News Outlets Want More Control Over Search Engines

Voluntary rules update has no enemies yet
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2007 3:01 PM CST
Jerry Yang, Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo! Inc, listens to...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – News outlets with online presences are looking to add controls over how search engines index and display their material, asserting an outdated status quo doesn’t allow them to set enough terms on how their sites get crawled. A new set of guidelines proposed today, called ACAP, would allow sites greater latitude in setting rules like which content can be indexed on search engines, and for how long.

The current guidelines and the proposed ones, all of them voluntary, direct search engines to individualized text files named robots.txt which set forth terms of use. The AP—which is a major player in supporting ACAP—reports that Google, Yahoo and Microsoft sent reps to today’s announcement, but that the search engine players have yet take a stand on the potentially limiting standards.