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Old 07-13-2006   #1
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NOODP! No ODP Titles!

Finally http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060713-131905

Google supports
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP">
<META NAME="googlebot" CONTENT="NOODP">

Finally.
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Old 07-13-2006   #2
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Description Too

Barry,

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but as per Google's Sitemaps Blog , the tag appears to block the ODP description, not the title as many have discussed.

Quote:
To direct all search engines that support the meta tag not to use ODP information for the page's description, use the following:
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP">
I for one am not confident, however, that usurping the ODP Description is conducive to keeping the most optimized description. Further, it seems to be possible that you could actually hurt your rankings (to some extent) by altering what an ODP Editor has written to describe your web page. I mean, they are a more "trusted resourcce" right? They probably won't write a spammy description (or title for that matter).

This will definitely be interesting!

Looking forward to SES San Jose.

- Eric Itzkowitz

Last edited by SpeedyPin : 07-13-2006 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 07-13-2006   #3
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Why do they use the DMOZ description in the first place?

I purposely put this meta tag <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP"> on a site the day that MSN made the announcement about it (on May 22), instead of <META NAME="msnbot" CONTENT="NOODP"> with the hope that Google would someday also obey it, and I noticed on June 16th that Google had dropped the DMOZ from that site, which may indicate that they were testing at that time: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ad.php?t=12200

However, I am very concerned that there is an underlying cause that is only being masked by this fix. I have long suspected that duplicate content is that underlying cause, but it would be extremely helpful to get an answer to the question:

Why do they use the DMOZ description in the first place?
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Old 07-13-2006   #4
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I think it's more of a "trusted source" issue. ODP has a trusted group of editors, so Google should be able to trust the title and description given to a website. Their "third part point of view" is more trusted than what you or I tell the world about our own site(s). You can thank the spammers for this.

Also, I'm not sure I understand your thought:

Quote:
I have long suspected that duplicate content is that underlying cause, but it would be extremely helpful to get an answer to the question
Can you elaborate? I'm not sure that duplicate content has anything to do with it.

- Eric Itzkowitz
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Old 07-13-2006   #5
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I have no proof, but...

Hi Eric,

Two of my clients have had this DMOZ problem in both the title and description (snippet), but they are also the ONLY two clients that have had duplicate content issues. After cleaning things up; first, the title went back to the "head" content on the page, and then the snippet also returned to the "description" tag on the page.

None of my other clients (including my own "test" sites) have experienced any of this, but none of those have had any duplicate content issues. And, every site that I have ever examined for webmasters that complain about DMOZ titles or snippets have also had duplicate content issues that are easily visible.

So, it is a natural assumption for me to conclude that the two are related, but I have no concrete proof, so again I ask the question:

Why do they use the DMOZ description in the first place?

Brian M.

P. S. I wish I was going to SES San Jose so we could meet up. But I will definitely be going to SES NYC next year...
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Old 07-13-2006   #6
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I thought Google extracts its descriptions from Google Directory which is a clone of DMOZ.
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Old 07-14-2006   #7
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I am finding out more about that. title vs. description or both.

Ill let you know as soon as I hear back.
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Old 07-14-2006   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M
Why do they use the DMOZ description in the first place?
Hey brian good advance thinking on using the ROBOTS instead of MSNBot...

I think that the main reasoning behind the use of the ODP Description was if the site had no META Desc. tag AND not enough content to create a clean description. That is why you sometimes find sites indexed with a description that is simply their bottom Nav Bar due to image-based content like this example The site has no Description Tags and is not listed in DMOZ, but if it was, they would probably default to that description for all pages in that domain, I think.
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Old 07-14-2006   #9
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Guys,

Got word back from Vanessa, it applies to both the title and the description.

She has seen the confusion and possibly will do a follow up post to clear things up.

Thanks for bringing this up.
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Old 07-14-2006   #10
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Right-on Barry… thanks for clearing this up. That's what makes these forums great!

I love that Google has given back to webmasters what is rightfully theirs… CHOICE!

One still must wonder, however, if it's best to leave the ODP chosen titles and descriptions alone, and continue to seek changes through the ODP if you have issues. Yes, this is a very painful process for most of us. Personally, I've been contacting them for nearly 7 months now on a much desired change.

Yeah, the new tag certainly looks sexy knowing that I can affect a change almost immediately, but as we all say here on the forums, "If it aint broke, don't try to fix it." I'll live with the ODP content for a while longer. Yes, some of you cannot live with your current ODP content, and are STOKED for this new tag. Please, be careful with it!

Note: I find it bizarre that Google has suddenly (within the past two months), truncated our ODP description. Perhaps Google doesn’t like one of the words being used in our ODP description, which is why the truncation occurs right before a certain word.

Note: I also find it interesting that the ODP description for our site is being used for only some queries. Other times, the description I created is displayed.

Last edited by SpeedyPin : 07-14-2006 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 07-14-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyPin
Note: I also find it interesting that the ODP description for our site is being used for only some queries. Sometimes it uses the description I created.
Have you noted whether the specific keyword(s) triggering the result is(are) represented in the Title and/or Description of either your META or the ODP?
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Old 07-14-2006   #12
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Chris, I'll try to post what I can in a fashion that conforms to the forum's rules and regs. XXXXXX is used in place of company name and domain. If you need to modify this post to better conform to the rules and regs, no problem.

