Meta Descriptions Appear In Google SERPs

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Descriptive content from META tags and Open Directory project descriptions may be replacing actual site text.

Sitepoint’s Dan Thies notes on his blog how META and ODP descriptions have begun taking the place of site text in search engine results on Google. Mr. Thies describes what he now sees in a Google search for SEO consulting:

If you’re seeing the same SERP I am (it’s possible) you’ll find my site (www.seoresearchlabs.com) at #7, with the ODP description displayed underneath our link. Unfortunately, since the ODP editor couldn’t spell very well, Google is not doing me any favors by showing that description in fact, the description is misleading because we don’t offer website design. (For reference, the ODP listing reads “Offers search engine marketing, keyword research reportes, website design, marketing training and consutlting.”)

Just above at #6 I see another website (www.increaseranking.com) with their META description displayed in place of a snippet. Which is great news for them, because it’s basically ad copy.

Increase Ranking is not listed in the Open Directory. My site was just recently added, and didn’t have a META description until a few minutes ago.

Since ODP descriptions are written by a human editor, Google’s new practice may mean SEOs will want to avoid submitting sites to the Open Directory project and work on their META content instead.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Meta Descriptions Appear In Google SERPs
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