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struggle – perseverance - success

Greetings,

I am writing to bring to everyone’s attention my recent efforts to get listed in the Open Directory Project. I would be grateful for a few moments of your time to review my query and provide a response if possible - any assistance that you may be able to provide will be greatly appreciated – thanks.

Firstly, I had submitted my site on a few occasions and each time awaited patiently believing that the site was more than worthy of being indexed. After several months (3-4) had passed I began contacting editors to see if they could review my site for possible inclusion. Of the 4-5 editors I contacted I received only one response – and my site was subsequently added to the directory [Games/Gambling/Guides] – I was quite satisfied. A day later I discovered, and much to my surprise I must say, that another editor had added my site to another category. [Games/Gambling/Directories]

Approximately one week later the latter listing was deleted, and a few days later the former was removed. I was more than perplexed and a bit upset. I found myself again attempting to contact the editors to ask why the site had been deleted. Not surprising - I never received a reply.

I fully understand that I am not guaranteed a listing – however after being indexed by two different editors only to be removed is a bit puzzling. I don’t understand how certain sites can get listed in more than a few categories – while another site is apparently being kept out for unknown reasons.

Recently I contacted staff@ and a few of the editors attempting to learn why my site was deleted and to find out how I could get it re-listed. I received only one response from an editor who shall remain unnamed. I was very pleased and felt optimistic after this editor said they would review my site.

This editor had also challenged my claim that several sites listed in the parent category were not appropriate. He asked for proof, which I provided him with. Since then several sites in the parent category have either been deleted or moved – I applaud that effort.

After learning that my suggestions about the parent category were indeed warranted – I have decided to review the two sub-cats listed above - home to nearly 250 sites. Sure it will be work, but my belief that my site is worthy, and my perseverance to prove it will result in success – or so I hope.

So you may ask what assistance am I looking for? Well my primary goal is to get my site listed in one of the two categories, which I was previously included in. So any help in doing so would be of great assistance – I am also interested in possibly learning why my site was deleted in the first place. Additionally, I am looking to foster dialogue which may help to better the categories in question.

Best Regards,
Brian
 

yklaw

Curlie Meta
Joined
Feb 28, 2002
(moved here from the General forum).

Not being the editor there, and given the number of submissions those categories get, if you could tell us what site it is (posting the URL is permissible), it would help editors identify what the core issue is.

Thank you. :/images/dmoz/purplegrin.gif

(Added: presumably you're talking about http://www.casinogypsy.com/. Well, the issue is that it's mostly an affiliate links list, which is not allowed per our editor guidelines. Hope this clears things up.
 

The site in question should be in my profile - I assumed after reviewing the abuse threads that I wasnt supposed to post my url - sorry.

=-=-=-=-=

ADDED: Actually affiliate links are allowed as per the guidelines - this is a common misconception made by numerous editors. As long as the site is accompanied by an equal amount of content these type links are allowed. At least that’s the way I read the guidelines.

Additionally as I’ve stated I have reviewed the sites already listed – 95% + of them offer the same type of links. Several of them contain 20-30 + banners on their homepages alone. That’s why I don’t understand why my site is being excluded – it can’t be because of my affiliate links. The ratio of my content to affiliate links is much better than a great percentage of the sites already listed. So if thats the reason I have been excluded then I reckon the entire directory is in need of a overhaul. In other words - 95% of it isnt appropriate.
 

I know that you've contacted myself and another top Games editor (who is also a meta-editor) about this site. Why start this thread too?
 

arlarson

Curlie Meta
Joined
Feb 28, 2002
You seem to be operating under the mistaken belief that there is a quota for "content", and by meeting a certain quota an affiliate link farm is instantly transformed into a substantive site worthy of being listed. First, the emphasis is not just on content, but on unique content. Second, there is no such quota.

If you want to get a site listed, make a site that is about offering a quality user experience, with abundant unique content. That approach will bring much greater success than trying to get an affiliate link farm listed by adding "just enough" content to pass an imagined litmus test. Make affiliate links, as opposed to content, the afterthought.

