MSN Allowing Webmasters to Opt Out of ODP Descriptions

For some time now, search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN have been using ODP (Dmoz) descriptions for search engine results descriptions. These descriptions are supplied by human editors overseeing the ODP. Although usually relevant and valuable, these descriptions at times are outdated, unrelated, and even incorrect.

Webmasters have been asking for a way to opt out of these ODP search engine results descriptions and MSN is the first engine to offer a solution.

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”>

Once MSN’s crawler revisits your page, you should see the changes reflected in the search results.

So far MSN is the only engine to recognize the tag, but hopefully the other engines will follow MSN’s example.

Behind the New Yahoo Homepage

Following the launch of Yahoo’s new homepage design, the Yahoo UI team discusses the patterns behind the homepage and the technology that powers the new interface.

From the Yahoo UI Blog:

This principle captures the idea that every piece of logical content does not have to be on a different page. Instead when we design a content page, especially a home page, we should consider how we can expand the user’s virtual space. In many ways this is similar to creating a play. At any given time the view on the stage is only a small part of the action. The backstage, props, and other actors are all being prepared for the next scene. A home page can provide ways to allow a user to take a “sneak peek” at additional content and essentially “open up” the page space.

This is just what the new Yahoo! home page has done.

Quick Google Update

Just a short Google update since there is better coverage over at SEW/SE Roundtable.

During Google’s Press Day yesterday, Google announced the release of four new products:

Google Co-op is a way for users to help us improve search. It lets people and organizations label web pages and create specialized links related to their unique expertise. Whether it’s information about a hobby, a profession, or an unusual interest, everyone can contribute to making Google search more relevant and useful for the entire community.

Google Desktop 4 gives you another way to improve search, by personalizing your desktop. New “Google Gadgets” deliver an array of information–ranging from games and media players to weather updates and news–straight to your desktop.

Google Notebook (which we’ll be launching next week) is a personal browser tool that lets you clip text, images, and links from the pages you’re searching, save clippings to an online notebook, and then share notebooks with others.

Google Trends builds on the idea behind the Google Zeitgeist, allowing you to sort through several years of Google search queries from around the world to get a general idea of everything from user preferences on ice-cream flavors to the relative popularity of politicians in their respective cities or countries.

I’ll be taking a look at Google Co-op and posting more information about it in the future.

Livesearch on AlltheWeb

Yahoo just launched a new feature called “Livesearch” on AlltheWeb.

Livesearch is a combination of Google Suggest, Related Searches, and Instant Search. With some slick use of AJAX to make searching faster, Livesearch aims to speed up search time.

Yahoo plans to introduce new search features over at AlltheWeb in the future:

AlltheWeb is a search destination that has its roots as a showcase of new and innovative technology – for example AlltheWeb was the first site to roll out the calculator functionality within the search box. The site will remain true to its roots as we continue to introduce new technologies there in the future.

Search Marketing Standard is Out

Just got this email from Boris Mordkovich – the Publisher of Search Marketing Standard magazine.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that after 5 months of hard work, the inaugural issue of the first and only SEM publication is now officially out.

It has been mailed to over 15,000 subscribers last week. U.S. based readers can expect it in their mailboxes this week, while International will be receiving it within the next 10 business days.

The magazine will also be distributed to all attendees of the Affiliate Summit conference in Florida in July and PubCon conference which will take place in Las Vegas in November.

Once you receive the magazine, please email me (boris@smstandard.com) with your questions, comments and suggestions. We want to know what you think and your feedback is very important to us. Every single email will be read and responded to.

Thank you for your support and we hope that you will enjoy reading our Summer issue.

Best Regards,
Boris Mordkovich
Publisher

I’m looking forward to getting my copy soon!

Google Crys Anti-Trust Over IE7

From Wired:

Google has informally complained to U.S. and European antitrust regulators about what it says are biased settings on Microsoft’s latest web browser, marking the latest spat between two companies whose business models are increasingly bumping up against one another.

Here’s the feature that Google is complaining about:

The next version of Internet Explorer, available now in test form, includes a box in the corner that lets people perform an internet search without going to a separate web page, much like what’s available from Google’s downloadable “toolbar.” Users who download IE 7 will be assigned a search engine preference based on the AutoSearch function from the previous version of IE, which is likely to be MSN Search.

Funny isn’t that the same feature as Firefox? Except with Google as the default search engine?