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#41 Jean_Manco

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 03:17 PM

It's all in the eye of the beholder Kali. I would argue that listing a site in the category it best fits brings the greatest benefit to both searchers and webmasters.

#42 Kali

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 04:10 PM

I would argue that listing a site in the category it best fits brings the greatest benefit to both searchers and webmasters.


I totally agree with this statement.

However, if you implement the above with the current category structure and placement policies as discussed in this thread it leads to a situation which effectively discriminates against small businesses.

#43 yapuka

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 04:26 PM

Jean says:

What I had in mind though when I mentioned the expanding series of maps was a set custom-made for a web-site on a hotel or resort or whatever. I've seen several different ways of doing it.


Here's a hotel I stayed in last summer: http://www.yatt-hotel.com/main.html (click on 'Plan').

I liked it a lot! (both the site and the hotel)

#44 Jean_Manco

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 04:28 PM

Thanks yapuka. That's just the sort of thing I had in mind.

#45 Jean_Manco

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 04:42 PM

Kali - I suspect that a little misunderstanding has crept in here. The guidelines I gave here are for listings in Regional. Listing in Regional is geographical. That is what Eddie is talking about. He is an experienced Regional editor.

Listing in the categories such as Business is by topic. There is no requirement that a business should have offices in every corner of the globe. Only that:

Local businesses: sites for companies serving a very limited geographic area -- like a single state (or equivalent), city or metro area -- should be submitted to the Regional category.

http://dmoz.org/Business/desc.html

A site can have a listing somewhere in Business and also a listing in Regional. A small business that makes unique, hand-crafted widgets for export could be listed once under the locality of the studio/forge/whatever and once under the type of business.

The ODP aims to order sites so that the searcher finds what he/she is looking for. I would argue that that benefits the searcher and the webmaster.

#46 Kali

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 06:44 PM

In general the categorisation of businesses I've been working with has been good.

The real problems that I have seen have come in a couple of areas.

1 - The local listing against national listing, where a company is providing services/products to a national market from a single location.

2 - The fact that most of the local businesses I work for are in an area where a number of state/county level zones border and their local marketplace covers all of the bordering zones.

The latter gives me real problems at times, because I have to submit sites to the maximum advantage of the business owner and in compliance with the DMOZ submission guidelines.

#47 donaldb

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 07:09 PM

As usual I'm still a little bit confused here. If I'm going to look for the web site for the grocery store down at the end of my street, the first place I'm going to look is in the locality category for my town. Why would I look over in some huge topical category for a local grocery store? Why would I look over in some huge topical category when I'm looking to hire a local web developer? I guess I just see it more from a user's point of view :lol:

#48 Kali

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 07:37 PM

donaldb - in the case of the local grocery store, the target market is the local populace - therefore the local category is the correct place for the site - simple.

In the case of the local web developer, the issues are more complex. As a local user looking for a local web developer you would obviously want to look in the local category- fine. On the other hand your local web developer would love to have the web development contract for clients such as National Corp who will be looking in Nation:Business & Economy: Web Development for potential web developers, so to match the web developer with his target clients his listing should be in Nation:Business & Economy: Web Development.

Then we have the case of Special Gadget Manufacturer, who sell their gadget to the entire nation from their base in Mytown. There are not enough people in Mytown that want a 'Special Gadget' to warrant them being in a Mytown category listing. They need a National listing as people will be looking for 'Special Gadgets' made in our nation. However when they are given a Mytown listing they are severely disadvantaged when compared to 'National Special Gadgets Corp' who have a national listing based on their factories in Mytown, Anytown and Sometown.

#49 Jean_Manco

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 05:16 AM

The Regional Guidelines are flexible Kali. As I said, the appropriate level of listing will depend on the type of business. Factories tend to be treated differently from shops. It is understood that their products will generally be for a wider than local market. If you take a look at the UK Manufacturing category description you will see that organisations that only sell locally are excluded. That's all.

The UK also has a lot of webdesigners listed at national level: UK: B &E: Internet: Web Design and Development: Designers though I'm sceptical about the benefits to the sites listed in any huge alphabar.

Pretending once again that I'm a webdesigner, the option for me would be
the letter M which has a PR of 3. (Bang goes the idea that a national category will always have higher PR than a locality one.) More importantly I wonder who would bother to get as far as the letter M. I'm with Donald on this one.

#50 Kali

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 07:54 AM

In most cases I think editors get the regional/national thing right, I have one or two where I have had difficulties in the past.

I'm also interested in the state/county border thing. Is it possible to get listings across a number of states/counties where your location is close to the border.

#51 Jean_Manco

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 09:46 AM

We have some special categories in Regional for sites that cross the standard boundaries.

For example in the UK, sites are organised in the pattern:
United Kingdom
Country (e.g. England)
Traditional County (e.g. Somerset)
Locality (e.g. Bath)

But what about sites that focus on Somerset and adjacent counties? For them we have: Regional: Europe: United Kingdom: England: Regions: South West. There are similar categories for the other English regions.

