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URL instead of site title and description
Google only shows URL in its search results
kidalex




msg:111543
 9:05 am on Dec 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I didn't see any recent posts on this, but I'm sure a lot of people have this problem.

I have several sites that have many product pages or just static content pages. A lot of them recently turned into just plain URLs where a title and a description of the site was. Why is that happening and what can I do to fix the problem?

 

brixton




msg:111544
 11:50 am on Dec 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

i do have in some pages the same problem and it can be fixed ,if you check the Google's Cached for that page it breengs no results,to fix the problem just submit the page again put some links from high PR and ofrequent crowled pages in a week or so your page will be back

keywordguru




msg:111545
 2:23 pm on Dec 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I too have seen this happen for a few sites roughly a week ago when many started reporting odd changes in the google algorithm.

What I have seen since then is some updates, along with some URL's that have now gained the DMOZ details. So instead of just the URL, there is also now the DMOZ description. Yet the actual page details are not there yet.

A very odd change. I will be intersted to see how the sites pull out of this one.
KG

DerekH




msg:111546
 9:32 pm on Dec 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've posted extensively on this - two of my sites virtually vanished.
Google reported neither had any penalty, but one dropped from 297 indexed pages to 2, the other from 22 to zero (and Google still said that site was in the index, even though it fails in a UK-only search).

Googlebot visits have fallen from daily to once a month.

Actually, I have a plan B which is in place and looking good, but I'll report back on that when I can justify that what I see is repeatable!
DerekH

keywordguru




msg:111547
 10:12 pm on Dec 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

As many say, rather than make drastic changes immediately, wait it out at least a few weeks.

I am actually seeing daily and hourly changes for sites so to put a finger on an exact change would be a guessing game that may hurt in the long run. I must say that my site changes have happened within the week where if you know the bot hasn't come in months then obviously it is a different problem.

kidalex




msg:111548
 11:18 pm on Dec 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have seen this happen before with other sites, but never with mine. So, I know this phenomenon exists. Does anybody know what makes Google through out the title and the description?

minnapple




msg:111549
 12:48 am on Dec 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google says the cause is that it could not spider the entire page.

At least that's what they wrote in a email response to this question.

Whatever they say, try these things.

Remove any excessive <!-- comment tags --> that are global, especially if they are within the head tags.

Keep on page js script and css script to a minimum. Call these as a remote file.

Reduce the amount of repetitive code at the top of your code. This includes repetitive meta code, navigation code etc . . . Navigation code can fall after your unique body copy using a simple tr span.

Of course make sure your html is clean.

Doing this has solved 70% of no title/description issues I have worked with.

Usually it takes under a week to see if the problem is fixed. You will start to see batches of pages reappear with the title and description. The bigger the site, the longer it takes before they are all back.

kidalex




msg:111550
 7:30 am on Dec 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

The thing is those pages ALL used to have the title and the description. So, I know Google CAN spider them.

minnapple




msg:111551
 10:30 am on Dec 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Same thing with the other sites I worked with.
They once had titles and descriptions, and then they didn't.
Google changed how it was looking at the pages.

kamran mohammed




msg:111552
 6:43 am on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi Everyone...

Rite now even i m facing the same problem with my site....only url and no description and title....
but when i tried to start the thread..on it...i was kept on hold for some reviewing reason.....and that thread never appeard in the forum of webmasterworld...it was in oct...i guess....

wel neways...no obligations on that issues....

but i guess what minnapple says is correct...
we shd check that .....


Minnapple Says---

Remove any excessive <!-- comment tags --> that are global, especially if they are within the head tags.
Keep on page js script and css script to a minimum. Call these as a remote file.
Reduce the amount of repetitive code at the top of your code. This includes repetitive meta code, navigation code etc . . . Navigation code can fall after your unique body copy using a simple tr span.
Of course make sure your html is clean.
Doing this has solved 70% of no title/description issues I have worked with.

KaMran

DerekH




msg:111553
 5:06 pm on Dec 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

it might be correct but it's no guarantee.

One of the sites I had that went walkabout had no Javascript, all CSS in a remote file, modest comments, no HTML errors...

I moved the site, unmodified, to a different ISP, and 66% of it was indexed in 4 days, instead of 1/3 of a percent per month...

It's not a PR issue, it's something more subtle than that.
DerekH

AlexK




msg:111554
 3:46 am on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thought I was alone in this!

There was a specific issue with my server - a bad memory chip [webmasterworld.com], fixed Dec 9 - and had put the lack of description down to this. However, after 26,000+ bot accesses in the last 3 weeks there are still only ~400 pages with description. What is very worrying is that the PR for the domain shows as zero.

Reply from Google is just usual boiler-plate.

Google bot access-numbers for latest 3 logs: 

Totals:
66.249.64.: 1193
66.249.65.: 15052
66.249.66.: 8853
216.239.3 : 929
--------- ------
Dec 5 - 26 26027

# ls -l com-access_log*
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 36796350 Dec 26 01:46 com-access_log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 36830865 Dec 19 04:02 com-access_log.1
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 35322992 Dec 12 04:01 com-access_log.2
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 39731196 Dec 5 04:01 com-access_log.3

So, is this a bug in the algorithms or a policy change?

