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Google only using meta description

Snippet shows no content

     
4:14 am on Mar 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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On one my sites which has been active for 3 years or so, I have just noticed in the last few weeks or so, the snippet in the serps is no longer showing textual content from the pages, only the meta description. This in turn has caused a few of my rankings to plummet. Any ideas, suggestions?
1:14 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This in turn has caused a few of my rankings to plummet

Whooooah! Best example of jumping to conclusions that I've seen in a long time.

You've just added 2 + 2 together and made 5,567,321! Congratulations!

You state that:

google change snippet -> rankings drop

Usually the cause of this is...

you change content -> content no longer relevant to search (so snippet changes to use description) -> rankings drop

Have you changed anything on your site recently?

1:55 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Mr, dont be to quick to judge. (heh)

phish - I do agree with you in some respects. I have seen one or two websites that only have the meta description but i think that this may be a way to make the google results more 'tidy' Like Mr. said the drop of traffic could be anything but it sounds like it may have an effect.

Have you been included in Dmoz in the past few weeks?

2:43 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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From my observations I would say that Google is starting to use surrounding text from inbound links as the snippet, not sure if that's always the case but it seems to be true for most.
3:16 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Mr, dont be to quick to judge. (heh)

Fair enough. There are a number of reasons why his traffic has dropped. I was just suggesting the most likely based on the lack of information he gave.

I just thought it was funny that he jumped to the conclusion that it was the change in description that caused his SERPS to drop.

12:19 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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nope nothing nada, which is why i asked. I would have known (obviously) if i changed the content, it may alter the description due to keyword proximity, density, yada,yada,yada...but no I haven't so much as added a word. I thought maybe it was an algo adjustment, which is why I was wondering if anyone else noticed it.
1:08 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Just today I found a number of my pages being listed with the description instead of a snippet from the page itself. They're ranking just fine.
1:48 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I went and took a look, and sure enoguh, a couple of my sites have the meta description instead of a snippet now.

Both sites have seen dramatic rises in the SERPS over the past couple of weeks. (one in particular has gone from the mid-40s for the main phrase I'm after, to #11 - top of page 2, a significant "wee-haw!" moment inspiring a screen capture).

Google is either doing a serious tweak of Allegra, or maybe this is a whole new algo.

8:40 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I haven't been checking my (2 year old site) site for some time (due to holidays) but was pleasantly surprised today to see a jump from 40 to 6 accompanied by meta description instead of snippet.
8:41 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I can see meta descriptions a lot more in the SERPs. Some rankings have gone up and some down.
 

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