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NOODP No Longer Supported By Google - Getting a Good Meta Description

     
3:52 pm on Jun 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Now that the Open Directory Project, DMOZ, is closed, Google has reminded webmasters that the NOODP tag is now superfluous.

That said, it is worth the reminder as to why google took the ODP description instead of the website's meta description. According to google, it said the quality of the meta description was often much better than that of the site's.

Now the ODP is sent to the annals of history, it's really worth reviewing your meta description to get the best out of Google's snippets displayed in the SERPs.
Google will ignore problem descriptions. It says, "On the flip side, it's also relatively common that the description is completely off-topic, low quality, or outright spammy. These issues tarnish our users' search experience, so we prefer to ignore such meta descriptions. "
I think we all already know that, but it's worth repeating for the newbies, and for those that can't seem to get their snippets to work in Google.
Here's what Google suggests to get a good description, and it goes all the way back to 2007



Take a look through the indexing and serving directives that may remind you or for reference.

Directive
all
Meaning: There are no restrictions for indexing or serving. Note: this directive is the default value and has no effect if explicitly listed.


noindex
Meaning: Do not show this page in search results and do not show a "Cached" link in search results.


nofollow
Meaning: Do not follow the links on this page


none
Meaning: Equivalent to noindex, nofollow


noarchive
Meaning: Do not show a "Cached" link in search results.


nosnippet
Meaning: Do not show a snippet in the search results for this page


noodp
Meaning: Now no longer used


notranslate
Meaning: Do not offer translation of this page in search results.


noimageindex
Meaning: Do not index images on this page.


unavailable_after: [RFC-850 date/time]
Meaning: Do not show this page in search results after the specified date/time. The date/time must be specified in the RFC 850 format.

Source, Google, with modifications
12:42 am on June 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Great post, thanks engine.

I stopped using most of those page-level meta tags a few years ago when I re-coded most sites to responsive layouts.

Instead I use the the Response Headers to convey various directives. Helps reduce page bloat and reduces code/content ratio for SEO objectives. Google PageSpeed likes it as well.
8:07 am on June 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks.
Yes, i'm the same, I stopped using most of those, too. However, there are certain cases where it's been useful, especially the NOODP. Now that's gone i'll just slowly remove it from any occurrences as it comes around. Of course, it doesn't do any harm to leave it as it's no longer supported.
8:17 am on June 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Still, it's very helpful to see all the directives listed in one place. Most should work with the X-robots header tag.
3:56 pm on June 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The NOODP tag was in its day a handy tool, especially if you were listed in an area of the ODP that was less than active, or worse still was edited by someone who may not have wanted you to do "too well". It always made sense to use NOODP and keep a fresh relevant description tag.

Mack.
6:49 pm on June 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have long used (and recommended to others) the Yoast SEO plugin to handle metatags for robots, titles and descriptions for WordPress sites. I was customizing a new theme for one of my most productive sites and I see that the settings I had put in place were not there, no custom title, no custom descriptions and the robots meta was "noodp". In the settings, there is a place for noodp as a default and it is active. The "Disable" button does nothing. After many hours of seeking a solution I have uninstalled Yoast from that site and I can see I will be very (VERY) busy for a while fixing this mess across several sites. I did check to be sure that it is not theme related since I was changing the theme when I saw it. Incredibly bad way to keep a good reputation! This may be more WP related, but the topic is exactly why I find it so disturbing. :(
11:09 pm on June 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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That said, it is worth the reminder as to why google took the ODP description instead of the website's meta description. According to google, it said the quality of the meta description was often much better than that of the site's.


My site was in the ODP for decades but I never used that tag.

If you were in the ODP I don't see why they couldn't use the description that's now in dmoztools.net (which is the same).

On one of my site's pages I have a little graphic telling people the site is listed in the ODP, and it's linked to the proper ODP page. A little while ago I just changed the URL to its dmoztools.net equivalent.
6:01 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think Google would much rather use a fresh description that was on-page when last crawled. The archived ODP data will quickly become very stale.

Mack.
6:45 pm on June 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The archived ODP data will quickly become very stale
So stale that it's now gone.
11:51 pm on June 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The archived ODP data will quickly become very stale

So stale that it's now gone.


? Are you talking about the site description? Not on my dmoztools page.

And the description isn't any more "stale" than it was when it was 20 years old on ODP proper.
12:00 am on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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? Are you talking about the site description? Not on my dmoztools page.
No, my comment is not related to a site description on your "dmoztools page."
10:29 pm on June 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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And the description isn't any more "stale" than it was when it was 20 years old on ODP proper.


The same can't be said for all sites. If the site theme changes a little, the ODP may well have taken some time to have it updated. The on page description, for example, should be fresh and relevant.

Mack.
5:16 pm on June 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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DMOZ never had our site listed correctly. They listed it as the web design firm that built the site, not the site brand which was not even remotely related to web design. A total mess. Asking them to kindly update the listing only angered the editor who insisted it was correct when it was clearly not. Horrible editors. Good riddance.