Longhaired Genius




msg:111555
 12:32 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I took minapple's advice and it worked! I had some forum pages I thought deserved better exposure but they were url-only in the serps. Reexamining them, I saw that the meta-description and the h1 (the forum name) were the same for all pages. I deleted the meta-description and changed the h1 to the thread title. They were spidered on Christmas Day and are now in the serps with title, snippet, and cache. thanks M.

AlexK




msg:111556
 4:49 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

How briefly hope can sometimes flare!

I took minapple's advice and it worked! ... forum pages ... were url-only in the serps. ... the meta-description and the h1 were the same for all pages. I deleted the meta-description and changed the h1 ... now in the serps with title, snippet, and cache.

Of 15,600 my-site-only SERPS, just 400 have title, snippet, and cache. After a quick check on the page source of a handful I can confirm that *all* 15,200 url-only SERPS have unique meta-description + h1 title (the php-coding was designed explicitly to do this, and the actual page source confirms it).

(With just one caveat) perhaps of more influence was the fact that the header text **changed** - just that, it changed.

The caveat: all of the pages on my site can give identical header + body text under 2 different urls:

    http://<my-site-url>/<page>.php?mid=1234&nid=4321
    [<my-site-url>...]

The only difference is that the first delivers a gzipped-page and the second delivers a non-compressed page. Doing an open-search for the title of one of the url-only SERPS (http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=+%22USR+56k+Gaming+Modem+PCI+5613%22) delivered up the non-compressed variant, but not the compressed link.

In addition, the site was--some years ago--with a free-host; to prevent 404's, that host re-directs to my site, so


will get the identical pages as well.

Are duplicated header+body text the issue here?

Plus, are any other webmasters getting totally brassed-off with Google?

sasha




msg:111557
 4:59 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

We have a coldfusion directory site with 60,000 pages for directory members. Each page has a unique H1 tag and a meta description tag. Additionally it has as much unique content as this format possibly allows.

It don't make no difference for Google.

The issue is memory based. These days it takes Google 3 or 4 cycles to completely process your pages. That means months and months of wait time.

adfree




msg:111558
 5:43 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Do a "site:widgets.com" search and then a "site:widgets.com common keyword" search. G lists 70,000 pages for one of my sites with just URL, using the mutual keyword, all pages appear with title and description.

AlexK




msg:111559
 9:58 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

sasha:
These days it takes Google 3 or 4 cycles to completely process your pages. That means months and months of wait time.

This may be true for your site, sasha, but mine had 26,000 bot accesses in the past 3 weeks and still only has 400 non-url-only SERPS (see this thread Dec 26, 2004 3:46 am utc 0).

adfree:
Do a "site:widgets.com" search and then a "site:widgets.com common keyword" search ... using the mutual keyword, all pages appear with title and description.

Sadly, the latter is the one that gives 400 title+desc SERPS; the former gives 59. Both show 15,600 results.

sasha




msg:111560
 11:02 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

you may need to wait another month or two for the 'undigested' URLs to become processed. It was in your shoes in the first week of November. Now these undigested URLs re-surfaced as "supplemental pages". Eventually they will get normal status. But this takes time...

AlexK




msg:111561
 2:04 am on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

sasha:
you may need to wait another month or two for the 'undigested' URLs to become processed.

Hmm. At #26 in the "site:widgets.com common keyword" search is a page that was originated on 11 Dec 2004, and cached by Google on Fri, 24 Dec 2004 16:20:23 +0000. I wish I could give you the url, but if you search for "WinBook OEM Lucent Win Modem PCI" you should be able to find it. There are other examples, yet many non-url-only pages are *much* older.

It is evidence like this that causes me to think that this situation is far more complex.

My main complaint is that we are having to go through a stab-in-the-dark-and-listen-for-a-yelp process. My site is as clean as I can make it and, AFAIK, contravenes no published guidelines. Google is also becoming very unresponsive, and this does not auger well for the future.

sasha




msg:111562
 3:09 am on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Oh, I see what your problem is: you need to make your URLs 'search engine safe'. Google does not like dynamic URLs very much. It will still index them, but it prefers static ones.

Do a search for "SES URLs" for php - you should be able to find some info on this. Once you convert everthing to php make sure you create permanent redirects - otherwise you will have duplicate content.

sasha




msg:111563
 3:11 am on Dec 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

AlexK, I meant to say "once you convert to SES URLs"...

AlexK




msg:111564
 3:41 am on Dec 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

It seems that this is nothing new: look at Penalty or Google Glitch? [webmasterworld.com] (90 msgs from June 19 to July 14, 2004) to see the absolute, identical issue. Desc/snippets started returning after 3-4 weeks. Msg37 quotes a response from Google (sounds like evasive bull) and msg41 says it is a repeat of a similar event from the previous year.

Index page is not at Google Index [webmasterworld.com] (Dec 28, 2004) should actually be in this thread, as also identical issue.

sasha
Oh, I see what your problem is: you need to make your URLs 'search engine safe'.

Thanks for the search-link, sasha. The pages I looked at were all rather old, and I wonder how relevant now? Also, FWIW, a site using mod_rewrite also got caught in this problem (link at top of this msg; cannot now remember which one amongst the 90). The advice to create permanent redirects is also helpful; I suspect that duplicate pages may be one important issue in this.

The one thing that I would underscore in this farrago is the way that Google is switching from being the Internet's friend to being just another corporate fiend. Such a shame, and so easy to avoid (just be upfront so that everyone knows what is happening).

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