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Opt Out of DMOZ Titles in MSN Search

Opting Out of Open Directory Listings for Webmasters

     

rustybrick

6:58 pm on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



[blogs.msdn.com...]

What has bothered the webmasters previously is that when search engines preferred search result descriptions from dmoz.org, they did not empower webmasters to opt-out of those descriptions. This can be especially annoying if the descriptions from dmoz.org are outdated, or just plain inaccurate.

We had one customer who was frustrated because the ODP description of their site mentioned “favours” and was listed under Canada when their site was actually in the United States and was spelled as “favors”. All they wanted was a way to specify that MSN Search should use the description from their page instead of using ODP.

So what we did was introduce a new option at the page level - a robots meta tag – that tells the MSN search bot not to use the DMOZ site snippet. This is something that only can be done at Web page level, by a webmaster, and is not done as part of the robot.txt file.

So in your Web page you’d put

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP">

or

<META NAME="msnbot" CONTENT="NOODP">

Cool.

leadegroot

8:26 pm on May 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Technical quibble ;)
Wouldn't it have been better not to use a standardised item like robots, and still not to use a bot-specific term like msnbot?
At least try to make a new standard - eg
<META NAME="ODPTITLE" CONTENT="OFF">
but what is done is done.

Conard

4:06 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm surprised this isn't getting more notice.

I only wonder if G and Y will follow suit.
I would love to by pass the Y directory description and not have to deal with the DMOZ title on G.

gstewart

7:14 am on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Is there any risk - whatsoever - to results in other search engines being affected by using this meta tag?

RichTC

8:55 am on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



furthermore why put the effort in?

If msn are stupid enough to use outdated DMOZ data then they will remain a third class search engine.

When msndude asked for feedback on this a while back i and many other webmasters sticky mailed to say what a stupid idea it was in the first place and to not to continue with it - yet they ignored the feedback!.

If they want to use directory data they should encourage webmasters to pay to use their own directory or even Yahoos which is very comprehensive and unbiased, but no its obviously easier for msn to copy outdated dmoz data.

Its a no brainer if you ask me!

In the meantime why risk adding additional code to your page which may effect other search engines such as google, yahoo, ask and all the other smaller players - i for one wont be thats for sure!

texasville

8:06 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>>>>If msn are stupid enough to use outdated DMOZ data then they will remain a third class search engine. <<<

Looked at google lately? G uses it a lot.

Conard

8:26 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Several years ago I started including a few non text characters in the titles of some pages on one of my sites.
That site sits at or near the top of it queries.
Last year I noticed at least 10 competitors including the same characters in their titles.

They have no bearing on the ranking, but they look like they may to some people out there.

Googles #1 and they use DMOZ titles sometimes. MSN wants to be #1, so........

Tourz

8:57 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



nice post, i hope this works.

madmatt69

9:48 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Here's a thought: SE's should just use the damn <title> tag! I never understood why they sometimes prefer the ODP title.

Give people the option to enabled ODP titles if they want via that meta tag, rather than making everyone clutter up their pages with a meta tag just to say do not use the ODP title.

swa66

9:55 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The good part about forcing DMOZ data from a SE point of view is that it takes away the ability for the lees honest publishers to use wrong titles and overly "optimized" descriptions in favor of descriptions and titles made by 3rd parties.

I basically I'm sad to see an ability to defeat that.

vincevincevince

10:38 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I'd far rather see ODP details than META DESCRIPTION contents.

patc

10:39 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Note it is the description, not the title.

At least that's what it says, and my sites in the MSN SERPS only show the DMOZ description, the title is the <title> tag.

ericfwebmaster

12:43 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The good part about forcing DMOZ data from a SE point of view is that it takes away the ability for the lees honest publishers to use wrong titles and overly "optimized" descriptions in favor of descriptions and titles made by 3rd parties.

The good part about being able to opt out is that is takes away the ability for less honest ODP editors to use lame titles and under "optimize" descriptions to give an advantage to their own sites.

bsterz

12:48 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Honestly - why does MS INSIST on "enhancing" things so? It just really seems like a kludge to me. As a developer and SEO I dislike tags like these. I'll get into a page and find a dozen or so silly meta tags, then spend 30 minutes explaining why each of them are pointless. And this one will soon be pointless as well..

Maybe I'm just grumpy today..

balam

12:54 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



> Note it is the description, not the title.

In the case of my DMOZ-listed site, that's not true. I just checked, and both the DMOZ-supplied page title (the anchor text at DMOZ) and site description are currently being used by MSN in their SERPs.

Interestingly, Google has changed their use of DMOZ data; just checked, and they're using the DMOZ anchor text as my page name, but they have switched back to using my page description. That's a very recent change! Since Google started using DMOZ data, it was the other way around.

Personally, I'm rather pleased that MSN is giving me the choice on what data to use. I didn't submit to DMOZ; don't know how I was added, but "they" (who added me) supplied a sub-standard description - I'm sure we all complain about that ;) - but also, annoyingly, effectively changed the name of my site.