Incidentally, comparing your site to bad sites is not a good way to get indexed. We are aware that bad sites become listed for a number of reasons, but our preferred corrective action is to remove the bad sites, not to add additional comparable sites.
 

Kctipton: “Why start this thread too?”

I just discovered this forum last evening - My intentions were to make more individuals aware of the issue and to try and to acquire assistance in getting listed.

Have I done something wrong? I assumed this was the proper place to ask for assistance.

Alarson: “make a site that is about offering a quality user experience”

I strongly believe that I have done this – My site offers plenty of resources that offer my end users a quality and friendly experience. Plenty of unique content – quizzes - forums – chat – directory - just a portion of the “community” experience. Tips, strategies, and reviews, to name just a few more.

Alarson: “Incidentally, comparing your site to bad sites is not a good way to get indexed.”

My objective is not to compare my site to bad sites – Initially I wanted to discover for myself what type of sites were being accepted. Upon discovering that most of the sites listed were in basic terms no different than mine I thought to myself, “why am I being excluded?” After all I believed that my site was better than a large percentage of the sites already indexed.

Simply put what I am saying is that if these sites are good enough to be listed – then why isn’t my site? My site is no different than 95% + of the sites listed – in fact I believe its better than most of those. If my site isn’t appropriate – how can you claim all these others sites are?

Alarson: “…. remove the bad sites, not to add additional comparable sites”

So your saying my site is a bad site huh? Well I didn’t come here to argue with editors. I have attempted to handle this in a professional manner and have now had my site and my hard work slandered.

My primary goal is to get my site indexed in the directory. I have put a lot of time and hard work into creating this gaming community - and believe that it would be a worthwhile addition to the directory. From what I can surmise from the above responses – my site has absolutely no chance of being indexed – I’m quite disappointed.

Try and see this from my point of view … you have a site you strongly believe is worthy of being indexed. You get your site indexed by several different editors – then it gets removed by others. You review the sites already indexed and find that 95%+ of them offer similar resources and several of them are nothing short of banner farms. What now?

You would most likely attempt to obtain some form of assistance in getting your site listed as I have … you might contact the editors and inquire about why your site was deleted as I have. Ok - You have done this and you never receive a reply regarding the basis of your inquiry. Now what?

I hope you see my efforts as determination and not mere complaints. I am very passionate about my work and strongly believe in it. So I ask you – Now what?

Best regards,
Brian
 

yklaw

Curlie Meta
Joined
Feb 28, 2002
Please read kctipton and arlarson's comments in context. When arlarson refers to bad sites, he has a very specific meaning - sites that do not conform to our listing guidelines. And we regularly remove listings because they do not conform to listing guidelines. Affiliate link sites with substantially the same content as other sites will not be listed. The guidelines state that:

Sites that consist primarily of links to buy books or CDs, etc. and/or provide no unique content are not appropriate for inclusion in the directory.

In this case my reading leads to the same conclusion as kctipton and arlarson. It is the primary focus, and hence should not be listed.

It's pretty difficult catching them sometimes, so a few would slip through, through human error - but when we find out we delete those listings, as arlarson points out. Just because a few slipped through the net does not mean that others are acceptable. It's like enforcing the law - just because someone didn't get caught breaking it doesn't mean that you can as well.

FWIW, making more people aware would not help your cause, I believe. We all enforce the same guidelines. Whilst you're free to ask for assistance, I don't see how this is going to change the situation.

>>Now what?

Well I think I'll refer back to arlarson's response. Basically as it is it's not going to be listed. Sorry!
 

arlarson

Curlie Meta
Joined
Feb 28, 2002
I was speaking in general terms. I have not looked at your site, nor at any of the others in the category at issue. Beyond that, yklaw provided an excellent magnification of my meaning.
 

I expected as much!

You are all making comments regarding my site and you never took the time to review it or review the other sites already listed. Your basing your comments on your understanding of the editing guidelines and not on the editing practices of the categories in question. I believe that the subjectivity in these categories increases ten-fold as all the editors are aware of the affiliate connection.

You have not witnessed for yourselves the similarities and the differences between my site and the ones already listed. You have not seen that my site may or may not be more acceptable than sites already listed. Furthermore you are obviously not aware of what type content gambling portals contain. Had you taken the time to review the sites listed your comments may have been quite different.

