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For the one search where I used to be top and am now third, the snippet comprises my DMOZ description, which is donkey's years old. The DMOZ description has the keywords once, whereas there are three instances on the homepage itself, and one in the meta description, all of which I thought were juicier....
Any idea why the snippet has been chosen to include something I didn't write (the DMOZ entry) over something I did?
Or, to be more brutal, any idea how to get today's web content into my snippet, instead of something 6 years old?
Let's just add that the recent updates have had no effect on the problem. One search term pulls up the DMOZ snippet - all the other search terms find relevant text on the page or in the page's Meta Desc
So, either ask DMOZ to update your description to make it much better (so that it provides a better snippet) or ask them to update it to make your description a lot worse, so it doesn't match common queries. Understand that this will likely be a very low priority for most DMOZ editors -- They are concerned with an accurate editorial description and not with SEO, and are all volunteers, so they generally don't appreciate having their time wasted. Don't count on this, and don't expect more than once chance to change it every few years.
Alternately, use G's "nosnippet [google.com]" tag, but this also causes G to stop caching your page.
Or cloak... But be sure to get it 100% right.
It's a problem with no pretty solutions.
Google will preferentially use your DMOZ description, unless there is no text matching the search terms in it. In that case, they'll go to your page content and then to your meta description.
I am not sure what you mean here. When I search for (mystate) (myhobby), I get my description. When I search (mystate) (myhobby) forum, I get the DMOZ description. Both descriptions have (mystate) (myhobby) and forum in it. The problem I am having is that the DMOZ description makes the site sound like it is only a forum, while the actual site is much more then that. The forum is just a small part of the site.
The page can additionally be returned as a normal (non supplemental) result for words that do still appear on the page. A page may not be a supplemental result for all search queries that it is returned for. Where it is a supplemental result, the snippet is based on old data, and that snippet is never updated.