello Editors,

I've just spent a couple of hours going through all the threads in this much needed forum but couldn't find the answer to my question.

First, a bit of background...

We started as a private mailing list where the participants discussed various aspects of online gaming. Very soon we thought that

1) we need a web presence


2) we need to separate our visitors according to their games' interests
(The participants with interest in CHECKERS had nothing in common with BINGO fans, two different subjects)

After a short survey we realized that we should build "niche" sites dedicated to the following topics.

- solitaire portal
- backgammon portal
- slots portal
- dominoes portal
- roulette portal
- bingo portal

(Possibly more portals would follow if we could attract enough members to justify the effort.)

Each site would have its OWN DOMAIN NAME and the volunteer-editors who would be responsible for the content

Although the CONTENT for each site would be DIFFERENT we would like to keep certain common features throughout
the network of our "sister"-sites.

For example, each site would have

- reviews section
(solitaire fans would post their own reviews at the solitaire portal; while slot fans would post their reviews at the slot portal)
- history of the game
(again the same category at each portal, yet content would be different as each game has its own unique history)
- game strategy
- download software category
- how to play a game
- classifieds
- forum

I'd like to emphasize again. Although the Categories' TITLES are identical the CONTENT in each category and each site would be different and unique to the game in question.

Also, we would like to maintain the same DESIGN and NAVIGATIONAL structure for each of the sites. This was suggested by our participants who thought this would help them find the stuff they need quickly. (Another reason: we can't afford to pay for six different "search-engine friendly" templates /images/icons/wink.gif

When we presented our "PLAN" to a so-called "expert" he laughed in our face and said that this would NEVER be approved by DMOZ editors (Yes, being accepted is very important to us /images/icons/smile.gif.

According to his theory an average editor would never bother to read our content.

As soon as (s)he sees

- the same DESIGN
- the same Categories' Titles
- the same Navigational structure

all of our sites would be labelled as "MIRROR" sites and rejected. According to our "expert", fair or not, an editor would not even notice that all of our sites have a different content.

Personally I do not agree. I think a DMOZ editor would look at each (o.k., maybe a few) articles and see that each site has the content which is unique and SPECIFIC to the game in question.

We have done a lot of work already and I thought I would post our dilemma here, in the DMOZ forum. Your comments and advice would be much appreciated.

All the best,



Curlie Meta
Mar 23, 2002
Since you are both starting out and aiming for a broad category overall, I'd:

1) Start by submitting the main site. If it doesn't have enough content, obviously none of the "vanity URLs redirecting to deeplinks" would.

2) Don't try to conceal the relationship between the sites. That will just tell the editors you aren't honest. Is that the message you want to send? Instead, link between the individual game sites, maintain a "home page" with links to all individual game sites. This has an additional advantage: as you add new games, they immediately become visible (since Google will spider them via your (already listed) home page.

3) Submit your most unique-content-rich subsite to the individual game category. (This may be your most-content-rich subsite, or a smaller subsite for less-popular game that's not well represented on the web.) Submit the deeplink, not the vanity domain. We do list deeplinks if there's enough content. (Another unique ODP service.)

4) Wait to see what happens to that deeplink before submitting any more. If that is accepted, drop two or three more deeplinks in (when they get to the point of having comparable unique content.) If they are accepted, try some more; if they are rejected, take the hint and wait until your content is richer. (Then, in your resubmission note, mention "this content has been added since the last site submission....")

If you do it this way, I believe I can promise you'll retain your reputation unsullied by the whiff of proprietarily-named processed pork products, and the site will be as well represented as it deserved.


Mar 1, 2002
Hutcheson, I think cyberne is planning to build individual sites, rather than one grand portal. Regardless, by posting here you can be sure that your site(s) will be fairly evaluated.


Curlie Meta
Apr 30, 2002
[In Addition to that what hutcheson said]

You should switch to another expert /images/dmoz/purplegrin.gif

If no category exists that fits your site (would maybe be something like .../Gaming/Communities - didnt check for it) there will be no problem listing two deeplinks in the appropriate categorys if
* editors see content. That is no "under construction" signs, empty pages, ...
* content is unique (that is not copied, mirrored, ... from anywhere else)

And remember: Since ODP is no Seach Engine, there is no need to do Search-Engine-Optimization. From your post I think you know how a review is done /images/icons/smile.gif

>Personally I do not agree. I think a DMOZ editor would look at each (o.k., maybe a few) articles and see that each site has the content which is unique and SPECIFIC to the game in question.
--> You know why it takes so long to review all the entries submitted to ODP? Because you are right :/images/dmoz/purplegrin.gif

Btw: If as login should be required to review your site you could pre-generate an account and include information in your submissions. And please dont delete the testaccount, so any editor wanting to re-review the site later will get in without any problems. (Editor will leave a note with the information needed to get in if you provide it with your submission)


Curlie Meta
Mar 23, 2002
Yes, windharp is definitely right, you should switch to another expert.

apeuro is probably right that you were thinking of "multiple sites." I was thinking that that wasn't the best way of thinking of it, from an information-flow standpoint. One developer, one template, one general subject, one sitemaster. What in all that would suggest that there are really multiple sites?

