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From The Isn’t It Ironic Dept: Google Product Search’s Results Show Up In Google

Remember how Google said recently that it might crack down on listings pages that are simply search results themselves? Reader Michael Nguyen dropped an email today to point out how, ironically, Google is now listing pages from its own Google Product Search service exactly as it has warned others not to do. OK, settle down back there, those of you having a chuckle. Embarrassing? Yes! Intentional? Almost certainly not. Let's take a look. Try a search for snake light, and you'll get this: See down there at the bottom? Two pages from Google Product Search showing up in the top results: I [...]

How Search Engines Handle The Nofollow Attribute

Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal has a nice write up on how the search engines handle the nofollow attribute now just over two years since it was introduced. still does not follow the tag, so here are the takeaway for Google and Yahoo: Google won't follow the link, Yahoo will (note) Google and Yahoo won't pass link popularity for that specific link Google would hope that Wikipedia would not take such an "absolute approach" on the nofollow link attribute being applied so widely. Note From Danny: Google WILL follow nofollow links in the sense that if someone else links to a page [...]

Google Releases Improved Content Removal Tools

Google has rolled out new tools to help people quickly get content removed from its search engine. Those targeted at site owners allow for speedy removal of pages and cached copies of pages. Other tools allow those to request the removal of images or links to pages with personal information about themselves, in the right circumstances. More on the tools and various options are covered below. Site Owner Removal Options For site owners, the best way to keep content out of Google is by using the robots.txt or meta robots tag options. Either option can prevent pages from getting into Google or ge [...]

Up Close & Personal With Robots.txt

The Robots.txt Summit at Search Engine Strategies New York 2007 was the latest in a series of special sessions with the intent to open a dialog between search engines representatives and web site publishers. Past summits featured discussion on comment spam on blogs, indexing issues and redirects. The subject of this latest summit was to discuss the humble but terribly important robots.txt file. Danny Sullivan moderated, with panelists Keith Hogan, Director of Program Management, Search Technology,, Sean Suchter, Director of Yahoo Search Technology, Yahoo Search, Dan Crow, Product [...]

Google Warning Against Letting Your Search Results Get Indexed

The days of doing a Google search that brings up results leading to search results from other sites are heading for a close. Matt Cutts, in his Search Results In Search Results post today, points out a change to Google's guidelines that shows a crackdown on this type of material may begin. More about what I'm talking about below, plus the question of whether Google should do the same with paid listings. Over time, more and more pages seem to show up in Google search results that are merely lists of search results from those sites. To illustrate this, consider a search for dvd playe [...]

Meta Robots Tag 101: Blocking Spiders, Cached Pages & More

Last week, I covered a new command for the meta robots tag -- one to prevent search engines from using Yahoo titles and descriptions. In doing that, a number of questions came up about the meta robots tag syntax itself. Google Webmaster Central has now posted "Using the robots meta tag," providing some clarity from Google. In addition, both Yahoo and Microsoft have also sent me information on using the tag. I'll run through what everyone says below, complete with charts for easy at-a-glance comparisons. The meta robots tag was an open standard created over a decade ago and designed initiall [...]

Yahoo Provides NOYDIR Opt-Out Of Yahoo Directory Titles & Descriptions

Yahoo! Search Support for 'NOYDIR' Meta Tags and Weather Update from the Yahoo Search Blog covers how at long last, you can now tell Yahoo to not use Yahoo Directory information to make a title and/or description for your web page listings. It also cover how Yahoo's currently doing a reindexing change that might impact rankings. More on that below, plus tips about also blocking the Open Directory information from being used for your pages and some possible conflicts with multiple robots tags. Sometimes pages are listed in both Yahoo's crawler-based search results and within its human-compil [...]

Finding Search Engine Freshness & Crawl Dates

A reader emailed me today noticing that Google was showing a date next to his listing, which made me think this was a good time to revisit how, when and where search engines show crawl dates for pages. These dates are a useful way for site owners to understand how often they are being revisited or for anyone to "squeeze the loaf" of a search engine to see how fresh it is. Here's a search engine-by-search engine rundown on date display. I'll also cover how we've sadly lost crawl dates being embedded next to listings, over the years. But that's not all! Read now and you'll even [...]


The Google Blog has a basic but clear explanation of the robots exclusion protocol. In this blog post, Google explained how the NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW, NOARCHIVE and NOSNIPPET META tags function. In short: NOINDEX tag tells Google not to index a specific page NOFOLLOW tag tells Google not to follow the links on a specific page NOARCHIVE tag tells Google not to store a cached copy of your page NOSNIPPET tag tells Google not to show a snippet (description) under your Google listing, it will also not show a cached link in the search results [...]

Up Close With Yahoo’s New Delete URL Feature

Since Yahoo rolled out a new Delete URL feature this week, a number of questions have come up on how exactly it works. I had time yesterday with some of the Yahoo Site Explorer team to gather answers. Thanks to Priyank Garg and Amit Kumar, who along with Tim Mayer, went through the inner workings. It's probably most important to understand the difference between how pages have traditionally been kept out of Yahoo versus what Delete URL does. Traditionally, Yahoo is told not to spider pages at all using either a robots.txt file or a meta robots tag that uses the "noindex" setting. [...]

Yahoo Site Explorer Adds Features: Delete URL From Index

The Yahoo Search Blog just announced that Yahoo Site Explorer has new features. Yes, one of those features is the Yahoo Site Explorer Badge, which we reported this morning. But there are more features. You can now delete URLs from the index with a click of a button. If you authenticated your site with Yahoo Site Explorer, there will be a delete button when you "explore" a URL. Other features include authentication via META tags and more detailed authentication errors. Pretty cool that you can easily remove URLs from Yahoo's Search index, here is a screen capture: [...]

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