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DMOZ description showing instead of meta description?

Why is my DMOZ description showing?

     
7:34 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It seems that the descirption used to describe my site over at DMOZ.org is showing as the description for my site in the G Serps. What gives?

I've worked hard to craft a great meta description that spurs people to click my result, and now it's gone.

Anyone else seeing this?

1:20 am on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This has been reported in the past. I saw this for my site just the other day.
2:44 am on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I've worked hard to craft a great meta description that spurs people to click my result, and now it's gone.

AFAIK, As long as your meta description contains the keywords that are being searched for, it will be displayed in the search results.

9:43 am on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hello,

I am having the same problem and visits to my site are a 70% down.

Any help?

Thanks

elsamoa

10:51 am on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



If google is presenting the DMOZ description without attributing it to DMOZ, then it may be contravening the OPD's license conditions:

[dmoz.org...]

You may be able to arrange a cease and desist notice on behalf of the ODP.

If Google ignores that, contact their ISP to have their site taken down.

12:25 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Victor

Priceless - just picked myself up off the floor!
:)

EW

2:11 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"You may be able to arrange a cease and desist notice on behalf of the ODP"

Thanks Victor.
What you I practically do? Write to google?

Could it change back on next google dance?
Thanks
Elsamoa

2:30 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



What you I practically do?

Slighly more seriously (to avoid serial dechairing) the first step is likely to be to check if Google is contravening the ODP license.

You could ask for an opinion on the ODP public forum. (WMW TOS prevent me from telling you where that is).

Then follow any advice from the volunteer editors who reply -- though I expect, if they think you have a case, the next step would be to contact the OPD staff directly.

3:36 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



AFAIK, As long as your meta description contains the keywords that are being searched for, it will be displayed in the search results.

Yes, my meta description contains the keyword in the 2nd position. It is NOT being showing in the search results.

3:41 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hello again,

I have tried the ODP way and here it goes the answer:

"If you're talking about the Google directory, then yes it is normal since they use our data. If you're talking about Google's search engine, then the standard "we're not Google" answer applies."

I suppose we have to wait next google dance

3:42 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



AFAIK, As long as your meta description contains the keywords that are being searched for, it will be displayed in the search results.

Yes, my meta description contains the keyword in the 2nd position. It is NOT being showing in the search results.

Ah, OK. I was wrong.

I'm a bit rusty with Google's handling of descriptions. I don't use Meta description myself usually. I'm happy with Google and DMOZ's descriptions.

4:00 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If you remember it *used* to be Title + Google-Snippet + ODP description + Category in the old days. That was always viewed by the ODP as compliant, but then I guess that each time the description was used, there was a link to a page with the valid "ODP footer on it". There are other examples of a slightly nonstandard approach to the use of ODP data which comply slightly differently from normal.

However, this isn't quite the same. I'm definitely seeing the same behaviour which is quite new, and the other ancillary information that used to be there is no longer.

4:25 pm on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I have tried the ODP way and here it goes the answer:

Looks like they saw the G-word and gave you a lazy, stock answer without really reading the question.

The issue is, can any licensee of the ODP data display the ODP description without attributing it the ODP?

And your example of a licensee who appears to be doing that just happens to be a Google SERP.

9:37 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi,

seems like the title and description in google of the english version of my site is back on track.

Italian, French and German version not still.

7:08 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My listing has been alternating back and forth for the last week or ten days. First G is listing meta descriptions, apart from the index page, where it uses ODP. Then it flips back to snippets from the page. At times, the alternation has been approximately hourly.

At the same time, the number of pages suppressed in the extended listing changes.

It's very tedious, and if they are sticking with the ODP listing I guess it will cause me and countless others to email ODP to change the wording.

Maybe this is Google's plan to wreck the ODP.

8:34 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I can't give an official (AOL/TW Legal-beagle) answer, but this has been done before -- in Google's earlier version as already mentioned, in AOL's pre-Google search engine, etc. -- and it wasn't ever mentioned as a concern by AOL staff.

