Skip navigation
newsletter signup

DMOZ Description

November 14, 2007
Hi Jill,
I just want to run something by you...

It appears the text Google is now showing [for a particular keyword phrase] is from our DMOZ directory listing. Until very recently (and while our listing position was as good as it is now) Google was showing the first few words of text from the body of our home page.

So now the question is should we leave everything as is and enjoy the good listing position, but put up with the less than ideal text in the search results, or should we insert a good meta description and hope Google uses it in our search results without negatively impacting our position?

Hope all is well with you!


++Jill's Response++

Hi Richard,

The position of your page in the search results for your keyword phrase isn't affected by that DMOZ description. Your position should be the same regardless of what description is shown in the search results.

I would highly suggest adding the “NoODP” Meta tag to your home page to stop Google from using the DMOZ description since it's generally not the best one to have showing in the search results.

The syntax for the tag is as follows:

<meta name="robots" content="noodp">

If you have a Yahoo directory listing as well, you may want to also add "NoYDIR" to the Meta tag, which would look like this:

<meta name="robots" content="noodp, noydir">

We have an old forum thread with more info on this here.

You should definitely add a good Meta description tag as well.  If you add the keyword phrase to it (the phrase that's currently triggering the DMOZ description) there's a good chance this will show up as your new description sometime after the next Google crawl.

As an aside, I've been lax with Meta descriptions on our own website's pages, but they are well worth the few minutes of effort to create.  Our SEO associate noticed the other day that the High Rankings Forum was showing a lousy description when it showed up in the search results for "SEO Forum" and that was because we had never applied a Meta description tag to it.  It is also showing its DMOZ description when it shows up for "Search Engine Optimization Forum" because we had never applied the NoODP tag either. So we added a Meta description that utilized the phrase "SEO forum" and will see if it makes a difference in a few days. For now, I didn't bother to add the NoODP tag because our DMOZ description actually isn't too bad, but I may go back and fix that when I have some extra time.

Hope this helps!



Post Comment

 Sarah Thompson said:
Dear High Rankings Advisors:

I have zero position in the page ranking world. How can I gain some recognition in cyberspace?

I am somewhat perplexed by the lingo of NoODP and DMOZ and creating appropriate tags for my website.
I created a website from a templeate supplied by Network Solutions and would welcome some basic hand-holding advice on drawing traffic to my website using your advice.

Keywords: upholstery cleaning, steam cleaners, tile and grout cleaning, floor cleaners, restoration cleaning, homes, commercial , industrial, recreational vehicles, airplanes, trains, yachts, water damage, water extraction, pump-out, flood, drying, dryout, disaster cleanup, wet, rugs, carpet, floors, water, leaks, broken pipes,

Iam working hard at jump starting a cleaning business after being laid off from my job as a nursing coordinator. Just lost my eighty eight year old dad. Taking care of my mom as well.
Down to the wire financially.

Eagerly awaiting your advice.

 Jill said:
Hi Sarah,

You might want to check out our forum and specifically read the tips for newbies articles.

Click on my name here to take you there.
 William Charlton said:
Sarah has just gotten a nice little inbound link! Should call yourself "Steam Cleaning Services" instead of "Sarah Thompson" when you blog comment. Do as I say, not as I do.
 Jill Whalen said:
William, if she did, I would have changed it to something else. You won't find too many comment links here with keywords. (Not to mention the whole nofollow thing.)
 Richard said:
I really wish Google don't reference DMOZ at all, but before it was only because I coulnd't get in, now as it turns out even if I could get in Google would listen to DMOZ rather than my own site?
 Jonathan said:
Google has made a grave error relying on the efficacy of DMOZ. In many truly competitive categories, DMOZ has lost control to SEO manipulation because the big search engines use their listings. It's not rocket science. If Google think DMOZ is important, and most users search on Google rather than DMOZ, the directory becomes corrupted by so-called SEOs trying to control the directory to further their own ends. It shouldn't be unexpected, and in my experience it happens 99% of the time when a particular search becomes highly competitive. Google made DMOZ useless, really, even if they think they can still use it. Adding DMOZ listings to Google calculations worked when the listings weren't thought to be all that importnat, but now that they are, it makes Google results less reliable and more open to cheating.