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I used a search term I haven't used much in the past.
Anyway, I couldn't figure out where the description came from and began checking around. The site is listed in the DMOZ/ODP twice: once for topic and once for region. The regional listing is the newer of the two listings, and THAT is where the description is coming from. That description isn't used anywhere else on our site (and never has been), and only one word of the three word phrase I searched for appears in the DMOZ description.
I thought only Yahoo used their directory titles in their SERPS, but, perhaps Google is going to start leaning towards doing the same; maybe they are testing it out? I wonder what flag or trigger would cause Google to pull a DMOZ description?
Perhaps Google is experimenting with starting to assign much greater value to your DMOZ/ODP description?
And EarWig, I couldn't agree with you more. I hadn't had the slightest clue Goog was that desperate...jeez louise. Making DMOZ its backbone? If that's the best the Gaggle of Genius Geeks at Googleplex can come up with, that's very pathetic indeed. It makes Google the same as any dinky little DMOZ scraper site out there, billions and billions and billions of them (to paraphrase the late Carl Sagan). Wow...I'm floored.
Thank God I still rank nos. 1-3 for most money serps in my trade...for now, longstandingly despite some unfunny recent fluctuations.
[edited by: luckychucky at 9:42 am (utc) on Feb. 12, 2005]
"If search engines care about providing the best quality results, they will use DMOZ data to a great extent."
Joke of the month for me.
Are you basing that on the fact that they are slow in updating, slow website, not large database in comparison to search engines?
Firstly, Consider that ODP is one of few editorial catalogs of websites that is edited by humans.. so that provides for some very accurate data about those websites which are listed. This being because they have been validated by humans and are of minimum quality level (that required to be listed).
Now, let us consider how impossible it would be for any computer program to perform editorials on any given website, never mind hundreds of thousands of them.
Once you do a logistics comparison, you'll see that ODP (or any human edited database of websites) would be extremely useful to Google (or MSN & Yahoo) in determining the quality and topic of websites on a relatively broad basis.
My prediction is that ODP will change owners this year (if Netscape sell it). I see Google acquiring it (if they act fast) for a relatively low figure.
It makes Google the same as any dinky little DMOZ scraper site out there
Well, that's exactly what they are, they crawl data and present it with nice colors. The only reason they get away with it now is because they send us webmasters quite a bit of traffic (or USED TO in my case).
I am basing my comment on the fact that it appears to to take less time to get out of the Google so called "sandbox" than it is to get a listing in DMOZ
IMHO their is nothing wrong with the quality of the serps in Dmoz but as it is believed by most of the geral public that they do provide relevant up to date information, then their so called "free listings" aren`t IMO performing.:;
News article which may or may not be relevant with regard to Google
Google when looking to provide the SERP with your site information will loook first for a DMOZ directory listing for your site.
If it does not find it there it will then look at your page content and then lastly your Title & descripton tags.
Hope this clears things up for you.
If that were to be true, Google would have to take over DMOZ, clean house of editors that are participating in link schemes and other nonsense and then run it themselves.
I find it hard to believe Google would base any of their algorithm on a system that they do not control nor should they. It would open the door to unsavory things that those in the blackhat SEO world are known for.
It's a little fustrating because it's one of those things you have no control over - along with the age of a site which seems to be another biggy with G
Yes, Google is using ODP descriptions in the snippet.
I admit to being easily confused, and I might be misreading this thread, or I might have missed something over the past few years...
...but isn't this just normal Google behaviour? If a site is listed in the ODP, the ODP description is used; if not, the snippet is taken from the page.
At least, that's the way it used to be.
...but isn't this just normal Google behaviour?
I have always suspected a DMOZ (or more accurately a Google directory) listing carries a lot of weight with Google. OK you can beat sites listed in the DMOZ but if all things were equal I'd put my money on the site in the directory.
Not always the case. I know someone who owns a site with 10+ DOMOZ listings (deep pages) and he was wiped away in Allegra.
Google's technology uses the collective intelligence of the web to determine a page's importance. There is no human involvement or manipulation of results, which is why users have come to trust Google as a source of objective information
They're just pulling it secondhand from a human-edited source (and a second rate source at that, according to some). So much for the brilliant algorithm which so proudly operates free of human editing...
I find it hard to believe Google would base any of their algorithm on a system that they do not control nor should they
By your very logic, then why should they trust ANY LINK on the internet that doesn't link out from google.com
They control about 0.1 pico-percent of the entire internet, yet they base all of their search results on this content over which they have no control.
Therefore, why would using ODP, a well respected hand-edited directory, be a negative once you consider their current setup anyway?
ODP, a well respected hand-edited directoryDebatable but regardless, we're looking at what appears to be a dramatic change of degree, of weighting relative to the total content available for crunching out there in Cyberspace. It could perhaps credibly be surmised that DMOZ data have suddenly been given a very heavy authority in Google's algorithm. If true, it's too bad for anyone (everyone) who will need to rely on the whims and caprices of the ODP's unresponsive, inconsistent, subjective and inscrutable volunteer human editing force for Google ranking success. Or failure
Ultimately, we have no idea if it's used for ranking purposes in Google, but one would have to assume that it doesn't hurt.
My site is listed in ODP but it still got slapped by Google on this latest update. Others in the rankings are NOT listed... so it can't be a definitive ranking factor neither.
If a site has a meta description, that is used.
If a page has no meta description, but has a dmoz description, that is used.
If a page has neither a meta description nor a dmoz description, the ransom note trash is displayed.
Seems like an awesome idea to me. Only the really clueless will be left with ransom note junk, while non-comatose webmasters will already have solid meta descriptions.
Result: cleaner looking serps, with higher clickthroughs for people with a clue.