For the US we have Regional: North America: United States: Regions.

Jumping up a geographical level we can offer:
Regional: North America: Regions
Regional: Asia: Regions
And so on.

Such categories are designed for sites with a specific focus on that region. Whether a business site qualifies for listing there would depend on the business. The rules for Real Estate are strict. For example Regional: Europe: United Kingdom: England: Regions: Eastern: Business and Economy: Property points to businesses with offices in more than one of the eastern counties.

#52 Kali

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 10:48 AM

The problem comes when none of the regions can really be said to be appropriate either.

For example, lets move half of Bristol across the river Severn into Wales, however for our purposes it remains a single town. Lets say Bloggs and Co service the Bristol conurbation and the surrounding area say 30 mile radius.

Now at the county level this area encompasses Somerset, Gloucestershire and Newport.

At the Regional Level it encompasses South Wales and the South West.

At the country level it includes England and Wales

You end up with a problem such that

1 town is not an appropriate category, it is too small to include all the Bloggs & Co branches.

2 A single county is not appropriate as this excludes significant portions of the Bloggs & Co business area.

3 A single region is not appropriate neither South Wales nor South West England are appropriate.

4 A single country is not appropriate as neither Wales nor England would suit.

5 UK is not appropriate as Bloggs & Co only have a regional presence.

(my problems are not quite that bad - but all you need to do is remove the England Wales level to understand my position)

#53 Jean_Manco

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 11:01 AM

What a headache for you Kali. I can only suggest choosing the category that seems to you the best fit, even if less than perfect. If the editor disagrees, then it may be moved. Multiple listings are unlikely to be the solution though.

#54 donaldb

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 11:53 AM

On the other hand your local web developer would love to have the web development contract for clients such as National Corp

Ah yes, but you see that's not really relevant to where I will be placing their site. For consistency sake I'm generally going to be placing a web site in the category where their brick and mortar location is, and not even consider their area of service, or desired area of service. If we considered area of service for such things then we wouldn't even bother with Regional. Besides, isn't that what the topical categories are for?

Remember too that we're not building the directory for the convenience of the webmasters.

#55 Jean_Manco

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 12:09 PM

Let's get right down to basics and ask what Regional is for. It's designed for people searching for something in a particular locale.

It is handy for the subject+place query that does not always work well in a search engine. Those who live in a place with the same name as 10 other places in other parts of the globe will know what I mean. A place-name like Bath can be tricky too. :lol:

It is useful for people like me who have a subject+place website and want to link to the related category, or clone it.

It is good for separating out sites specific to one country. Some SEs are doing that quite effectively. But the ODP offers an alternative approach. Try the pull-down option to search only in Canada.

The Internet is now so vast that simple queries to a search engine can yield overwhelming numbers of results. Meanwhile the ODP has some huge topical categories, as we saw with webdesigners. Searchers are likely to narrow down search by location where that makes sense.

Regional has been a huge growth area. There are only two ODP categories which currently have over one million listings. Regional is one. The other is World. Both are likely to be increasingly popular with sites creating clones of selected parts of the directory.

#56 sarahk

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 05:52 PM

Kali

I think you will find that your target is irrelevant, you will be placed according to your site's relevance, rather than your personal aspirations.

That said, I saw a specialist construction company's site recently that was placed according to its site location (a minor town) when they clearly operated nationally. A suggestion was made but it's up to the editor where the listing ends up.

Interestingly:
Business is PR8
Regional: Oceania: Business and Economy is PR6
Regional: Oceania: New Zealand: Business and Economy is PR5
Regional: Oceania: New Zealand: Auckland: Business and Economy is PR4
Regional: Oceania: New Zealand: Auckland: Auckland City: Business and Economy is PR4

Sarah

[Edited to make links clickable and avoid thread stretch - Jean]

#57 Kali

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Posted 18 February 2004 - 06:31 PM

I think you will find that your target is irrelevant, you will be placed according to your site's relevance, rather than your personal aspirations.


This I can happily accept. I think the real problems come from the fact that the current regional structure of the ODP really doesn't cope well with border areas. I will say that they have tried to address this in some respect by the introduction of Regions at a level above State/County, but this probably hasn't gone far enough.

#58 Eddie

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Posted 19 February 2004 - 06:34 AM

It isn't perfect (what is?), but the regional part of dmoz is relevant. IMHO it helps searchers find locally.

You would be surprised at how often and long editors agonise over issues like these on the internal forums. In fact there are 3 threads now running on the UK regional boards discussing this issue, so things do change when the change is an improvement.

#59 Jean_Manco

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Posted 19 February 2004 - 07:08 AM

Just an aside here, but according to a new survey of more than 5,000 online buyers conducted by The Kelsey Group and BizRate.com, 25 percent of commercial searches were local, "near my home or work."

#60 Kali

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Posted 19 February 2004 - 10:43 AM

Even more reason to be concerned about these issues.



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