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MSN uses DMOZ description

MSN using DMOZ description in SERPs

     

selomelo

7:08 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Today, I noticed a strange change in my site's description in MSN SERPs. Until recently, MSN used to properly display the meta description. But today, it displays the exact copy of DMOZ description that is unique and is not a part of my meta description.

Is it only me, or is there anyone having a similar experience?

patc

11:47 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I just noticed the same.

earlpearl

1:04 am on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Just checked this. MSN and Y are using our Meta tag. Google description is from dmoz.

Maybe they are phasing this in.

BillyS

1:07 am on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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



Weird, I noticed this today.

Bhavin

5:40 am on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



just noticed the same.

mgpapas

7:10 am on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I just noticed it as well. I didn't know msn had any relationship with dmoz.

janethuggard

3:11 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



They are using our meta tag, as of the Dec 25 indexing.

janethuggard

3:16 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Other pages on the site, last indexed Dec 20, they are using other information we fed to them specifically for the purpose of creating the listing, not the meta tag, not the dmoz.

cerebrum

3:27 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I too noticed it yesterday. All are following Google.

ByronM

4:13 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



hmm.. so i guess i should do this on mozdex. It's darn near impossible to get a computer generated summary, so i guess sucking down dmoz data would be best.

-byron

earlpearl

5:08 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Son of a gun. Yesterday MSN was using our Meta tags...today its the DMOZ description. Y is still using meta tags.

NoLimits

6:04 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



All the more reason for someone to become an editor of malice for DMOZ.

I hope to God that this doesn't stick. DMOZ doesn't need anymore pull than it already has.

TammyJo

7:19 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I agree...when I started the site I was a "green" webmaster and didn't know how important those description words would be. Been trying to get them changed for years with no luck.

IMHO...this isn't a good thing.

texasville

4:55 pm on Dec 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Definitely a bad thing. dmoz's descriptions are usually very lame. For one of my sites in particular. Completely missed the point of my whole site. Focused on the most minor part.
I really don't understand why msn would use this. I was hoping the almighty (dm)OZ was fading away. "Pay no attention to what's behind that curtain'".

Fearless

10:38 pm on Dec 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I guess that it would be redundant to say DMOZ SUCKS...

Excuse me, just had to get that off my chest.

In my particular field of endevour it just ROTS.

My section of their ROTTEN directory is out of date by YEARS and has zero editors.

And yet, as expected, I get turned down as an editor and of course, they won't say why.

Anything that uses them is by definiton a BAD THING.

rise2it

9:12 am on Dec 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



"DMOZ doesn't need anymore pull than it already has"

Pull? What pull? Overhyped value of a link from DMOZ helping in other search engines?

No offense to anyone that is an editor there - it started as a good thing, but it's time has been and gone, and they should have let this thing die about 2002.

As for MSN, I hope they aren't stupid enough to stick with this. It's hard to be 'modern' when you're pulling crap from five years ago...

Eddie_UK

6:42 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I too have noticed an increase of the use of DMOZ data to render descriptive text in SERPS. Maybe there are certain filters in the algorithm that suggest there may be inconsistencies between META description and page content. In this circumstance, I guess a search engine feels using a DMOZ note as a safe way to provide information to the searcher.

One thing though, DMOZ isn't a search engine and does not care for your results so why should descriptions be marketing lines or optimised keywords? If a search engine uses DMOZ then that's upto the search engine. How can DMOZ be blamed and slated for that? Also, if you don't agree with it, why list there?

I have a feeling many of you are missing the point of DMOZ.

NoLimits

1:22 am on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yeah, Eddie - you're right. I've been missing the point of DMOZ for a long time now.

There are directories out there equal to or better than DMOZ... IMO DMOZ is used primarily BY SEO's for the purpose of attaining BETTER SEARCH ENGINE RANKING.

It is nothing more than a breeding pool for corruption and self promotion. It once had a noble cause, but like everything else on the planet - selfish, greedy a-holes messed it up.

We "list" in it because it gives a nice sharp boost to our sites visibility, not because we want the descriptions of OUR SITES rewritten in a less appealing fashion to appear as if WE OURSELVES wrote it in the search engine.

Eddie_UK

5:39 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



"It is nothing more than a breeding pool for corruption and self promotion. It once had a noble cause, but like everything else on the planet - selfish, greedy a-holes messed it up." - Only because the search engines give it value so blame them, not DMOZ.

