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What are the Meta Tags ‘NOODP’ and ‘NOYDIR’ Used For in SEO?

May 5th, 2009 | | Advanced SEO Tips, Nuts & Bolts of Optimization

Recently I came across a client who had <meta name=”robots” content=”NOYDIR” /> and <meta name=”robots” content=”NOODP” /> tags in their meta data and I feel there is need to go in depth on the purpose of these two tags and how they can affect SEO.   A while back we wrote on this topic when the new canonical tag came out. But it’s been a few months and I feel it’s important to highlight the two tags individually.

Let’s talk about NOODP first. According to Matt Cutts blog, in some cases, if someone types in a keyword into the search, Google may use descriptions from the open directory project as the page title and meta description for you organic listing.  The NOODP tag allows you to essentially opt out of the open directory project title and description override.  Just in case you weren’t aware, the open directory project is DMOZ.  Matt mentions that it may take 3 to 4 days for your NOODP meta tag to update after your page was re-crawled.

The benefits of using this meta tag is if you do have a DMOZ listing it is possible for a site to drop in page rank for specific keywords that are present in your specified page title and meta descriptions.  Matt says you may not notice a major difference in position, but enough for you to possibly lose a couple hundred visits.  Unfortunately the DMOZ listings can often use outdated, inaccurate or not very well written.

Now, the NOYDIR meta tag is specifically used to prevent the search engines from displaying your Yahoo! Directory page title and meta description.  This is used for all of the same reasons mentioned above, only it’s for Yahoo!.  SEOWorkers.com says that Yahoo!’s spider ‘slurp’ is the only spider that will use the Yahoo! Directory page title and meta description.

There are a few ways you can implement these tags for the search engines.

1.  You can add them in separately for DMOZ, Yahoo! Directory and even for MSN by using the three tags below according to SEOWorkers.com:

  • If you only have the problem with Google, you can use this:

<meta name=”googlebot” content=”NOODP” />

  • If you only have the problem with Yahoo!, you can use this:

<meta name=”slurp” content=”NOYDIR” />

  • If you only have the problem with MSN, you can use this:

<meta name=”msnbot” content=”NOODP” />

2. Or for a quicker way to implement these tags, is to add one single line of code with multiple attributes separated by commas to exclude both the DMOZ and Yahoo! Directory from displaying their page titles and meta descriptions.

  • <meta name=”robots” content=”NOODP,NOYDIR” />

So, if you ask yourself, when was the last time I looked at or updated my DMOZ or Yahoo! Directory page title and meta description? And the answer is never, you may just want to implement these tags to avoid allowing the search engines to use an older, outdated and possibly irrelevant title and description from these two sources.

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  • SlimJim

    Thanks, I learned something new today! :)

    • http://www.eyewebmaster.com Rosendo A. Cuyasen

      Thanks for the information. This is useful for a website that are already existing in the search engine result page.

  • http://www.greencardsusa.com Edgar O. Bortolin

    I just finished our web-site and now trying to learn about marketing it. Thanks for the information…………..I have a lot to learn about marketing it.

  • http://www.babyfluffy.com lutvia

    I’m using this

    I’m waiting for Yahoo to spider the site. I’ll let you know.

  • http://akashprodip.wordpress.com/ Florence

    Great explanation. I just read Google’s description and then came to your page. Nicely explained, many many thanks. I was thinking of translating this subject matter into a regional Indian language so that users of that region gets a clear knowledge.

  • http://www.mobileyp.tel Dennis

    Thanks for the detail explanation. At first I thought the command was means to exclude contents from Open directory and Yahoo, which I thought was disadvantage to SEO. If the site is not listed in Yahoo directory or DMOZ directory, then there is no impact. right?

  • http://ezinecavern.com Article Boy

    Thnx for sharing this info, I was just wondering what it means, because I found it in platinum seo options.

  • http://www.source.com.hk Alex

    Great things to start some creative step in something new and effective fro website.
    Thanks and Regards.

  • http://caterwaiterct.com Melissa Evans

    I was wondering why Thesis Theme added this to our website. So glad it did! Thanks for the good information on this website, you cleared up my question quickly.

  • http://www.colema.org Colema

    Thank you for clearing this up. I spotted these tags on a competitors site.

  • http://www.darrylburma.com Darryl

    I just came across these tags for the first time today and being the curious type that I am just had to know what their purpose is. Thanks to you and this helpful article now I know!

