MSN Allows Opting Out of Directory Listings

May 23, 2006 | 1,793 views | by Candid SEO
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MSN Search has given webmasters the option to display or not to display a site's ODP directory title in the MSN Search results. MSN uses ODP (dmoz.org) directory listing's data for ranking websites on the search results. The problem as elaborated on the MSN blog is as follows-

The Open Directory Project at dmoz.org is a repository of millions of human-edited descriptions. Even though these human-edited descriptions provide a lot of value, with human editing may come human error, bias, descriptions getting outdated, or the editor’s text may simply not suit the webmasters who want to be represented in their own way.

What has bothered the webmasters previously is that when search engines preferred search result descriptions from dmoz.org, they did not empower webmasters to opt-out of those descriptions. This can be especially annoying if the descriptions from dmoz.org are outdated, or just plain inaccurate.

 We had one customer who was frustrated because the ODP description of their site mentioned “favours” and was listed under Canada when their site was actually in the United States and was spelled as “favors”. All they wanted was a way to specify that MSN Search should use the description from their page instead of using ODP.

Kudos to MSN for having taken the step.