"We 'list' in it because it gives a nice sharp boost to our sites visibility, not because we want the descriptions of OUR SITES rewritten in a less appealing fashion to appear as if WE OURSELVES wrote it in the search engine." - Again, only because the search engines give it value so blame them, not DMOZ.

abacuss

5:18 am on Jan 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



As far as i know msn takes paid results from Yahoo and is neither related to alltheweb or altavista directly.Though the latter two uses result from yahoo only.
Its really surprising to know that msn is using dmoz description.

msndude

10:35 pm on Jan 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well, as you all have noticed, over the last few weeks we have phased in the ability to draw descriptions from the Open Directory Project (ODP/dmoz) in our search results.

You may be interested to know that for any given website (that is listed in ODP) we will be in a continual process of tuning when their ODP listing might appear as a description on our site by taking into account a number of factors including such things as the actual text on the webpage, meta info about the page, and the ODP description itself...

As always, we are constantly looking to improve, so please send any specific feedback on this (whether related to the description of your site, or others) along via stickymail and let us know what you think!

Thanks!

- msndude

gstewart

1:29 pm on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Seems to me, msndude, that this is enormously retrograde step. I've been trying for ages to change a a wholly out-of-date and inadequate ODP "description" of one of my sites - to see it used in your serps is infuriating. Surely MSN Search is as able as its competitors to read pages and make a judgement based on that information, rather than relying on an index as fallible and eccentric as the ODP.

RichTC

11:29 pm on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



As we can now see msn want to be at the front of the pack, leading the way in the search world, doing something new - yeah right!

I did sticky msndude to suggest that they sack who ever thought up the idea - truely amazing that this is the best they can come up with!

skipfactor

12:30 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Why not expand Bcentral's Small Business Directory to something like DMOZ or the Yahoo Dir but make it fresh and "free"? The 'Google' directory is stale, Y! is $300/year, looks obvious to me.

RichTC

1:34 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Thats a good point skip, what sort of company has its own expanding directory and then wants to copy someone elses work?

Use / expanding BCentral would be a good move if they edited descriptions of sites. At least its a way of securing own fresh up to date content rather than following someone else.

The current daft idea is like copying an older childs school homework because you cant be bothered only to find out they are more stupid than you are when you get Ungraded for it!

You have to laugh

victor

9:41 am on Jan 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



what sort of company has its own expanding directory and then wants to copy someone elses work?

The end result of a search engine is only copies of other people's work -- copies of millions of other people's work, in fact.

But some other people's work is generally dependable (both Google and now MSN are using ODP's work as their research must presumably show it adds some value) while others' is highly suspect (all that work needed to weed spam, and mirrors, and hidden text, and cloaked pages, etc etc).

The ODP's 4.5+ million listings is a beacon of sanity compared to the morass that MSNbot and others have to traverse.

The answer is not for MSN to stop using the ODP because the ODP is not perfect: it's for webmasters en masse to work to improve that swamp so MSN doesn't need to use the ODP.

Don't blame MSN or the ODP for the failings of a whole industry. Instead, work to get it fixed. This is the Internet, things are meant to work at wapr speed: so it surely shouldn't take more than six months, max.

Miop

6:45 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have a DMoz only entry - I did not pick the description - the 'editor' of Dmoz did, and it doesn't even contain my main keyword for what the site is about!
MSN traffic has dropped to virtually zero.

Eddie_UK

6:52 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I have a DMoz only entry - I did not pick the description - the 'editor' of Dmoz did, and it doesn't even contain my main keyword for what the site is about!
MSN traffic has dropped to virtually zero.

DMOZ is a free directory 'for people' and does not care for your SERP or how search engines use its data.

Why should it contain keywords just to assist your rank?

Miop

7:00 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



<DMOZ is a free directory 'for people' and does not care for your SERP or how search engines use its data.

Why should it contain keywords just to assist your rank? >

It shouldn't - it should contain keywords so that a searcher of Dmoz finds sites relevant to their search.
We have a widgetery shop - a searcher would want to know it's a widget shop, but the words Dmoz have picked do not even contain the word widgetery. That's what our site is - a widgetery shop. Otherwise what is the point of Dmoz?

Eddie_UK

7:22 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



That's what our site is - a widgetery shop. Otherwise what is the point of Dmoz?

To categorise websites. As long as you're in a widget category then it's clear what your shop sells. Adding keywords may affect your rank but it's not necessary information for the user which is why the editor probably didn't include it.

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