Aggregation Aggravation, Part 4: Opting Out Of Bing Document Preview

Ian Lurie

This is part 4 of my series on the new world of search, and how search engines are becoming aggregators rather than indexes. Check the links at the bottom of the page for previous posts.

This post is blessedly short, after my last 3 epistles.
Let’s say you don’t want that page preview (called a ‘Document Preview’ by Microsoft, by the way) to show up in the Bing results:
Maybe you want to preserve the mystery of it all, or you have a lousy page preview.
You can tell Bing not to create a preview two ways:
By putting this code in <head> element:
<meta name=”msnbot” content=”nopreview” />
Or by putting this in your robots.txt file:
x-robots-tag: nopreview
The first method will just block the document preview for that one page. Use it, and Bing will not show a document preview for that page.
The second will block it for your entire site. Use it, and Bing will not show a document preview for any page on your site.

Not recommended

I don’t recommend using these tags, by the way. If every other listing on the page has a document preview, and yours doesn’t, it’ll cost you clicks. You’re better off focusing on clickability, instead.

Previously in the series

Controlling what shows up (as much as you can)
Making Folks Click: Content’s back, baby!
Opting Out
Microformats, sorting and other nightmares

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Does this work for video as well? That would be a good way for sites to avoid having their traffic siphoned by Bing’s video preview, especially for shorter clips.

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