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How google uses meta description tags

To me it looks like they are, but the SERP desc. is slightly different..

     
9:22 pm on Oct 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hey folks, sorry if I posted this in the wrong area.

I was working on some optimization for a client of mine and I did a search for "steel widgets" to check out some client sites and meta tags, titles, etc. I noticed that in the few pages I checked, google was indeed using meta discriptions in the SERP. However, for one of the results, the SERP description read:

"Olympia steel widgets manufactures and sells custom and prefabricated etc etc..."

but the acutal meta description on the site's source code was:

"Olympia manufactures and sells custom and prefabricated etc etc"

Why did the SERP description insert an instance of the search phrase? Am I going crazy here?

10:05 pm on Oct 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Probably the description came from the description in DMOZ/Goodle directory. That is where it comes from in pages that are in the directory.
10:10 pm on Oct 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I just looked up this particular site in dmoz and discovered that they have two seperate listings in DMOZ with unique titles and descriptions.

Neither description matches the google SERP description.

Puzzling.

12:31 pm on Oct 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Interesting.

If the search terms are related to the meta description text, Google does sometimes use that text in its SERPS. (Exactly, word for word, even if that text appears nowhere on the Web.) It does this for several keywords on my pages.

Nick

2:02 pm on Oct 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google is using the cached version of the site's page to give the result, and taking the meta description from there.
5:47 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Bingo! That explains it! I looked at the cached version and the description matched word for word with the description was using.

Thanks for the tip!

Mike