Query number 1's result is our ODP description. Query number 2's result is my custom description.

The ODP description appears to only show up if the search query contains the exact search query in both the title and description. Otherwise it uses my description.

Query 1:

phone cards

Result 1:

XXXXXX Prepaid Phone Cards - International Calling Cards
Offers prepaid phone cards for international and domestic US long distance calls. PINs delivered...
XXXXXX.com/ - 52k - Cached - Similar pages

Full ODP Description

Offers prepaid phone cards for international and domestic U.S. long distance calls. PINs delivered instantly via email.

----------------------------

Query 2:

international calling cards

Result 2:

XXXXXX Prepaid Phone Cards - International Calling Cards
Buy prepaid phone cards and international calling cards online. Guaranteed and PINs delivered instantly by email.
XXXXXX.com/ - 52k - Cached - Similar pages

- Eric Itzkowitz

Last edited by SpeedyPin : 07-14-2006 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 07-14-2006   #13
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FYI - Vanessa posted a clarification here:

http://sitemaps.blogspot.com/2006/07...itles-too.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Boggs
...if the site had no META Desc. tag AND not enough content to create a clean description...
Hi Chris,

Yes, I think you are right about that, but their code started to include pages that actually had a proper page title and META description tag and plenty of content for a clean description, and that's why so many webmaster started complaining.

However, I have personally only seen this happen to pages with duplicate content problems, and it was a very quick way for me to uncover the problem - If a site displayed a DMOZ title or snippet, there was invariably duplicate content in the index, along with the dreaded phrase: repeat the search with the omitted results included.

For example, I just checked Speedypin's site with the "site:" command, and that phrase appears after only page 787 of 51,300 results. The cache of his home page has a proper title and META description, but his first keyword phrase uses the DMOZ snippet in the SERPs.

So, I am afraid that the problem is just being masked...
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Old 07-14-2006   #14
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speedy thanks for the clear example - well within the guidelines - seems solid but posibly not what happens in all cases.

Brian your explanation makes sense...perhaps my thought was the original ideal, but has somehow gone off track, causing the problems with unwanted ODP T&D's. I find very interesting the correlation you have identified with duplicate content/similar pages omited issues and will seek more such examples.
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Old 07-14-2006   #15
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Smile Just Say NO to ODP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M
I purposely put this meta tag <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOODP"> on a site the day that MSN made the announcement about it (on May 22), instead of <META NAME="msnbot" CONTENT="NOODP"> with the hope that Google would someday also obey it, and I noticed on June 16th that Google had dropped the DMOZ from that site, which may indicate that they were testing at that time: http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/...ad.php?t=12200
Same here. I had been tweaking a client's meta tags for months hoping to find just the right combination to get Google to drop the lame ODP description.

I added the "Robots" NOODP tag and voila, our REAL description popped up.

All I can say is THANK YOU GOOGLE!

Last edited by weboptimist : 07-14-2006 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Spelling error
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Old 07-14-2006   #16
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Maybe Vanessa can comment on the PROs & CONS of using the tag. If left alone, surely the ODP description is far more trusted than what you or I might write (sad but true). If using the NOODP tag, surely any description you or I write becomes "less trustworthy" compared to one written by a fully-trained ODP editor--a third party with no vested interest. (this smiley is as close as I can get to a sarcastic expression)

- Eric Itzkowitz

Last edited by SpeedyPin : 07-14-2006 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 07-16-2006   #17
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How about this as the reason for Speedy's truncated ODP description...
The phrases, 'phone cards' and 'international calling cards' both appear in the ODP description with 'phone cards' shown first. I.e. there are more words following 'phone cards' than there are following 'international calling cards'. Since Google limits the length of the snippets/ descriptions, the 'phone cards' description is truncated. Seems reasonable to me.

How about this for why Google uses ODP descriptions at all...
They say that they try to use the most suitable text for the snippet. The ODP description is always going to be the best (most trustable), although it isn't always suitable. So how about, if the exact searchterm appears in the the ODP description for the page, then use it, and also use it if the exact searchterm doesn't appear anywhere.
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Old 07-19-2006   #18
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Quote:
Since Google limits the length of the snippets/ descriptions, the 'phone cards' description is truncated. Seems reasonable to me.
The ODP description being truncated is well within the max character limit. So, it has to be something else. Maybe the word "instantly" is aggrevating the situation? Just remember... the ODP editor wrote this not us. Further, it seems to me that recent algo updates make it necessary for the ODP to review their own editing practices, no? Maybe the two sides don't communicate as much as they used to?
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Old 07-20-2006   #19
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noodp and other directives

Has anyone had any experience with using the noodp tag in conjunction with other directives like index and follow?

Currently on my site I have <meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />
and want to add <meta name="robots" content="index,follow,noodp" />

will this be treated the same as <meta name="robots" content="noodp" />


Also does the noodp tag only need to be placed on direct urls that are in the odp or do they need to be placed site wide?

Thanks for you help.
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Old 07-21-2006   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPark
Currently on my site I have <meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />
and want to add <meta name="robots" content="index,follow,noodp" />

will this be treated the same as <meta name="robots" content="noodp" />
You can combine them. Please refer to this page.
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