NOODP and NOYDIR may seem like alien terms to those who have not worked on SEO during the old days of internet marketing where everything had to be done manually. A number of tags including NOODP and NOYDIR were critical to controlling the way search engine crawlers would index and render the web pages.
Search engines don't always make use of the title and description you add to the page in SERP. They, sometimes or perhaps always, choose descriptions from the Open Directory project which may not appeal to readers. NOODP & NOYDIR tags come into the picture at this point. Here, we discuss the tags like NOODP and NOYDIR, their use and advantages to help you optimize your webpages more effectively for search engines.
A small, simple but highly beneficial tag for SEO, NOODP is used to prevent search engine from accessing the directory listing to get the description used to list organic search results. NOODP stands for No Open Directory Project and this directive tells the search engine crawlers to avoid using metadata from the Open Directory Project for titles and snippets displayed for the particular page in the search results.
When somebody searches the web entering a keyword, Google may use the open directory project to use the descriptions as the title and meta description for the page listed on organic search result. Using the NOODP directive lets you opt out of the title and description override from the open directory project.
DMOZ is the open directory having a database of links to all the websites. If your website is listed in the Open Directory Project of DMOZ, Google can use the title and description of web page for your site from this directory rather than using title and description you provided for page ranking. This can affect your page SEO to a great extent. The benefit of using NOODP is to prevent search engines from selecting random page descriptions. With this tag, you can inform Google what is actually relevant for your page. For DMOZ listing, your website can drop in ranking for the keywords present in your meta descriptions and title. While it does not make a big difference, you can still lose some hundreds of visitors. DMOZ listings often use irrelevant, outdated and inaccurate content and it is advantageous to be able to control how your pages are indexed and served by the crawlers.
As NOODP is a meta tag supported by Google, another such tag introduced by Yahoo! Is NOYDIR. This tag works much like NOODP and functions by ignoring titles and descriptions from the Yahoo! Directory. The NOYDIR directive is meant to prevent search engines from showing up the title and description from the Yahoo directory. Meta Robots tags are designed to make sure the correct content displays in the SERP page description. Using these tags, it is possible to tell the search engines how you want your web page to be indexed and crawled.
INDEX is a tag used to add a page to index for people to discover.
FOLLOW is another meta robots tag that tells the search engine that it can follow other links present on the page so that other pages can be discovered.
Adding the meta robot tags on the first page tells the search engine whether you want the entire website to be crawled or not.
Making use of the NOODP directive benefits your site's SEO. This tag gives some flexibility to webmasters about getting the page title and description the way they like and not how the editor chooses. With this tag, you actually get a chance to add to the information about your website.
You can use 'description' for the attribute 'name' of the tag and pass the description of the site in the content attribute. You can do the same for keywords as well because search engines use tags or keywords to rank pages. It is possible to use 'keywords' for the attribute 'name' and pass the relevant keywords in the content attribute. The ultimate goal is to make sure the right content shows up in the title and description of your page when it appears in the search results.
The NOODP meta tag is supported by Yahoo!, Google and MSN. Whenever the search engine shows information about your site as fetched from the open directory project and not that from the meta tag you add, you can force the search engine to ignore the directory with the use of this tag:
<meta name = "googlebot" content = "NOODP"> For MSN, you can use: <meta name = "msnbot" content = "NOODP">
These tags, after adding to the web page, can take some time before reflecting the changes in the snippets.
NOODP and NOYDIR tags are as valuable as the Sitemap and robots.txt files for the website. Disabling the search engines from using the content from open project directory ensures no inaccurate and outdated data is used from directories as these directories rarely update their database.
Use of these tags makes sure the right description is displayed in the search results and affects the SEO and user experience positively. Do share your experiences and thoughts in the comments section below.