I remember when I first got into SEO, back in the "old days" when PageRank was king. A recurrent question in webmaster forums, even then, was "Is getting listed in DMOZ important?" The answer, depending on who you asked, was either "Absolutely, yes" or "No way".
But every SEO seemed to obsess about it. The SEO community has always had a bit of a fetish with DMOZ.
Jill Whalen chimes in on the matter in a High Rankings thread, Buying A Dmoz-listed Domain From An Owner, Is it worth it?
Why people (who you’ve read) think that means dmoz puts a lot of
emphasis in Google as far as rankings are concerned, is beyond me.
There’s no reason to suspect that a dmoz listing is given any more
emphasis than any other link.
I have to disagree here, on grounds of TrustRank [PDF]. If Google is basing a link algorithm on the principle of starting with 200 or so trusted "seed sites", and calculating a site’s link strength by measuring it’s degree of integration with the outgoing link structure of those seed sites, then getting a single incoming link from any trusted seed site is going to have a very powerful effect on a site’s ranking.
What is true is that getting a link from one of the other 199 seed sites would also be very helpful. We don’t know what those sites are, though, and they probably aren’t willing to hand out links like DMOZ does. Therefore I believe the importance many people place on a DMOZ listing is quite justified.
Yet Jill seems to imply that a DMOZ listing may even have a negative effect on your Web site, because it has the potential to give your site an unwanted description in the SERPs.
What they are doing is stealing the dmoz description and using that in
your Google listing. This is why I say that it’s actually a hindrance
more than a help.
Actually, the fact that Google uses DMOZ’s description of these sites in the SERPs just shows how much Google trusts DMOZ. They trust it to describe a Web site more accurately than they trust a webmaster to describe his or her own site!
What I do agree with Jill about is that fact that there is no use worrying about a DMOZ link. Why? Because worrying about it doesn’t help anything. If you have time to be worrying, you have time to get a different, non-DMOZ authority link from a well-respected site in your topical community–or, failing that, you have time to add more good content to your site that will ensure it’s listed in DMOZ eventually.
Your scheme will waste you time and money that you could be putting
towards something that will actually make a difference to your site,
like building more content, starting a newsletter, or pretty much
anything else besides thinking about dmoz.
So my advice is to submit your site and then forget about it. Three months later, if you’re still not listed, submit to a different (but still relevant) category. There is at least the chance that the editor of that category will like your site better and will list it (or, perhaps, the second editor will be actively checking the queue of unreviewed sites, while the other editor wasn’t).