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Description in google is very old
kegan5




msg:3610061
 2:52 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have updated the meta data, browser title tags on a website.

However google has since scanned the site numerous times and is still displaying the old descriptions, which have a severe lack of any useful information.

How long should google take to display these new descriptions in the search results ?

 

mack




msg:3610083
 3:06 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't generally use the description tag within a website, It will generate a description based on the search query that is based on the text found on your actual page.

One reason you may be displaying an old version of your description is because your site is listed at the open directory project using an old description.

Sites that have an ODP listing may see the ODP description shown next to their listing within the Google results.

To avoid this you should use the following...

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP">

This will prevent Google indexing your site using the ODP description.

Mack.

MadeWillis




msg:3610088
 3:17 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't generally use the description tag within a website

Google still uses the description tag for most of my pages especially for popular queries. I don't currently use NOODP.

mack




msg:3610164
 4:31 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

MadeWillis,

Any ODP listings in there?

What I found was pages I had with ODP listings where showing ODP descriptions, but when I used NOODP it started generating better descriptions based in the search term. Seamed to work out better.

MAck.

Robert Charlton




msg:3610406
 7:59 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google will try to deliver a description that reflects the query. It looks first at the meta description element, and if that description reflects the vocabulary of the search, Google will use it.

If it doesn't find a match in your meta description, Google will look both at the ODP description and at your onpage text for a best match. I forget how it prioritizes between these. Using the NOODP tag, though, will keep Google from pulling the description from your ODP listing.

Since rankings are page specific, it helps to tune your descriptions on a per page basis to reflect queries on which each page is most likely to rank.

Here's the Google Help Center reference...

How do I change my site's title and description? [google.com]

romerome




msg:3610545
 10:24 pm on Mar 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I had a page that was indexed and then dissappeared about a week ago. Is there any chance google reverted to an older index? Has anyone else seen anything that would support this. How long has it been since you changed your tags.

kegan5




msg:3610860
 9:04 am on Mar 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thankyou, the site however is not listed in the open directory... and the site text, meta tags and so forth still don't make any sense to the description given in search results.

I had the browser title set to "www.domain.com" before it kicked off properly, and changed it to a more descriptive title about 8 weeks ago.

The results in google are still showing things like www.domain.com, skip to navigation ... etc.

I guess this might just be a waiting game

Whitey




msg:3610863
 9:17 am on Mar 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Another angle on this is that the meta description is captured for display in a different time cycle to the caching of the page.

A recent site revamp saw our pages cached with an incorrect meta description , as shown on very specific searches or site:tool . We have since amended those meta descriptions, but they are not yet reflected in G's search.

It looks like some 14 to 21 days may have to lapse before Google changes these descriptions. Previous mention by Matt Cutts on meta descriptions being made to be unique and relating to duplicate content indicated that this was the time required to refresh those amended descriptions.

Descriptions picked up by search phrases as outlined above is a different matter.

Robert Charlton




msg:3611388
 6:31 pm on Mar 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I had the browser title set to "www.domain.com" before it kicked off properly, and changed it to a more descriptive title about 8 weeks ago.

The results in google are still showing things like www.domain.com, skip to navigation ... etc.

Is this possibly on a search just for your domain name? If so, this might be the closest match that Google can find.

Again, your description text needs to reflect the text of the query on which you're ranking. It sounds like you mean "title element" when you say "browser title." If your title had been "www.domain.com" until recently, chances are you're not ranking on very much, and it's likely your page isn't well optimized.

You mention "meta tags." The meta description works as described above, displaying when there's a match with the query. It doesn't, though, have much to do with ranking, and it doesn't display when it doesn't contain the query text.

The other 'search related' meta tag, meta keywords, don't have anything to do with ranking. The engines scarcely use them... and they're not going to help you rank, except perhaps in extremely rare cases, and I doubt even there.

I bring all this in here because it's likely, on searches where you do rank, that the query text isn't in your description, and is probably coming from a section of your page that is close to wherever "skip to navigation" appears in your html text.

kegan5




msg:3613161
 11:30 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

The other problem, on another website...but the same issue none the less.

Google is still displaying hosting information, the site was previously in the clients hands and has been sent to us to controll fully.

In google results I'm still getting things like "host name, solution, domain' etc....

The web site content itself doesn't mention anything like this, there is no holding page for the domain, and there doesn't seem to be any other issues apart from google not re crawling.

the last crawl was in January (although I believe it has been back since then, thats just what google tools tells me...the log files say different).

It is saying that the '/defaultsite' page is missing, I don't have that page...never have. Unless that's something from the host.

How can I stop google from trying to find this file when it has never existed ?

tedster




msg:3613621
 6:49 pm on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google will continue to ask for the url - as long as your server reports a 404 http status in the server header, you have no worries. You can't stop the reqests any way, just handle them properly and the will become less frequent.

Have you double checked and triple checked your DNS setting for this domain? This is starting to sound like a technical problem. If you haven't done so already, I also suggest establishing a Webmaster Tools account to get more Google feedback on any crawling problems they are having.

MadeWillis




msg:3613753
 9:07 pm on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

mack,

just to answer your question....yes I do have listing(s) in ODP, but have never ran a query to see that used as the description. Here's a question.

If Google chooses to use the ODP description for a specific query for your page, would you still have that same rank if you used NOODP?

I realize the description has very little to do with ranking, but I'm curious if anyone has any evidence of using NOODP vs. not for any specific query.

e.g. If I hold position #1 for "cars" and Google is using my ODP description and I decide to add NOODP, would I drop in position if my meta tag was a little less relevant?

tedster




msg:3613757
 9:17 pm on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

As I understand it, a url's meta description is not used in Google's ranking/relevance calculations - but the snippets that Google then displays when the url does rank can be re-worked so that they give the user something that relates to their initial search.

Robert Charlton




msg:3613982
 6:55 am on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

If Google chooses to use the ODP description for a specific query for your page, would you still have that same rank if you used NOODP?

It has no effect on ranking that I've observed or heard about... and I can't imagine that the engines would all suggest using NOODP if it did affect rankings.

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