If I were a lawyer, I wouldn't be commenting at all, but I think I might think Google could stand on the point that the ODP license requirements specifically refer to using the data as a DIRECTORY. Other uses ("creative abuse") are not directly addressed. Google's directory is in full compliance; and there's certainly no obstacle to presenting text from dmoz.org pages (which is not quite exactly the same thing as the ODP data) in search engine results.

As a content developer, I'm happy Google is finding clever ways to use the data. But I'm not a RIAA/MPAA goon, or even a run-of-the-mill copyright Nazi. I put stuff on the net because I want people to use it.

9:02 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The problem is, why is it affecting only a few sites?
5:18 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



That surprises me also. Judging by the low volume of posts, most people are not seeing this phenomenon, as I can't believe more wouldn't comment.
12:28 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



A little late chiming in on this one. Just noticed this is happening to us as well, but it's more likely because we accidentally dropped the description tag in our recent re-design. I'm going to put that back in today, expecting it to override the DMOZ description. I'll update as to whether it went as expected or not.
2:24 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I currently have my Meta description showing but there is something happening to my Title.

If I search for 'Free Widget Stuff' then I get my Page title as 'Free Widget Stuff' which is my title in DMOZ. I haven't used that title on a page for 3 years. If I search for my unique name then I get my actual Page Title.

9:07 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



yep, we're seeing this too - on and off - although more 'on' in the last few weeks.

It also seems to affect position in the SERP too. Our dmoz description is basic to say the least and we definitely drop significantly in the serps when it's this showing rather than a page snippet.

We don't currently have a meta description tag as I tend to prefer the page snippets for relevance but the dmoz description is a nightmare!

10:16 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My site has stablised with the DMOZ description for the last few weeks now. It's a real pisser, because you think, well I'll mail DMOZ and change it, and then find that something goes wrong and you get dropped by DMOZ.

I would imagine they will be inundated with people who, like me, wrote a DMOZ entry fast, a long time ago, and would quite like to change it.

10:40 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



IMHO, the speed with which you've "written a DMOZ entry" rarely affects an editor's willingness to update the listing for your site.
12:30 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I just saw this happen to me yesterday. When I search for "my city my real estate company's name" Google shows the title from the DMOZ but uses my page's meta description that I wrote for the page. It hadn't been like that before. I noticed most other real estate agent sites doing the same thing. I've only seen it when using my company's brand name in a search.
1:30 am on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Surely, this can only happen when a Google canonical URL matches an ODP listing URL (that is, only on a home page, and often not even then.

For instance, if the ODP listing shows, say, example.com/ (which ODP guidelines favor) but Google shows example.com/index.htm (which Google canonicalization probably favor as a side effect of following redirections), then I bet you don't see the ODP description.

7:16 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



hutcheson hit the nail on the head... Just today, my homepage lost its meta description, only to be replaced with my DMOZ description.

My homepage is listed twice; one URL has "index.html" and the other doesn't. In the SERPs:

example.com = DMOZ description

example.com/index.html = meta description

This is vaguely annoying, as my (meta) description is far, far better than the "description" someone created when they added me to DMOZ.

12:35 am on May 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I use a couple of test phrases to check my own site.

For my home page, using either phrase, the brief DMOZ description has replaced the snippet. I did not see the meta description in the serp.

1:13 am on May 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have a question as well,
I have been trying to list my site on dmoz and its been years, but seems like they are not taking anyone anymore. What gives? any way you can help synergy?
I would answer your question, but i have no clue, sorry.

Best wishes

Snazzy

[edited by: rogerd at 8:41 pm (utc) on May 5, 2005]
[edit reason] No specifics/URLs, please... [/edit]

6:38 am on May 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



>> seems like they are not taking anyone anymore <<

It might seem like that when you are looking at one site, but directory-wide at least 1000 sites per day are added.

10:29 pm on May 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



For my site, I'm seeing today the page *TITLE* returned in the google serps not as the title in my html, but the title given the page in the dmoz directory.

I've never seen this before...

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