Looking at it from the other way around, it does not benefit the user to conceal these fraternal relationships between cloned sites. And so the ODP should not encourage such behavior. Therefore we should treat a good deeplink in one site as if it had been submitted under a distinct, vanity domain. A poor deeplink, or a pattern of submittals of poor deeplinks, however, is enough to get a site banished under ALL of its aliases.

Pre-qualifying deeplinks (as in by posting the URL in a forum like this) is probably a good idea...provided you take the advice. (So far, the advice has been based on plans or assumptions rather than actual implementation.)

Thank you, guys for your prompt replies.

Hutcheson, re: your point #1.

We thought about building one grand mega portal
with a lot of sub-categories but decided against it. There are too many CONS with this approach including our own ego-maniac guides who are very TERRITORIAL when it comes to their content contribution.

Hutcheson, re: your point #2.

Great idea!! We are planning to interlink each of our sites...

Hutcheson, re: your point #3.

Each separate site will be submitted to the correct category
(Slot will be submitted to SLOTS Category; backgammon - to
backgammon category)

apeuro, you GOT IT !!!
We are building INDIVIDUAL sites.

Each site has its own content editors, although we encourage
all members to contribute reviews, comments, articles, etc.

Although we all came from the same mailing list, each site has its own following. Dominoe fans click together and discuss the topics that they like, while slot fans - naturally talk SLOTS.

I understand that each individual site will be judged on its own merit. However, I'd like to avoid the situation that our home-grown "expert" warned us about.

And that is

identical DESIGN + identiacal CATEGORY TITLES + identical
NAVIGATION = !!! Rejection !!! even though the content of
each site is different and unique to the specific game.

I know that we should ignore our "expert" and go ahead with
our plan. I guess as a girl I'm looking for a bit of assurance (I know, it sounds SO BAD /images/icons/wink.gif

So, here is my question...

Providing that

1) each site can stand on its own feet, in terms of unique content,

2) has its own domain name,

is it safe to submit six sites that LOOK the same, yet ALL of them have totally different and independent content? (Each site dedicated to different games)

Please, respond...

Thanks /images/icons/smile.gif

hutcheson WROTE:

One developer, one template, one general subject, one sitemaster. What in all that would suggest that there are really multiple sites?
Yes, our plan calls for one template (this has not been decided yet but let's assume that this the case.)

As to your other points...
1)Content is not the same.
2) In my humble opinion the subject of CHECKERS is sufficiently different from the subject of ROULETTE.
3)Developer is not really the same. The two people who develop the content for solitaire are not the same people who provide the content for bingo. The same arrangement applies to all other sites. Small teams of two people working on different sites.

In fact, eventually they will probably end up owning the sites that they develop (that's one of the reasons why we need multiple sites with the separate domain names for each site.) Yet, we all want to be a part of the same community.

I'll wait for a response to the question that I asked in my previous post. Thank you.


Curlie Meta
Mar 27, 2002
I would like to add something...

I couldn't tell from your examples if you are using the same index or intro page. I would make it almost "over obvious" that the subject matter is completely different (other than the URL). The reason, if you use a similar "welcome" page text and merely subsititue "checkers" with "dominos" it may appear that the content is the same and an overworked, short on time editor may think it was the same site. Thinking the site was already represented and unaware of this thread, s/he may inadvertantly delete the other submissions.

Just my 2 cents...

Best of luck,
Jeff /images/icons/laugh.gif

Dajeffster, thank you for your reply.

We would not use the same index page. Having said that, the danger of being labelled as a MIRROR site is real. For example, both "ABOUT US" and "PRIVACY POLICY" pages would be similar (for obvious reasons).

Yes, theoretically we could change the text and be sneaky about it, but it is NOT our INTENTION. We would like to be honest and open about it. That's why I'm here seeking editors' guidence. I'll patiently wait for the editors' feedback.

Here is my question again.

Providing that

1) each site can stand on its own feet, in terms of unique content


2) has its own domain name,

is it safe to submit six sites that LOOK the same - the same template and navigational structure - yet ALL of them have totally different and independent content?

Each site's content would be developed by different editors, small teams of volunteers.

If you are going to build 6 sites with different *unique* content (and only an "about us", "privacy policy" etc. similar sections -- BTW, 90% of the "privacy policy" sections I see are more or less the same) these are, and will be considered, 6 different sites. Period.

As suggested, provide reciprocal linkage among all sites and happily feed the crawlers (and boost relevancy in Google), while showing the editors that you are open about what you are doing.

Be careful that for *unique content* we intend ... unique content. Syndicated content from other sites/portals, affiliate links, articles already appearing in tens of other sites, etc. are *not* unique content. Content developed by your small teams of volunteers, and not published elsewhere, is what you should be looking for and present us to prove that these are, actually, the 6 *different* sites you are talking about.

Oh, and yes, switch to another expert /images/icons/smile.gif
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