By Matt Mickiewicz

Stop MSN From Displaying your DMOZ Descriptions

By Matt Mickiewicz

Both Google & MSN have an annoying habit of grabbing your site description from the DMOZ directory, rather than using what you have in your Meta Description tag.

MSN has finally provided Webmasters with an option to override the default behaviour.

What we did was introduce a new option at the page level – a robots meta tag – that tells the MSN search bot not to use the DMOZ site snippet. This is something that only can be done at Web page level, by a webmaster, and is not done as part of the robot.txt file.

Source: MSN Blog

The new META tag for your webpages, if you don’t want your sites DMOZ description showing up on MSN Search results pages is:


This is a great way to potentially enhance the clickthrough ratio of your search listings on the MSN Search engine, especially if your DMOZ site description is poorly written or not representative of what you offer.

  • Even worse then your description, SE also use the title from directories, hopefully this tag will later on also stop google from taking info from DMOZ and yahoor from taking info from Yahoo directory.

  • This is a fantastic idea. I wish the others would follow :)

  • Aaron

    Good advice for white hatters. For the rest, perhaps “… especially if your DMOZ site description is well written or is representative of what you offer.” ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Some good thinking from MSN. ODP rules limit your “sales Speak” in your description. At a web page lavel, you can snazz it up and as already mentioned, increase your CTR.

    Also, for different pages with different descriptions. :)

  • Transpyre

    My main reason for becoming an ODP editor was to try to change the entry for one of the sites I was responsible for. Search results kept pulling the description and title from ODP (leftover from the Yahoo directory days), but I can’t change it and nobody who can, will. Now the site’s domain has changed too, so the listing is really outdated.
    ODP was a good idea, but it’s just not very practical anymore. The web is just too big and if a site owner needs to get a valid change made, it’s next to impossible unless you have high-level ODP access.

  • Anonymous

    Yay another thing to clog up clean code.. wonderfull..
    Get them to put it in robots.txt so jo-public doesnt have to download it.

    Also DMOZ needs a new spin on it somehow… something to drag the public in to do the work for them or something.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Will someone gently explain to a novice what DMOZ and ODP are?


  • Transpyre

    DMOZ a.k.a the Open Directory Project (ODP), is a directory of websites that is manually edited and maintained by groups of individual human editors. Many search engines use results from DMOZ as supplemental results. So if you aren’t listed in DMOZ or your listing is bad, it can adversely affect your search engine placement in Google, Yahoo, etc.

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  • butternyk

    thats great . but if we dont have our site listed in dmoz ?? then ?? wont we be listed??

  • Anonymous

    That was implemented in may 2006….. you guys are 20 months late :)

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