Are there parts of your site that you wish you didn’t have because they dilute your chances of getting a number 1 ranking on the search engines? Have you spent endless hours re-working your CSS, so that you main content appears ahead of your navigation, in hope of improving your search ranking?
Good news! Yahoo wants to help you filter out the content that doesn’t help your optimization efforts, with the introduction of the Robots-Nocontent tag.
…webmasters can now mark parts of a page with a ‘robots-nocontent‘ tag which will indicate to our crawler what parts of a page are unrelated to the main content and are only useful for visitors. We won’t use the terms contained in these special tagged sections as information for finding the page or for the abstract in the search results. Note: Using a “nocontent” tag to mark explicit sections of content is not considered “cloaking” because all of the content on the page is available to protect the relevance of the results (unlike “cloaking” where we may be served content that is different from what visitors see).
Spammers? It’s yo’ birthday, yo’ gonna party like it’s yo birthday!
Is it just me, or is Yahoo just asking for trouble with this? If you strip out images, code, sidebars etc, and let Yahoo only index the “good stuff” isn’t that the same effect as cloaking?
And of course, the cynic in me is wondering what back-door use will be imposed on us in a few months. Remember how innocuous the introduction of “nofollow” was?