  • http://blogpestcontrol.com Thos003

    So is there any research that would suggest if this helps or hurts your SEO efforts? … I happened to find it on a page that was not ranked or listed in Google, so I was just curious. Thanks, From the pest control guy!

  • http://www.ametibetaine.com Bijux Argent

    Thank you for your clear discribe about not NOODP’ and ‘NOYDIR’

  • http://www.yakstudios.com Cheburka

    Came across NOYDIR and NOODP on a website, googled it, found your article, learned something new.

  • http://www.flsites.com van sole

    Thanks for the information. It was very useful.

  • http://brookemoorephoto.com Larry Moore

    Saw this in Facebook code wondered why. Now trying to get so the search shows more from the Facebook page

  • http://www.LookingTowardsHome.com Neil

    Thank you for this. Your article has answered my (newbie) questions perfectly!

  • http://abcpluginreview.com Cheryl

    Thanks for the excellent explanation, Now I better go back and change what I did! SEO can be confusing and oh so much criteria to digest! Your information helped!

  • http://www.buypremier.com dionicio

    Hi. great article. simple and clear.

  • Nathans

    Thank you a lot for the clear explanation.

    • Abby

      You’re welcome! Glad we could help you with Meta Tags! Thanks for reading.

  • http://sportpicks.ws/ Sport Picks

    For small blog like mine.. What your suggest about this tags that I need traffic :)

    let me know

  • http://www.echofreelance.com/ Rocking1989

    Meta tag seems to really very attractive.

  • http://profiles.google.com/desssincus desss incus

    very good article for seo . thanks for sharing it. please update more new news about seo articles. thanks a lot…

  • http://www.buyvimaxnow.com vimax

    I really feel to be helped by this meta tag

  • Fred Siegel

    I have a blog http://www.recyclerefrigerator.com and these meta tags were “preinstalled” and I had no idea what the meant  good thing I read this article because i almost deleted them.

  • http://twitter.com/koneko_ningyou koneko chan =^_^=

    When i have tried a new plugin called SEO settings, there is half of the section where you can set all of this tags with a click.  Its very clear to me that if your site is not listed in Dmoz and you have not paid for yahoo directory listing, you do not need to bother really about this tags like i did at http://easy-infonow.com/ 
    However this plug in lets you to edit meta description, keywords and avoid dub content with the settings for each type of attributes separately. Might be a little bit too much, so you can just activate sections you need. it also connects with Webmaster Tools Verification for Yahoo, Bing and Google. You can have a look at  this effect here: http://wwwclickbankcom.com/rankbuilder-2-0-rank-builder-seo-software-and-seo-tools/

  • Copycat restaurant recipes

    Really great article, so its important to use this Robot tags for every meta tags, Right??..

    • http://www.imperativeseo.com us seo

      I’d like to know this too

  • http://www.gaptekupdate.com/ Gaptek Update

    thansk. it help me alot

  • http://www.vimaxwebsite.com Vimax Pills

    I also agree to this meta tag

  • http://www.webcraftdevelopers.com Philippine Web Developer

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Since I don’t have a DMOZ listing, I might as well use this tag. :)

  • http://www.imperativeseo.com/2011/09/18/what-is-seo/ What is seo

    I’ve seen the same thing! Thanks for clearing it up. Question: I’ve seen some websites with a title tag file in their directory. Whats that about?

  • http://www.heavensbest.com Carpet cleaning

    some websites have a title tag file in their directory. Is that related at all?

    • http://howtonotsnore.blogspot.com/p/natural-ways-to-stop-snoring-natural.html Jack L

      I don’t think so. I think that’s a bit different. Feel free to correct me.

  • http://ehowportal.blogspot.com/ Mr.Bhavesh

    Thanks for the tip.
    I am adding noop meta robots tag sitewide in my seo by yoast plugin.

  • http://trustedexpertsreviews.com/breathe-right-snore-relief-review Jack L

    Hadn’t even heard of these meta tags. Ah well, now I have! Always great to learn new stuff about SEO :)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the info, now I know it has something to do with crawlers.

  • Jkjlkjh


  • http://www.imgreenbook.com/ Wilson

    I came across these two tags in a wordpress plugin in one of my wp site and have no idea what is was.  Thank for the clear explaination.

  • Matthew Hutchings

    Thanks for clearing up the meta-tags. Matt http://www.dolomitelv.com