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Yahoo Introduces "Nocontent" Syntax  (View post)

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

Thursday, May 3, 2007
12 years ago4,509 views

This is very similar to Google's googleon/googleoff comment tags, allowing you to stop indexing certain parts of a page.

geekzilla.co.uk/ViewC8614968-5 ...

JohnMu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Just a note – the googleon/googleoff tags are only for the search appliance, they do not have any meaning in the general web search. Another similar item is section targeting for Google Adsense (if you're using Adsense, using that really makes a difference).

I honestly don't understand the reasoning behind Yahoo's addition of that class. Do they have trouble recognizing site-wide navigation? Could you imagine debugging indexing problems when an irate designer adds the class to the body tag? :-) Or what about when I concentrate the "indexable" part of my site on competitive keywords?

Asia [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

"(Weird; since when is a site’s navigation not useful to search bots?)"

I found that a bit odd myself, I was a tiny bit excited about the tag, until I went through my websites and noticed nothing was worth tagging (sigh). Am I missing the value or usefulness in this?

I would be interested in knowing exactly how beneficial this would be. For example, if I tag my navigation, will the navigation be weighed less than the content outside of the tags?

uh oh.. there's a can of worms waiting to happen – Get ready for more spam results – coming to a Yahoo near you.

Ryan [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Since when do search engines not care about stuff that's useful to users?

It seems to me that anything useful to a user should also be useful to a search engine no? Aren't the same "users" the ones who are "using" the search engine to find "useful" stuff?

I'm not going to use this because it doesn't make much sense to me.

I've always been a big fan of designing mysebsites as if search engines don't exist – this seems to go against that principle.

Ryan [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

John, forget about applying it to the wrong class.... what about improper nesting of tags or leaving out closing tags that causes it to be applied to everything after the menu?

JohnMu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yikes, you're right Ryan. Finally a search engine that enforces proper (x)html coding :-)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

HTML would be very cluttered if we'd all use *negative* tags like Yahoo does here. Instead of ...

   <p>Hello world</p>

... we'd be writing ...

   <noheader><nofooter><nonavigation><nolink>Hello world</nolink></nonavigation></nofooter></noheader>

Michael Martinez [PersonRank 5]

12 years ago #

The only reason why this robots-nocontent class may be helpful would be if Yahoo! really does pay attention to keyword density.

The whole concept is poorly conceived. Certainly no spammers will use it unless they want to test the keyword density idea.

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Is this admission that Yahoo can't recognize a template and handle it properly when indexing? I agree with Ryan that this is yet another "design the page for search engines" move that doesn't make much sense. How could site navigation be irrelevant for a web search? If you're blocking the header and navigation content, does this mean things like "About" and "Archive" and other relevant content won't get indexed? After all, your template is likely the only place linking directly to that content.

For AdSense, it makes sense. You're indicating what part of your page determines the relevancy of content for that page's ads. But that shouldn't be the case for web searches.

Martin [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

When calcutaing relevancy depends partly on statistical analysis, it makes the job easier for the algorithm, if you exclude the background noise. Gives a clearer picture of the corpus.

As for the navigation concern: I do not believe the Yahoo guys are dumb. The mark probably does not effect which links the spider follows, only what part of the page to regard as its "content" for the above mentioned algorithms.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I wonder how Yahoo would handle non-validating HTML like this:

   <p class="robots-nocontent"><span>This is some text</p></span>

Or even just this:

   <p class="robots-nocontent">This is some text</div>

If you accidentally forgot to close a tag like this, would this potentially prevent all following content being indexed?

JohnMu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Go and find a site that has a large, site-wide menu, perhaps even one with some dynamic elements in it (date/time, dynamic ad-banner, etc); at best one that does not use description meta-tags. If you check the site:-query on Google, MSN and Yahoo, you'll see that Google and MSN get a lot of it right – they can find the unique and relevant content on the page and ignore the menu or site-duplicated sections on the page. Yahoo however, seems to have much more trouble to find the relevant sections and often includes header/menu or footer text in the snippets.

Of course a site:-query and the displayed snippet doesn't say anything about what else is going on behind the scenes for normal indexing, but it does seem kind of strange that Yahoo is the one having trouble displaying the proper snippet... did they outsource the search for relevant content within a page to the webmasters? :-)

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yahoo's way not perfect, should did it better.
I have some ideas, thinking for days. Will post later.

elyk [PersonRank 6]

12 years ago #

>I wonder how Yahoo would handle non-validating HTML like this:
That could do wonders for full web standards adoption by webmasters

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