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Include Clearly Tagged Facts in the Description

     
10:31 pm on Dec 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I don't watch those Google Webmaster Guidelines like some do but I do not recall Google recommending the use of Tagged Facts, that is interesting and something I've been wondering what to label, now I know. I don't recall seeing any recent discussion on Tagged Facts either. But, my recollection these days is to be questioned. ;)

Tagged Facts

Include clearly tagged facts in the description. The meta description doesn't just have to be in sentence format; it's also a great place to include structured data about the page.

A good meta description can bring all this data together. For example, the following meta description provides detailed information about a book.

<meta name="Description" content="Author: A.N. Author, Illustrator: P. Picture, Category: Books, Price: $17.99, Length: 784 pages">

Changing your site's title and description in search results
[google.com...]

[edited by: tedster at 11:18 pm (utc) on Dec. 10, 2008]
[edit reason] fix the quote box [/edit]

11:44 am on Jan 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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While it is true that meta description "gives users a clear idea of the URL's content", it is also easily abused by spammers. Google must rely more on the page content rather than meta descripion.
12:00 pm on Jan 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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While it is true that meta description "gives users a clear idea of the URL's content", it is also easily abused by spammers.

That is a failed argument! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! ;)

Why? Because that same argument applies to every single byte of code on the page.

That's why I don't think the meta keywords element is dead just yet. ;)

7:24 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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so I am waaay late for this discussion

I wonder how well this would perform in languages other then English. While I can see that if phrases (tag/fact) are common enough in given language G can make sense of it, however "semantically" other languages are (usually) more complicated then English. For example, and I might be wrong, linguistically English has two cases while some other languages have six or seven. This would mean that, say in real-estate listing, "House: Rent, etc" could (should) be written such that "Rent" as a base term would have bunch of other letters behind it (in order to be grammatically properly written). I know G can do steaming for English language, but am not so sure for others. I hope this description makes sense...

Similarly, Rent or House, in another language could be expressed with different, but common, words and still have the same/very similar meaning (a la Eskimos have a lot of words for snow....). Would G (se) pick-up on that?

I looked at G's base product tags, as a good suggestion terminology starting point, and above still applies.

I like "idea" of tagged facts, but wondering how applicable it is outside English speaking world.

12:34 am on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I looked at G's base product tags, as a good suggestion terminology starting point

The semantic usefulness of tag/value pairs depends on how well the vocabulary is defined. G's base product tags is a start but needs to go a lot further by defining the tags meaning and acceptable values. Only then can the issue of other languages be addressed.

however "semantically" other languages are (usually) more complicated then English

The purpose of the tag/value is assumably to get over basic facts like
"for rent" and hence reduce semantic complexity.

Eskimos have a lot of words for snow

There seems to be 2 issues here, understanding that the word means snow, and understanding the grades of snow.

2:37 am on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google is reformatting this by exchanging bullet points for semi-colons, and using this in the snippet.

I've been reviewing specific pages that utilize list elements and other semantically rich HTML and am finding Google doing quite a bit with snippet generation. For instance, a glossary using <dl> elements. The <dt>'s are being converted to a tag and the <dd> ends up being the fact.

I've got plenty of test pages out and about. Many have been there for years. Quite a few I've set up recently with a bit more refinement in semantic HTML. I'm using a combination of tagged facts along with concise descriptions and staying within my 140-200 character range (my own comfort zone).

I can definitely see some advantages to using these methods in certain environments like a product database. In fact, this type of formatting would save a lot of headache in trying to build naturally worded sentences using variables that sometimes don't make sense in the context of the forced natural sentences.

Brand: ABC, Model: 123, Price: $299.00, Detail: Concise summary not repeating title or tagged facts.

There are all sorts of combinations that can be achieved. I'm thinking about the visitor too. Would those type of tagged facts entice them to click through to the destination page? If I'm searching for a particular brand or model, the above surely would appeal to my senses immediately. And so would a well written naturally worded description. But, you've got a second or two to capture that visitor. Do you give it to them straight and to the point or do you fluff it up a bit?

10:18 pm on Feb 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Let's complicate things a little ...

an item falls into 2 categories, according to the google base guidelines you would do something like:

category: Funky Pink Gadgets, category: Kids Electric Toothbrushes

or would you go for:

category: Funky Pink Gadgets ¦ Kids Electric Toothbrushes

[usual WebmasterWorld rules apply so this was a broken pipe not a pipe, this is the coding convetion for 'OR']

I'm running with this concept on a site, i like it, no results to report yet, but there's a syntax issue.

Brand: ABC, Model: 123, Price: $299.00, Detail: Concise summary not repeating title or tagged facts.

what about if in my detail, i want it to read cleanly, maybe i need a comma or two?

i'm thinking, that the comma only acts as a seperator if followed by

[space] [tag/heading] [colon]

but to be safe i'm putting the Detail as the last tag, well maybe this isn't safe but there are no more headings so it makes sense to me.

and also what do we think of a tag which is more than one word, again in the google base reference, they use an underscore: stock_number, this makes sense to me too, so for now i've gone with that too.

just working on a couple of sites i'm starting to build a tag library like pageoneresults, it expands quite rapidly.

2:33 am on Feb 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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For purpose of test, keep it simple, no pipes or other syntax that may confuse the issue. Perhaps just show first of multi values, or include extra values in details.

Maybe safer to leave 'Detail:' out and let it treat trailing text as non tagged content ?

Really interested in any results that come from this test.

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