For those of you who do not know that the ODP or the Open Directory Project, can sometimes override the descriptions on your site in the organic search listings.
The reason that this could be bad for your site is that the editors at the ODP don’t take your SEO efforts in to account when they write their descriptions. While a link from the ODP can be good in terms of helping your ranking in the search engines this benefit can also hamper your conversion due to some less than flattering description of your site.
Myself, I have always tried to write decent descriptions that accurately describe what any given page is about so as to help searchers make an informed decision on whether or not to visit my site. To have those efforts thrown out because some search engine decided take a short cut and allow someone who doesn’t represent my site or products write about them has always been a bit of a sore spot within the SEO community.
It only took a few years for some of the search engines to catch on to this complaint and address it, Google being the first with Yahoo was soon following suit. With that little problem addressed it seemed that a similar situation might be happening with old Yahoo Directory listings as well.
Back in late February 2007 the Yahoo search blog posted this information regarding the their own directory Titles and abstracts…
We’re adding support for the Meta tag called ‘NOYDIR’ that will complement the ‘NOODP’ Meta tag, which we already support. If you’re unfamiliar, the ‘NOODP’ Meta tag is basically a way for webmasters to indicate that Open Directory Project (ODP) titles and abstracts will not be used in search results for their pages. While we continue to pull from various sources to provide the best title and abstract for a given page in search results, we realize that webmasters may still want the ability to exclude titles and abstracts from the Yahoo! Directory. So, as promised, we’re providing support for ‘NOYDIR’ which will recognize the following Meta tags on your pages:
META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOYDIR”
or (don’t forget to add the “<" and ">” to the meta tags)
META NAME=”Slurp” CONTENT=”NOYDIR”
For pages with this tag, we will not use Yahoo! Directory titles or abstracts for your URL in web search results. This will grant webmasters the ability to participate in the Yahoo! Directory Submit program and benefit from inclusion in the Yahoo! Directory, while maintaining control over URL titles and abstracts in search. This will not have any effect on the Yahoo! Directory Search experience, which will continue to use the Yahoo! Directory and title abstract information.
We are re-indexing content on the web to launch this change, and you should immediately begin to see the changes on Yahoo! US, Yahoo! Japan and Yahoo! Korea. (Other regions will roll-out in the future.) This will be accompanied by the usual ranking changes and page shuffling that is typical of weather updates.
Priyank GargProduct Manager, Yahoo! Search
Thanks Privank and here is to hoping that this little tag may help fix some issues that I have heard complaints about over the years!