Ditch the ODP title

Filed in Bing, Directories, Google, Yahoo by Matt McGee on July 13, 2006 2 Comments

This is great news: One of potentials drawbacks of having directories such as DMOZ or Yahoo list your site is that search engines might take your directory listing information and use it in the SERPs instead of the actual [TITLE] element and meta “Description” on your page.

As I describe on the Directories page, Google and MSN might show your DMOZ info. in their SERPS, and Yahoo might show your Yahoo Directory info. in its SERPs. If you don’t understand how this might be a problem, consider my employer; here’s what our DMOZ listing looks like:

One World Telecommunications – Offers Internet access via dial-up, broadband, or wireless connections.

When someone searches for web development or search engine marketing, that listing in Google’s SERPs won’t get a single click. We don’t want Google using our DMOZ listing — we want them using content from our web pages.

And now we can control that, thanks to Google’s decision to join MSN in supporting the NOODP meta tag. You can see how to use it in Google’s Webmaster Help Center.

If you’re a small business owner or webmaster who’s been frustrated over the use of directory info. in SERPs, make the change to your code pronto — and then be patient while waiting for it to take effect.

Now if only we could get Yahoo to support a tag that lets us control whether our Yahoo Directory info. is used in their search engine. Yahoooo? Anyone home?

Comments (2)

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  1. oatmeal says:

    I find it interesting that we’re creating new html attributes for the search engines (nofollow, for example). Isn’t it the job of the w3c to standardize markup?

  2. Matt McGee says:

    Yeah, I’m not much of a fan of helping the SEs do their job — especially when the new tags exist to fix the messes they made. But if it helps the web site owner, that’s the biggest thing….

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