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Same text in <title> as <meta description>

     
10:37 pm on Nov 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Is it bad to have the same words that appear in the title, also in the description?

i.e.

<title>Find my idea here</title>

<meta name="description" content="You can always find my idea here no matter what happens" />

11:47 pm on Nov 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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i want to know this also
12:12 am on Nov 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is a very natural thing - if your title is well written, then your description might well use at least some of that vocabulary. Just look at the first page of almost any SERP and you'll see this practice in the top ranked sites.

What I would avoid is having the title and the meta description be exact duplicates of each other. As long as the description expands on the title, I can't imagine a problem and certainly have never seen one with this cause.

6:02 am on Nov 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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As tedster points out, the description should expand on the title, not repeat it....

For the description to appear in the snippets for those searches where you're most likely to rank, though, you almost have to use the words that are in the title in the description as well.

Google looks for words contained in the search when it choose snippet text, and if it doesn't find them in the description it will look for them on the page. Since your title likely to contain your main targeted terms, then, for snippet purposes, your description should contain them too.

11:21 am on Nov 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What I would avoid is having the title and the meta description be exact duplicates of each other.

Yes, because it's unnatural, looks unprofessional, and it appears spammy to search engines. Auto-generated sites could use repetition in titles and tags.

I like to use descriptive titles for the keyword value and help to surfers who only read the title (link text); so my descriptions often paraphrase the title or are snippets from page text. I also add synonyms of the title keywords. And I may throw in long tails.

Every page that will be a landing page needs a well-written description. It's your advertisement.

Make sure it fits the space Google provides. I use a page I made with code to dynamically count down the number of characters used and how many are still available before text will get cut off.

(I got the idea from ebay which gives x characters for feedback, and lets you know each time you type a letter how much space you have left.)

p/g

1:41 pm on Nov 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We are wondering about this as well. Especially pertaining to keyword density. We have a niche ecommerce market and we sell basically four products and variations on those four. There are only so many ways to write about the same product and not sound spammy. Especially in the page title, description and keywords. Does Google know when you have a niche? Our key word density is between 30% and 40% because of this, but I don't see a way around it. Any ideas?
7:35 pm on Nov 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Keyword density in meta tags is a good question. I don't know what is best, but personally I try to play it safe not repeating any keywords except only once on rare occasions.

Here are Google's official comments on descriptions:

Using identical or similar descriptions on every page of a site isn't very helpful when individual pages appear in the web results. In these cases we're less likely to display the boilerplate text. . . . programmatic generation of the descriptions can be appropriate and is encouraged -- just make sure that your descriptions are not "spammy."

[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

I would guess the same text in title and description could be considered by Google as "spammy." At least it's clear enough that Google looks as the tag to see if webmasters are trying to keyword stuff it.

p/g

9:59 pm on Nov 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I find this sentence from the link above the most interesting out of all the content:
And it's worth noting that while accurate meta descriptions can improve clickthrough, they won't affect your ranking within search results.

This flies in the face of so much stuff that has been written so many times regarding keywords in the META description, where to put them, how many, on and on and on. If what is said is totally true, then it doesn't matter if you have any keywords in your description, from G's point of view, your page will still be ranked the same, regardless. I'm not sure I believe that 100%...
10:44 pm on Nov 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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it doesn't matter if you have any keywords in your description, from G's point of view, your page will still be ranked the same, regardless.

I'd say it's true about the meta description not affecting ranking. But, when the search terms are not in your meta description, then there's a stronger chance that the snippet will NOT be taken from your meta description tag. It's more likely to be from somewhere on the page where the search terms actually DO appear.

2:34 am on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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But, when the search terms are not in your meta description, then there's a stronger chance that the snippet will NOT be taken from your meta description tag. It's more likely to be from somewhere on the page where the search terms actually DO appear.

OR, as I have found again today...from DMOZ listings!

Again I am going to have to request DMOZ to change company name details, listings, descriptions etc.

This is ridiculous, for mycompanyname.com, I am seeing almost 10 yr old descriptions that are totally inapplicable. They really need to sort this out, I'm getting totally pi$$ed off with being listed there.

2:45 am on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Here's something easier - Google supports the noodp meta tag:

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP">

Reference thread:
[webmasterworld.com...]

2:49 am on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Don'tbother wresting with DMOZ

Thanks Ted, I daren't ask when that was introduced!

It may explain many other abberations I have...I owe you a big beer:)

10:07 pm on Nov 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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But, when the search terms are not in your meta description, then there's a stronger chance that the snippet will NOT be taken from your meta description tag. It's more likely to be from somewhere on the page where the search terms actually DO appear.

And this encourages keyword stuffing, does it not? I write descriptions for visitors, but always have keywords in the back of my mind. Knowing that if your keywords aren't in your meta description it's probably not going to be used as the snippet just encourages one to try harder to cram a few more in there, just to make sure. I sure wish they'd find a way to solve this.
5:15 pm on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it promotes stuffing. Stuffing rarely looks natural or very inticing.

Companyname offers more than 30 varieties of delicious green widgets organically grown in sunny Southern California.

5:36 pm on Nov 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Companyname offers more than 30 varieties of delicious green widgets organically grown in sunny Southern California.

Great example, though I'm not sure I want to find out what a widget tastes like.