How to check your website's tags on OpenDNS

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 27, 2012
Updated • Jul 28, 2012

As a website owner you have to cope with a lot of situations. One of them is the classification of your website by services such as Web of Trust, business filtering solutions or OpenDNS. The reason for this is that false classifications can get the site banned in the network, and if you do not happen to use the network, your only chance to know about it is if someone who is using it notifies you about it.

OpenDNS is a DNS provider that you can switch to instead of using your ISP as the DNS provider. Doing so may speed up the DNS lookup process, allow you to access websites that would otherwise be blocked in your country, region or network, increase the Internet security by using automatic protection against phishing and other Internet attack forms, and make use of the service's web filtering system to block types of websites from being accessed on the computer or router.

And it is exactly that web filter that may be reason for concern. OpenDNS uses its community to tag websites, a system it calls Domain Tagging. Any OpenDNS user can add tags to websites, and while they won't become active immediately, it may very well be that a website gets classified with tags that may not be justified. In addition, it can mean that these tags may prevent a percentage of OpenDNS users from accessing the site.

One example: When you look up you find the following tags: adware, blogs, P2P/file sharing, uncategorized, software/technology and research/reference.  Of these tags, blogs and software/technology have been approved, while all remaining tags are currently up for voting.

open dns domain taggng

I think that adware, P2P, uncategorized and maybe even research/reference are not suitable and should be down voted. If users disagree, it can happen that Ghacks is tagged as an adware site or a P2P site, and if that is the case, it would be blocked on computer systems that use a moderate filtering level.

If you look at the adware category it reads:

Sites that distribute applications which display advertisements without user's knowledge or choice. Does NOT include sites which serve advertising.

We do not distribute applications here and should not be listed as adware as a consequence.

Ghacks is also not a P2P site.

Sites that facilitate the sharing of digital files between individuals, especially via peer-to-peer software, including torrent sites.


To check out your domain visit the Domain Tagging community page over at OpenDNS and enter the domain name in the upper right corner next to the check a domain title. It pays to look closely at the tags and make sure the appropriate tags are listed on the page for voting.If they are not, you can add them to the domain provided that you have an OpenDNS account. All new tags that you add are in voting and it may take some time before they are either approved or rejected.

If your domain has been tagged incorrectly you can request a review on the same page. Here you can add information why you are requesting a review. There is however no guarantee that a moderator will change a site's status after a review.


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  1. Noman said on July 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Hello Martin your website very very informative. Martin I want to know to get back links

  2. geeknik said on July 28, 2012 at 2:58 am

    I’ve rejected the P2P tag and the Research/Reference tag. I’m unable to do anything about the Adware tag at this time as we are doing work on that category. Domains cannot currently be approved as Adware, so no worries there. I’ll keep an eye on it and when that category comes back, I’ll make sure you don’t get tagged as Adware.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 28, 2012 at 9:16 am

      Thanks, I noticed that you are active there :)

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