I challenge you to review a few of the sites listed in the Games/Gambling/Guides and the Games/Gambling/Directories categories. I’m not going to mention any sites by name but I’m sure it wont take much effort on your part to see that nearly all of them would be considered inappropriate by your terms.

I believe that the gambling category and a few other categories in the directory are much different than any of the others. The editors of these categories all work off an understanding that these sites offer affiliate links – they must weigh the content and the links in considering the site for inclusion/exclusion. There lies the quota – of course there is no precise ratio or guideline – however it’s understood by the editors.

cjtripnewton: When I said my site was no different than 95% of the sites already listed I meant in BASIC TERMS! Meaning that we all are "gambling portals" and thus list affiliate links. Likewise we are all covering the topic of gambling – thus the basic contents may be based on similar topics. Take the time to review my site and you will see that our core content is unique – you will also discover numerous community-based features.

Why did two different editors believe my site was appropriate? Are these editors not knowledgeable about the business? Did these editors not understand the directory guidelines? I think not! If my site is not acceptable how are all these other sites acceptable? Are all these others sites going to be canned too?

As for Now what … Well my understanding of the gaming business, my knowledge of the sites listed, and my apparent denial of a listing leads me to assume discrimination or editor fraud!

FYI: I did notice that several of the sites I had mentioned to Keith have indeed been deleted or moved – while some of the more questionable sites I gave him still remain – which is puzzling. I figure more than 30% of the sites in the parent category were changed – if that figure remains constant you should expect that about 80 sites or more in the other two categories may need to be removed also!
 

arlarson

Curlie Meta
Joined
Feb 28, 2002
General advice helps everybody, gypsy. This forum is here to help the larger community of DMOZ users and submitters, not just you.

If you read and follow the advice you are given, you will find much more success with the ODP. I am not sure what you believe you will achieve by insulting everybody who tries to help you.
 

I have insulted no one - who do you suggest that I have? I clearly stated I was not here to argue and that I was interested in obtaining assistance. I presented my issue in a professional manner and have now been attacked on numerous occasions via this board and email.

The fact of the matter is that several editors offered remarks regarding my inquiry, which involved my site and never took the time to review the site or the issue. Another editor more or less attacked my right to even bring the issue up in a public forum.

I for one would make sure I was knowledgeable about the issue prior to making any statements. With that said I consider the statements made by editors whom didn’t take the time to review my site or the issue at hand to be useless!

I fully understand this community is in place to provide assistance – that’s why I am here. As for people trying to help me – no one has done so yet and I don’t expect anyone to help in the near future.

Sincerely,
Brian
 

arlarson

Curlie Meta
Joined
Feb 28, 2002
Re: struggle ? perseverance - success

It does not appear that you will be happy with any advice you receive on how the submission process works, or approaches that might lead to the inclusion of your site in the directory. It appears that you will continue to insult those trying to help you, even as you protest that you aren't being insulting.

Nonetheless, people have tried to help you, and you have received a great deal of good advice which, if followed, will result in the inclusion of your site. I suggest that you end your tantrums and start following that advice.r
 

yklaw

Curlie Meta
Joined
Feb 28, 2002
gypsy, I did actually check out your site, FTR, and based my judgement on that basis.
 

yklaw: thank you for taking the time to visit my site first – that’s commendable and more than others have done. Did you also take a few moments to check a few sites already listed? If so you would have discovered that most of them are questionable by the terms laid out by the above editors.

It’s my understanding that I am being excluded because my sites offers affiliate links. Which is acceptable to me as long as each and every site that contains similar affiliate links is also held to those terms. How can anyone justify allowing one to remain while banishing another? That’s more than subjective that’s discrimination.

I for one believe that dmoz needs to adopt clear and concise rules regarding affiliate links. The inclusion/exclusion of sites containing affiliate links should not be left up to the subjectivity of an editor. If it is you will continue to see submitters who feel and are discriminated against.

The argument that my site is being excluded because it has affiliate links just doesn’t hold water! It can’t because the greater percentage of sites listed in these categories also contain affiliate links. If you insist that this is the reason – then I assume you will soon be deleting 95% of the gambling category.

