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Has Google Started Ignoring noodp Robots Meta Tags?

 12:13 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Has anyone else noticed Google is now showing old descriptions from the Open Directory Project (i.e.dmoz.org), regardless of whether you have a <meta name="robots" content="noodp,index,follow"/> in there?

I see alot of results have changed, and my clients rankings have slightly suffered. Anyone else seeing this?

Google Still States They Support It:



Thanks in advance for your help.



 5:33 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

They do still support it. I just helped a client fix their title two weeks ago by adding the noodp meta tag. In fact, this is the first time I've heard of anyone having trouble with support.

Don't know what to suggest - have you checked out the source code to be sure there's no errors like a missing quote or something that wipes out Google's ability to see the tag?


 7:29 pm on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hello and thanks for your reply Tedster. Yes, I have in fact checked the details within the tags, and did notice this morning one client had a / at the end of the tag, indicating its closed? I personally never use the / at the end, so do you think it could be the culprit?

I sincerely appreciate your help.

Here's how it is:

i.e. <meta name="robots" content="noodp,index,follow"/>


 6:40 am on Mar 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

the solidus (/) is used for self-closing singletons in xhtml syntax.
you are missing a space before the / like this:
<meta name="robots" content="noodp,index,follow" />

see [w3.org...] for the syntax.


 10:19 am on Mar 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing the ODP description, but something worse on my site(s). It's showing some random bit of html from a few hundred bytes into the code. For almost all of my pages as of a few days ago, the google description is *shudder*:
"Sort by size - highest to lower, sort by price, highest to lowest" etc

All of my search pages show that. Other pages (without sorting capability) show some other useless nonsense. I would PREFER the ODP decription over this!

Robert Charlton

 5:31 pm on Mar 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Mobro4000 - If your meta description doesn't satisfy the query, and your page is not listed in ODP, Google tries to pick a snippet from your page content.

So the trick is to create a unique meta description for each page that will contain vocabulary included in the most-likely-to-rank queries for that page. Tuning these is an art. These descriptions don't affect rankings. They can be extremely influential in affecting click-throughs.

The snippets are generally about 150 characters, so that's how much space you can play around with. I generally think of my description elements as 250 characters max, with the first 150 characters the most likely to be seen... and the next 100 or so as wiggle room to include other possible combinations.

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