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15 replies to this topic

#1 scamsel

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 10:54 AM

hi, hope this is not too stupid of a question (i'm a noob).

sometimes the text that appears under a search result in google is text that i cannot find anywhere on the actual page when i click on the result. can anyone explain to me how that text appears in the search result then? is it some kind of meta tag info?

and how would you be able to control what appears under your pages search result? is it typically the first header on your webpage or what?

appreciate any help!

#2 Jill

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 11:38 AM

It's likely your DMOZ description.

You'll want to turn it off via the  noodp attribute[/hr]

#3 scamsel

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 12:07 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jun 3 2009, 12:38 PM) View Post
It's likely your DMOZ description.

You'll want to turn it off via the  noodp attribute[/hr]


ty for response! i don't know what dmoz is but i googled it and i think i understand now. so i guess my follow up question would be then once you turn off this attribute, how can you determine what text gets displayed with your website's result?

#4 Randy

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 12:37 PM

QUOTE
how can you determine what text gets displayed with your website's result?


The search engines decide. And it's dependent upon what keyword phrase is used when someone searches.

The Title should normally be whatever is in the <title> tag of the returned page.

The snippet below that can come from a number of places, including what's in the <meta description> tag on the page and the text copy in the page itself. The engines will try to match the snippet with the search phrase used by the searcher.

So if the phrase being searched upon appears in the text of your <meta description> tag the engines will usually pull the snippet from at least part of that. If not, or if there's not enough text that's relevant to the search phrase in the meta description, they'll then attempt to pull sentences from the copy of the page.

While you cannot expressly control the snippet, you do have some control by how you use your keyword phrases in both the meta description and copy of the page.

#5 Jill

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 01:48 PM

Start with my meta description article.

#6 Andy_Seo

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 05:36 PM

As Jill/Randy say concentrate on creating a useful and insightful snippet as this will be returned, providing the keyword is included within the tag. You can also add:

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


To the <head> element, which will stop Google using your, most probably outdated, DMOZ entry.

BTW - Does anyone have a preference on closing the META tag? I always see examples that don't use the trailing slash - which I know can have an impact on the Google snippet.

Edited by Andy_Seo, 03 June 2009 - 05:46 PM.


#7 Jill

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 05:44 PM

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I always see examples that don't use the trailing slash - which I know can have an impact on the Google snippet.


The correct way is to close it, but it shouldn't make a difference.

Are you sure that it was the lack of it that had an impact on the snippet? I'd be really surprised to see that and would love to see any examples you might have!

#8 Andy_Seo

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 05:46 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jun 3 2009, 11:44 PM) View Post
The correct way is to close it, but it shouldn't make a difference.

Are you sure that it was the lack of it that had an impact on the snippet? I'd be really surprised to see that and would love to see any examples you might have!

Yes will try and post some example but the snippet was awful (taking out text from a piece of code on the page) - even though the keyword term was included within the text. As you say - I would always recommend closing the tag.

#9 adibranch

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:21 AM

self closing the tag depends on the doctype... ie XHTML has a self closer, normal HTML4.0 etc doesnt. Dont self close if you're using an HTML doctype, only an XHTML one.

with XHTML most tags are self closing />, including the meta description. So, if you're using XHTML, you have to self close. I dont think it makes any difference to mr G though if the tags and doctype dont match, as it overlooks discrepencies like that normally.
You'll fail validation though if its the wrong one obviously.

Does anyone know if validation is taken into account in any way with serps positions? i've often wondered...

Edited by adibranch, 04 June 2009 - 06:29 AM.


#10 Andy_Seo

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:28 AM

QUOTE(adibranch @ Jun 4 2009, 12:21 PM) View Post
self closing the tag depends on the doctype... ie XHTML has a self closer, normal HTML4.0 etc doesnt.

XHTML most tags are self closing />, including the meta description. So, if you're using XHTML, you have to self close. I dont thin it makes any difference to mr G though as it overlooks discrepencies like that normally.
You'll fail validation though if its the wrong one obviously.

Does anyone know if validation is taken into account in any way with serps positions? i've often wondered...

Yes good point - I should have mentioned the doctype - I've had trouble modifying the tag because of this.

#11 adibranch

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:35 AM

the simple rule is if you're using XHTML, self close the description (and everything else).. if you're not, dont. Either way, it shouldnt make the slightest bit of difference in google, its just good code.

#12 Andy_Seo

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 07:01 AM

QUOTE(adibranch @ Jun 4 2009, 12:35 PM) View Post
the simple rule is if you're using XHTML, self close the description (and everything else).. if you're not, dont. Either way, it shouldnt make the slightest bit of difference in google, its just good code.

Sure, as I mentioned before though - I have noticed some funky snippets being returned for websites that do not close the tag.

#13 adibranch

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 07:09 AM

if it was grabbing code elements, it would just have been incorrectly formatted code, probably missed some closes completely. The type of closing tag on the description is simply good (or bad) formatting, and wont make any difference to the snippet.

#14 Jill

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 08:13 AM

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Does anyone know if validation is taken into account in any way with serps positions? i've often wondered...


There is a group of validation evangelists who believe it is taken into account, but my strong opinion on it is that it's not. It simply doesn't make sense for it to be.

#15 adibranch

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 08:33 AM

i must admit i've gone to the trouble of validating several, and not really seen any differences that i know of. I still believe its still good practice though... and it makes sense that some really bad code could halt spiders, if it cant follow the flow properly. In my humble opinion of course wink1.gif




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