Best regards,
Brian
 

Re: struggle ? perseverance - success

>>I assume you will soon be deleting 95% of the gambling category<<

Could you make our jobs easier and tell us which 5 percent to keep? (That would only be about 150 sites, by the way)
 

Re: struggle - perseverance !! success ?

LOL @ Keith - Its not my job.

If it was my job Id tighten the directory up e.g. not allow any affiliate related sites or loosen up and let them in. As noted at least 2 other editors believe my site was worthy of inclusion.

Snapshot of partial numbers ...

Chats and Forums: 17
Directories: 135
Guides: 99

Thats 251 sites x 0.95% = 238 sites may need to be removed. Note there are several other categories that actually contain casino related web sites so that number is most certainly an understatement.

If my site is considered inappropriate - Im sure you will find sites in these locations that are equally unacceptable.

As Ive stated the affiliate explanation for exclusion thats been presented doesnt hold water unless all the sites containing these type of links are likewise deleted.

I challenge dmoz to create a precise ruling pertaining affiliate links. Dont leave it up to the subjectivity of an editor e.g. make it fair for each and every submitter.

Have fun,
Brian
 

dajeffster

Curlie Meta
Joined
Mar 27, 2002
Re: struggle - perseverance !! success ?

Brain,

&gt;&gt;I challenge dmoz to create a precise ruling pertaining affiliate links. Dont leave it up to the subjectivity of an editor e.g. make it fair for each and every submitter.&lt;&lt;

I understand your frustration... but editors need to exercise their judgment when it comes to sites with affiliate links. The only way to make a hard and fast rule would be to say "no affilate links." Anything else (other than any affiliates with no regard to content, which would never happen) would require editor judgment.

To make a concrete 75% or more content required, or any other ratio, would need some sort of breakdown to equate X number of lines of unique lines of content by Y number of characters equal one banner of 267 p x 65 p (or whatever the size of the banner). You think it takes a long time now to get a site reviewed, I would hate to see how long it takes to get sites reviewed under such a system. I won't even go into content/banner placement!

I think you will find some excellent advice as to how a site with affiliate links would be accepted in this and other threads. If you follow them, as well as, the submission guidelines, you stand a better chance of getting listed. Just remember "no site is guaranteed a listing."

If a site is all affiliates first and the weath of content is burried so deep one would need to hunt for it, it stands little to no chance of being listed.

Best regards,
Jeff
 

lissa

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2002
Re: struggle - perseverance !! success ?

&gt;&gt;Why did two different editors believe my site was appropriate? Are these editors not knowledgeable about the business? Did these editors not understand the directory guidelines? I think not!&lt;&lt;
&gt;&gt;As noted at least 2 other editors believe my site was worthy of inclusion.&lt;&lt;

The ability to identify affiliate links and mirrored sites is a skill developed and honed by the most experienced editors. Many editors don't recognize them and take sites at face value and list them in error. I have done so myself. A more experienced editor may notice the error and remove them (typically when doing cleanup on the offending URLs, not when cleaning a specific category.) Hopefully the editor who made the error is informed so they can learn. (In my case, I noticed the removal and the editor had left a note referencing a discussion, so I figured out what I did wrong.)

I don't edit in this area and cannot speak to any specifics, but the fact that the sites were removed shortly after listing is pretty indicative of an error on the listing editor's part. I agree that sites should be treated equivalently and since there is active editing being done in the category, I would assume that some of your concerns are being looked into. However, it takes a while to go through 250 sites - wait until the changes are done before judging whether you still have a concern.

&gt;&gt;The inclusion/exclusion of sites containing affiliate links should not be left up to the subjectivity of an editor.&lt;&lt;
Actually, the judgement isn't about affiliate links, it is about unique content. If you take away all of the affiliate links, what's left? If there is unique content (i.e. not the same stuff copied from someplace else), is more that just a token of information relative to the affiliate links (not just 5% of the site), and it can easily be found from the main page, then the site may be worthy of listing. Otherwise, it definitely is not.

-Lissa
 
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