My site is branded under a single word, which is a compound of two words. Same idea as here - WebmasterWorld, a single word made by compounding three. The DMOZ title splits my name into two (key)words. I already ranked #1 for those keywords, so I'm not gaining any advantage there, but I am losing my branding.

Moral to my story? A DMOZ listing can be a double-edged sword!

sugarrae

1:04 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>>>I'd far rather see ODP details than META DESCRIPTION contents.

Then you either have no sites afflicted by this (in ODP), are the editor of your ODP category (gasp) or you're one of twenty people on the planet who legitimately got a decent ODP description. IMHO. The ODP descriptions suck and had become a liability. If my choice is me writing my marketing copy or a volunteer ODP editor whose seen my site for four minutes, I'll choose me every time.

stinkfoot

1:20 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



>>If msn are stupid enough to use outdated DMOZ data then they will remain a third class search engine.

Oh dear so glad no other search engines use this rubbish then.

Seems yet another google shareholder doesnt like the competition of a good search engine like msn. You just cant use google for research anymore the information is very old, it take 2 years for anything to to rank!

MSN is a good engine face it.

DMOZ sucks though I must admit. Come on MSN use the stuff the webmasters have on thier pages not the rubbish google reps have put into dmoz. Oops did i say google reps, i ment dmoz editors .. ah .. same thing never mind eh.

Lobo

1:52 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well I've been impressed with MSN, I have a new site, registered about 4 months ago now, MSN had it in the engine within 2 weeks and it ranks # 1 for my keywords.

all the others are still not even listing it...

unless I type in my whole domain ie: "bluewidgets" msn give me #1 for " blue widgets"

NoLimits

3:59 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I can't believe there is so much whining and complaining in this thread. MSN gave us an option - do what you will with it. I personally think it's wonderful to finally see a search engine pay attention to webmaster wants. How long have we been complaining about ODP descriptions? No other SE has offered an alternative. I give MSN a pat on the back. When MSN said it was going to start taking search more seriously - I hope that these types of things are what they were meaning. Google better ramp up the warm fuzzies or market share is going to shift in a big way. No amount of branding can keep Google on top if MSN wins over the webmaster community.

berto

5:33 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Agreed. Greater control and more choices is always preferable. Thanks, MSN.

kanetrain

6:02 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thanks MSN. It's an option... that's great.

F_Rose

8:02 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Now please be more specific..

What changes do I need to make to our tags to get back in MSN?

Please explain in detail..

Thank you..

DoingItWell

10:09 am on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Excellent option - I have a specific site whose ODP description is terse, to put it mildly, and the ODP editors don't respond to requests to change it.

I remember reading somewhere an ODP editor describin how he used his power to change a listing for a competing website to something like "Conveniently located next to the nuclear power plant". Is that the kind of competition you need for your site? Where is the enduser advantage in that?

stinkfoot

10:59 am on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The corrupution in the OPD is disgusting it should be banned imo

gniver

1:45 pm on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Can the added metatag be formatted:
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="INDEX, FOLLOW, NOODP">
Does it matter if there are two:
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="INDEX, FOLLOW">
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP">
Or would it be better to have:
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="INDEX, FOLLOW">
<META NAME="msnbot" CONTENT="NOODP">

pageoneresults

2:57 pm on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="INDEX, FOLLOW">

The above tag is not required. That is the default indexing behavior of the spiders. And, that can be shortened to...

<meta name="robots" content="all">

keyplyr

6:17 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Along the same line of question, theoretically this:

<meta name="robots" content="noodp">
<meta name="robots" content="noarchive">

Could be shortened to this:

<meta name="robots" content="noodp,noarchive">

Anyone know a reason why this isn't valid?

GrantNZ

8:46 am on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Search engines should just drop using dmoz descriptions. I didn't ask them to write-up my description like that. The content within our site reflects a better and more 'today' description of that our site/s is about.

vincevincevince

12:58 pm on May 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I didn't ask them to write-up my description like that.

And hence the big benefit of using DMOZ descriptions - you didn't write them and hence you can't use them to mislead searchers.

sugarrae

11:41 pm on May 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>>>you didn't write them and hence you can't use them to mislead searchers

Dmoz descriptions can and *do* mislead searchers at times. I see a ton of *national* companies serving the nation as a whole listed as being a "Widget seller in Hobunk, Arkansas" - giving the user the impression that the site is a local store and not applicable to them when it is really a nationwide store offering free shipping nationwide (or whatever else of value to the user).

Secondly, having a factual description does *not* mean you have a good one. It's called marketing... "established in 1881 and a trusted leader in widget making serving customers nationwide" is no less factual than "old company, [core company offices] located in Nevada", but it sure as hell sounds a *lot* better and will increase the CTR (where as the second description, while factual, has the ability to kill CTR).

It's marketing vs. someone who doesn't care writing a bland, short description meant to be descriptive within a category *on dmoz* (i.e. the widget maker above may be listed in dmoz under "national widget retailers" - but without that, the "located in" makes them look like a small company servicing one area).

Spam shouldn't be there to *have* misleading meta tags for users to see. When it is, that, and not their description, is MSN's problem.

This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32
 

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