Wikipedia Claims Google Has Content Targeting like Tags for Crawling?

Aug 14, 2006 • 8:00 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

I am not sure if the title of this post is all that clear. Basically, if you go to the Robots.txt informational page at the Wikipedia and scroll down to the Directives within a page it claims Google has has a tag for indicating which "portions of a page that should not be indexed." Keep in mind, Google AdSense has such a tag that enables you to tell Google which content is the most relevant towards the ads you want to display. But Google, as far as I know, does not have a way for you to tell the web search index and bots which parts of your page are most relevant to the user.

Google uses comments for the same purpose: <!--googleoff: index--> ... <!--googleon: index-->

As far as I know, Google doesn't. I even searched for that on Google Help but nothing found.

Hope someone clarifies either at Google or Wikipedia and makes that correction in either place.

Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.

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08/14/2006 02:49 pm

As far as I know this is mainly for Google Search Appliances.

Barry Schwartz

08/14/2006 04:05 pm

Nice find!


08/14/2006 05:55 pm

Thanks. a new finding..


08/14/2006 08:21 pm

Hello, guys. NOINDEX tag is not supported by Google (i.e. Google ignores it), but it is supported by Russian SEs Yandex and Rambler. Regards, Artyem.

Michael Martinez

08/14/2006 09:34 pm

How can I pass up an opportunity to point out once again that the information at Wikipedia cannot be trusted and is by no means authoritative. Some well-informed people, like Jonathan Hochman, do their best to keep the SEO articles at Wikipedia clean and relatively error free, but it's a continual battle. People need to take whatever Wikipedia says with a huge grain of salt.

Chris Boggs

08/15/2006 01:18 am

Michael, as much as I understand your opinion on Wikipedia, I have to disagree with your statement that it is by no means authoritative. In the linking sense of things, if you believe in Trustrank, I would say that there are many authoritative pages at Wikipedia. It is like when Debra Mastaler was asked at SES about the value of blog links, and she made the following comparison, pretty close to: "Look at (.edu's). People ask if the link from them is valuable. The only way it is, is if it has a lot of trusted links pointing to it. It is all about the links pointing to a set of pages (the site) when you determine authority... Blogs are like this, some are valuable." So do you agree that even though it may be a fair amount of bad info, it still has great authority due to its inbounds from many sites that are trusted?


08/15/2006 01:19 am

The explanation is simple: Wikipedia uses Google sitemaps

SEO Egghead

08/15/2006 02:55 pm

Yeah, I thought it was too good to be true :) Oh well. If it weren't for spammers, that tag would make a heck of a lot of sense.

Michael Martinez

08/15/2006 03:17 pm

Chris, as with all things good and useful to know, SEOs need to be careful about getting obsessive with "trust" (I do not mean to imply you have). When I used the word "authoritative" above, I meant in the sense of "authoritative with respect to knowledge" rather than "authoritative with respect to linkage". While link-authority is supposed to parallel knowledge-authority, there remains a great disparity between the two. Wikipedia links are no more useful in general than any other links. People will argue otherwise, and we're doomed to suffer through the Great Wikipedia Debate for years to come, but in general the SEO world gets more myths in its craw than facts. Wikipedia is a link popular site and it's being openly and massively spammed by ignorant, clueless SEOs who don't know how to achieve rankings the easy way: on the basis of content. Let people spam Wikipedia if they think it will do them good. There are easier, more productive methods for getting good quality links, and I don't mind letting idiots shoot themselves in the foot. But when it comes to getting good rankings, you go farther with content. You get there sooner, too.

chris boggs

08/15/2006 03:50 pm

thanks Michael. Your points are again valid, and I lean towards agreeing with you on the knowledge authority point. I would venture to say that at least 50% of the entries are not as useful as other sources of information available online. I would think you may place that number higher...I am sure you will be disparaging wiki for years to come. :) they should hire you to set things straight :P

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