Weekly SEO news: 6 March 2007
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look a look at the effects of Yahoo's new NOYDIR tag on your search engine rankings.

Our articles series on how to work around Google's ranking spam filters will be continued next week.

In the news: Google releases official click fraud numbers, Google is the second biggest advertising platform in the UK, Matt Cutts talks about cloaking and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Facts of the week: Yahoo introduces the NOYDIR tag

A few days ago, Yahoo announced support for a new meta tag called "NOYDIR". The new tag will complement the "NOODP" meta tag that is already supported by all major search engines.

What is the new NOYDIR tag?

Yahoo, Google and other search engines often use the title and the abstracts that are used in Open Directory Project (ODP) listings or in Yahoo Directory listings for their search result lists.

Unfortunately, the titles and the descriptions that are used in these directories are often not the titles and descriptions that webmasters want to see in the search results.

The reason for that is that the editors of the directory assign the titles and the descriptions to the listed web sites and not the webmasters of the sites. Editors often see web sites differently than webmasters do.

In addition, these directory descriptions often become outdated and it is very difficult to change the title and the description of a web site in a big directory.

As many webmasters didn't like the ODP directory title and description in the search results on Google and other search engines, search engines invented the NOODP tag.

If the NOODP tag is used on a web page, search engines won't use the title and the description of the Open Directory Project entry for that web page. Yahoo now did the same with the NOYDIR tag.

How can you add the new tag to your web pages?

Just add the following code to the <HEAD> section of your web pages:

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

If you insert that code snippet on your web pages then Yahoo won't use its directory description for your web site in the organic search results. If you also don't want that the Open Directory Project description is used for your web site, insert the following in the <HEAD> section of your web pages:

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

How will the new tag influence your rankings on Yahoo?

If you use the new tag on your web pages than Yahoo will use the title of your web pages in its search results. The description will be created based on the content of the displayed web page.

Yahoo might still use the Open Directory Description so it is better to include both tags on your pages if you don't like your directory descriptions:

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

The NOYDIR tag does not mean that the link from the Yahoo directory won't be considered in link popularity calculations. A link from the Yahoo directory to your web site will still have a positive effect on the link popularity of your web site.

The new NOYDIR tag will be supported by the next IBP version that is going to be released within the next two weeks. The NOODP tag and many other tags are already supported by the current IBP version.

If you haven't done it yet, you should optimize some of your web pages for Yahoo's search engine algorithm. Although Google delivers the majority of web traffic, it is not a good idea to rely on a single source of traffic.

Use IBP's Top 10 Optimizer to optimize your web pages for both Google and Yahoo so that your web site gets as many targeted visitors as possible.


We'll continue with our article series on how to work around Google spam filters next week.
2. Search engine news of the week
Invalid clicks – Google's overall numbers

"Our invalid clicks rate – the activity rate – has remained in the range of less than 10% of all clicks every quarter since we launched AdWords in 2002. [...]

Because of the broad operation of our proactive detection, the relatively rare cases we find of advertisers being affected by undetected click fraud constitute less than 0.02% of all clicks."



Google's Matt Cutts: A quick word about cloaking

"Cloaking is serving different content to users than to search engines. It’s interesting that you don’t see all that much cloaking to deliver spam these days. If you see people doing spam, they tend to rely on sneaky redirects [...]

When a Google user clicks on a search result at Google, they should always see the same page that Googlebot saw."



Google now challenging ITV to be UK’s top advertiser

"Google’s UK advertising revenue has risen by 83 per cent, making the search engine second only to ITV as Britain’s highest advertising earner. [...]

Google denied that the rise in its revenues, which have nearly quadrupled in the UK since 2004, represented a threat to traditional media, saying that broadcasters stood to benefit greatly from growth in online advertising."



Search engine newslets

  • Google redirector broken?
  • Google gtags version 1.0.
  • Despite Yahoo's down year, Semel gets a big bonus.
  • Former Ask.com Europe CEO joins board of Workcircle.
  • Out-of-this-world gala at Google.
  • Quigo signs Forbes.com to AdSonar network.
  • Catch the earthquake last night?
  • Google might work on an OS for mobile phones.
  • Online advertising $60 billion in 2010.
3. Articles of the week
Microsoft attacks Google on copyright

"[Microsoft] argues that Google’s move into new media markets has come at the expense of publishers of books, videos and software [...]

Companies that create no content of their own, and make money solely on the backs of other people’s content, are raking in billions through advertising revenue and I.P.O.s. Google takes the position that everything may be freely copied unless the copyright owner notifies Google and tells it to stop."


Why search engines want to sell your trademark to your competitors

"While the subject of contextual branding against other company’s trademarks will not be a new issue to some people, and I had been aware of the problem from the past couple of years of litigation between major companies and search portals like Google and Yahoo!, nevertheless I was a bit surprised when my brand was targeted by an upstart competitor."

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4. Recommended resources

"My web site is today #1 for Google, Yahoo and AOL."

"Just a short note of thanks. My web site is today #1 for Google, Yahoo and AOL, and #3 for AltaVista and Alltheweb.

It has been accomplished by honesty in the <Head> area, quality in/out bound links, and a lot of support articles, advise and software from places like Google and Axandra. All for very little $$$ which is important for a fledgling business. Thanks again".
Bill Leibenguth, www.freedomflightinc.com



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