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Applying for New Categories: Advice and Guidance


Getting approved to edit a new category is easy if you take the time early on to learn the editing guidelines. We seek to promote editors who have a record of adding quality to the directory. DMOZ benefits most from having as many good editors as possible with permissions to edit in broad and diverse areas. If you add quality sites and lots of them, then you will be systematically granted higher and more diverse editing privileges. This document provides some advice and guidance that will help you in getting additional editing opportunities. It also provides a basic overview of the "do's" and "don'ts" of editing.

When you apply for a new category, the quality of your current categories and your edit history will be evaluated. When reviewing your editing history and statistics, please keep the following in mind:

Editing Experience

What type of editor are you? Approval of your application is dependent upon the quality and diversity of your editing as well as your experience. This section gives some good advice about choosing categories appropriate for your experience level. Editing statistics presented are not absolute requirements. They are presented to give you an idea of the rough sample size needed to qualitatively assess your edits.

Beginning Editors

A "Beginner" is generally someone who has one or two small categories, and is still learning the basics of the directory and community. As a beginner, it pays to develop good editing habits early. You'll save yourself from doing extra work if you do things correctly from the start.

Intermediate Editors

An intermediate editor is someone who has gained experience in 2 or 3 medium sized categories. By now, you should know the basics of editing. You should have a solid record of adding quality sites. The listings in your categories should be current and relevant to the scope of the categories. All site titles and descriptions should follow the guidelines.

You should consider broadening your editing abilities by either taking on larger categories, particularly those near the top of a main category, or editing related subject matter across the directory.

Advanced Editors

An advanced editor is someone who has obtained a relatively high level of experience in diverse areas of the directory. Advanced editors may have experience in one large category, several medium sized categories, or a mixture of both. Remember, edit numbers alone will not necessarily get you approved for higher permissions. The quality of your edits and the diversity of your experience are the most important factors.

Consider taking on larger categories within the areas you edit. If you have limited yourself to a single node, consider applying for the top level or larger and more complex second tier categories. If you have edited in a number of categories across the directory, consider picking one area, and apply for one of the largest categories. While becoming an editor of a large category is not a requirement for further permissions, it exposes you to several opportunities and will lead to a better understanding of larger directory issues. Editing experience in large or more diverse areas is helpful in getting permissions to edit anywhere in the directory.

While some “advanced editors” have several thousand edits or even tens of thousands of edits, getting denied for a new permission is not uncommon. No matter how experienced you are, you will only be considered for the uppermost tiers of top level categories if you have some experience in the hierarchy for which you are applying. So, if you have 3,000 edits, and are listed near or at the top of Business and Shopping, you won't necessarily get approved at an equivalent level in Regional. However, if you have amassed a few thousand edits, and want to branch off into other areas in this manner, you should consider applying for “editall” permissions. Also, you can have tens of thousands of edits, but if you have a record of poor editing, poor communication, an inability to work cooperatively with others, and do not appear conscientious about adding quality sites with good titles and descriptions, then you probably won’t get approved for any additional permissions until you have demonstrated improvement.

Finally, remember to clean up your dashboard. If you are named to categories where you are no longer actively editing, including top level categories, please resign from them before applying for additional categories.

Before You Apply - A Checklist

Before you apply for a new category, take some time to make sure that the categories you edit are in good shape and consistent with the directory guidelines. Some categories have additional guidelines governing their content. Other areas with very specific guidelines include Regional, Kids and Teens, and Adult.

This may seem like a lot of work, but getting approved for a new category is actually very easy if you remember to:

The condition of your categories provide the best indicator of the quality you are adding to the directory. Here are some points to review before you submit an application for another category.

Link Quality and Organization

Quality of Site Annotations

Communication and Conduct

Application Tips

The application for a new permission is pretty self-explanatory. However, here some helpful tips that will increase your chances of getting approved.

Choosing a Category to Edit

Some areas of the directory have few editors and significant room for development. A neglected corner of the directory can allow you a tremendous opportunity to stand out as a good editor. No matter how experienced you are, you are more likely to be approved for categories that need help.

If you are applying to an area of the directory where you have little or no experience, it's always best to start small. This is particularly true when you are applying to edit in:


Give a brief reason for wanting to edit the category. You don't have to come up with something clever and profound here. Just share your interests. If there are special circumstances, then please state them. For example, some editors join to clean up or organize a category. If you are applying in response to a 'help wanted' thread be sure to note that in the "reason" area. If another editor has suggested that you request a category, name the editor. If you are applying to clean up a poorly edited category, please note that with your application. Please include specific examples of the problems you intend to correct.


Please give any affiliations you have with any site that may be listed in the category or one of its subcategories. By affiliation we mean a site that belongs to you, your employer, your client, etc. It is important for you to be honest. Just because you have a self-interest doesn't mean your application will get denied. You'll only be denied if you show favoritism, and you will be removed if you have been dishonest about your affiliations and favored these listings.

Provide Sample URLs

Part of the application process is to provide proposed URLs with sample titles and descriptions. Please provide all requested information no matter how experienced or qualified you are. The provision of URLs allows us to

Common Reasons for Denying Applications

The following are common reasons why we deny requests for new category permissions. These factors are listed in order of importance.

Your application will be denied, and you will risk reduction or loss of editing privileges, if you:

What to Do if Your Application Gets Denied

Reference Sources