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Self Imposed Delays


Jan 23, 2003
Anyone reading these forums knows we constantly hear from webmasters and site owners who are distressed that we do not review their sites in what they perceive to be a timely manner. Heck, you may even be one of these webmasters who found this thread hoping to find a clue to getting listed.

We often find ourselves giving generic answers because we have found that it is highly counterproductive discussing the specifics of a given site – as the discussion usually ends along the lines of "if you spent less time talking to me and answering questions in this forum you could have listed my site."

Today, however, I do want to talk specifics. And these specifics make an excellent case study of how a very large batch of webmasters virtually assured that their sites would not be looked at for a very long period of time.

Here is the tale of woe:

Throughout late 2004 and 2005, very large numbers of real estate webmasters decided to totally ignore our guidelines and suggest their sites to Regional/North_America/United_States/Business_and_Economy/Real_Estate when they were clearly ineligible for a listing there, given the fact that they are local real estate agents and real estate agents can only be considered for a single listing in the Regional locality where their office is physically situated.

On December 1, 2005 one of the editors gave up a huge amount of time, and went through all the unreviewed there (hundreds of sites) and figured out which state they were probably located n. this editor then moved the sites to the top level real estate category for each state. Meanwhile, that cateogyr is filing up again, and it could be months or even more than a year until it gets cleaned out again -- it is not fun work.

In Arizona alone, more than 125 sites were sent to Arizona. This means that however long they waited in Regional/North_America/United_States/Business_and_Economy/Real_Estate they were now starting over again in Regional/North_America/United_States/Arizona/Business_and_Economy/Real_Estate.

Over the last few months, I have been working my way through each of these sites, simply trying to identify which locality housed their office. It is not something I particularly enjoy doing, but it is part of my commitment as a volunteer. Sites with no address get trash canned, many mirror sites were identified and trash canned, and a lot of sites got moved to the correct locality where they start waiting again for an editor to review them with an eye towards a possible listings.

Meanwhile, I have spent half a day rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, and have only added one site. It actually belonged in that category.

Think about it, some of these sites have been waiting more than two years, and they are just now getting to the correct category – and who knows how long it will take for an editor to decide to attack the unreviewed real estate sites in a given locality? How many more of these sites do I still have to move? And what is happening in other states?

The moral of this little story? There are a few:

-- The next time you see someone taking the editor community to task for not being fast enough to suit their tastes, ask yourself if the person raising the ruckus did a thoughtful suggestion or just dumped their site in the biggest possible category they could find.

-- The ODP editors have spent a lot of time writing and refining the submission guidelines for given categories. Do you think it might be helpful to follow them?

-- A lot of sites are going to sit around for a couple of years, get moved a handful of times, and when the finally receive an in-depth review are not going to get listed.

-- Editors can spend hours and hours working on the directory without adding any sites.
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