We looked at the meta description tag as a powerful tool to getting the right description of your site in Google's listing. We also looked at the keyword tag and in the previous post looked at other meta tags. As mentioned in the post there is an often overlooked power in the hands of any SEO.
However getting just the description you want can be difficult at times. Google generates a description via three sources:
- The meta description tag
- The content on your site.
- Your listing in the Open Directory.
In the third case this can cause problems. Often our clients have a listing in the open directory (dmoz.org), often a listing was created before Google started using it this way and it can often be totally inappropriate for describing a site effectively. It's a popular method for Google to use, as the description was edited by a Human, Something very rare in the world of SEO.
You can stop Google from doing this by adding this meta tag:
<meta name="robots" content="noodp">
Yahoo will also use its own directory, to stop Yahoo from using this to describe your listing you use this meta tag:
<meta name="robots" content="noydir">
Both will stop all engines from displaying the appropriate listing if you want to target a particular engine change "robots" to the relevant engine eg. <meta name="msnbot" content="noodp">