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Meta Description - Beyond 155 - Still Alive?


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44 replies to this topic

#16 adibranch

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 04:58 AM

QUOTE(Say Yebo @ Nov 11 2009, 06:06 PM) View Post
I found a solution for titles that seems to work well. If I find that I need to run past 68/70 characters, I try write a title that still looks good if it gets cut off - but the search engines still read the missing words.

Example:

Dog Chew Toys - tough, non-toxic dog toys made from natural materials. Organic, washable.

In the SERPS you'll see:
Dog Chew Toys - tough, non-toxic dog toys made from natural materials. (70 character cut-off point)

But when people search for dog toys that are organic or washable, Google knows you're up for it!


similar to 'dog chew toys, organic washable dog toys' , or 'organic washable dog chew toys'. I'm much preferring this as although your sentence is more naturally pleasing, it just doesnt scan well. Lets face it, speed of inormation is the biggie just lately, getting info fast and direct is a big player. The sentence approach, well, is just too much to read when i'm scanning through say 30 results trying to find what i want.

#17 chrishirst

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 05:45 AM

Just in case you don't know, there is a simple way to see what the result for a page on your site is probably going to look like in the SERP is to run a site:siteurl search then add a keyword/phrase to the search, like so:

http://www.google.co.....og Chew Toys"

Of course the pages do need to be indexed beforehand.

#18 bobmeetin

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 02:55 PM

Now that we have a better picture of how page title, meta description, etc work, here is a related question. It's common for sites to have pages such as:

Home
About
Contact
FAQ

We can do a little improvement and come up with some intelligent, uniquish, text for both page title and meta description. For Contact, FAQ and similar generic pages do you still attempt to embellish the text or do you go with the simple:

QUOTE
Title: Contact Us - "Tom's Fine Widgets, Pleasantville, CA"
Description - "Contact Tom's Fine Widgets in Pleasantville by phone at 000-000-0000 or email contact@tomsfinewidgets.com" - knowing this is not a hotlink


How much should or do you elaborate on generic pages?

Edited by bobmeetin, 13 November 2009 - 05:23 PM.


#19 Jill

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:01 PM

It depends. Is there any reason why you would want those pages to be found in the search engines? If so, then optimized them for the phrases that make sense. If not, then don't worry about it.

#20 ttw

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 01:28 PM

So how useful is adding a Meta Descripton in a PDF file if the phrase you are writing for is already used throughout the PDF content? In quick tests I've done I'm not convinced it's worth the effort to write Meta Descriptions when updating a client's PDFs Title tag.

#21 Jill

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 01:33 PM

About the same as doing it for HTML pages. If you already have good, keyword rich content, your meta descriptions are not as important as if you don't.

(although I'm not actually sure if Google uses meta descriptions for PDFs now that I think about.)

#22 Randy

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 03:10 PM

They didn't last time I checked Jill.

The only of the PDF properties that got indexed and thus was searchable and stood a chance of affecting ranking was the Title property that can be embedded into PDF's. Author, Subject, Keywords were all ignored when I last checked my little PDF test.

I just did a quick spot check of the PDFs from that long ago, far away test since they're still online. It doesn't look like anything has changed since the original test of a couple of years ago.

The general findings were and still seem to be:
  • Google will index text in a PDF, much like they index text content on an HTML page.
  • Google will index text from the Title property of a PDF file and it will be searchable. No clue if it carries as much weight as <title> tag content on an HTML page, but it makes sense that it might.
  • That's it. Google seems to ignore everything else.


#23 ttw

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 07:21 PM

QUOTE(Randy @ Nov 22 2009, 01:10 PM) View Post
They didn't last time I checked Jill.



Hi Randy: What search engines did you test - Google, Yahoo and Bing?

#24 Randy

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 10:57 AM

I don't typically limit any test Rosemary, even if the test is designed to see what a specific search engine does with something. I just let 'em all grab it. wink1.gif

With the PDF stuff though there was a difference in what the various search engines picked up. They all grabbed the visible text from the pdf files, so we can start with that as a common thing. Also, it doesn't appear to matter if the text is editable placeholder or read only text, both get picked up and indexed.

With respect to the PDF Document Properties the big three appear to treat these elements a bit differently.

Google - Indexes the Tittle property and that's it.

Yahoo - Indexes the Keywords property, but that's it. Odd that they don't appear to index the Title property, but stranger things have happened and they're obviously able to get to the PDF Properties since they got the Keywords property info.

MSN/Bing - Doesn't appear to index any of the PDF Property data.

#25 bobmeetin

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 09:49 AM

What this all boils down to is knowledge, knowledge that we can use when clients ask questions about the innate value of PDF documents. Thanks Randy, this pays off. I still owe up to some tests on other topics, other threads - hopefully in time and hopefully the smart pills will kick in.

#26 andreamoro

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 05:35 AM

Hi guys, every supposition is good enough to understand search engine behavior. Meanwhile, during the last weeks, I did a test (www.andreamoro.eu/SEO-Test-PDF/ ) and today I published my consideration (www.ip-seo.com/latest/2009/11/pdf-ranking-test-results/) regarding it. If someone is interested in, just leave a comment.

#27 bobmeetin

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 10:40 PM

We know Jill's seen everything. So about the time this thread was alive I was developing a new website. I took it to the extreme and heeded the advice of page titles, meta descriptions that support the page title, relevant h1 in the body, went lame with meta keywords, but who cares anyway. I also initiated Google Local and Yahoo Local.

Today I got curious so went surfing for several of the key phrases. Nothing for Google local yet as expected, but buried on the bottom of G p3 was the FAQ page. The title looked great but to my horror rather than extracting something relevant from the page description for the snippet, the big G grabbed an irrelevant quote from a box in a column where I have some rotating quotes.

What nerve! Let me rephrase that, WHAT NERVE! and I do feel like shouting.

I opened up to view source to be sure and find one correctly formatted meta description. This is Joomla 1.5.14, pretty standard. I would not think that it would make a diff but they have it structured so that the Meta keywords if followed by the Meta description and subsequently the page title. I've seen this before but never questioned whether the order mattered.

Over to the enlightened ones....

Edited by bobmeetin, 15 December 2009 - 10:47 PM.


#28 Jill

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 07:39 AM

Does the meta description have the keyword phrase for which you searched?

If not, G will pull your description from elsewhere a lot of the time.

#29 bobmeetin

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:05 AM

No but yes, sort of.

key phrase = 3 words long

Searching for the key phrase by itself leads to da nada in the first 20 results pages; this is not surprising because the site is new, there are no inbound links and the key phrase is competitive on both national and regional levels.

So I add "Denver" to the key phrase. Although the key phrase is not remotely within the rotating quote, Denver is; I have a few characters left in the page title, perhaps i add Denver there as well in the description?

#30 Jill

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 12:43 PM

Well, just remember that the snippet description that will be shown will be different for any given keyword phrase that a searcher uses.

You can test various ones to see what comes up and adjust it accordingly if you care. Alternatively, create better content so that you'll have great snippets taken from there for various keyword phrases.




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