Yahoo’s robots-nocontent

Yahoo has announced that they introduced a new way of marking extraneous content: a CSS class, which is called “robots-nocontent“. First, when i have read about it, i could not believe my own eyes – so i read this again and again … A CSS class which will serve for one search engine, sounds weird, isn’t it ? Now that is one kind of a CSS class – i can imagine hundreds of pages all over internet filled with robots-nocontent tag, making it all less and less relevant and more ridiculous. Yahoo is obviously making fun of us, but no, it was not announced on fools day.

Yahoo has provided some examples of robots-nocontent usage:

<div class="robots-nocontent">
Hehe this is a extraneous content, please ignore me
</div>

Personally, I hope that people won’t step into this rather disappointing game of using CSS classes to mark their content. In my personal opinion, it is absolutely unappropriated way of coding the web page. Mixing something, which is intended purely for the presentational use, with a something which is just a content processing algorithms(bots), is quite a “hack”, which with no doubt could lead to some serious problems in the future (imagine people starting using CSS instead of robots.txt for redirection and indexing). There must be another way to avoid such happenings, and by the way – why should web designers create the way the search engines are indexing their sites. Its like being lazy, and if Yahoo is lazy about it, then i do not see why web designers should be excited about it.

I do not wish to see pages full of class attributes, written with half a dozen of classes, something like this is surely to avoid:

class="footer classical myspace robots-nocontent"

Final thought: avoid it, it does not make any sense at all mixing the things which were separated by the mean and by the design. Presentational layer(css) should not provide functionality, which even its own functional layer (xhtml) is not providing by design.

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