a better description?

Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2004 06:24 pm
so I'm sort of happy. Google has me as number two under the search "christian discuss" unfortunately it's to an old place where my site used to be, but I'm taking care of that. My main concern is that the description reads:

The Christian Defense. ... The time now is Sat Jan 10, 2004 3:41 am The Christian Defense
Forum Index, View unanswered posts. ... Links, The Christian Defense. Log in

which is not very conducive to my purposes, obviously, how should I take care of this? should I just write a text paragraph at the top of the page for google to take instead or is there something else I should do? I already have a description metatag, but I guess google didn't look at that.
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Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2004 11:02 pm
Looking at google's cache of that page I noticed the word "discuss" appears nowhere other than the page title, so naturally google has a hard time finding something relevant to that search phrase to show in the description. You might try writing a paragraph which includes the words "Christian" and "discuss" in close vicinity on that page.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2004 12:01 am
It all depends on the query. It will pull the text near the queried words.

So in a way you have complete control over it.

Here's how the Google descriptions work:

Some results will pull the Dmoz description, this is the only description you do not have direct control over.

The only other situation is when Google has a link indexed but not spidered. This is rare and you can tell because it won't have a description or even a title, just the link.

Now for everything else, google will pull matching text from your page.

So whatever the most common query is, make sure to have your ideal text for the description in the vicinity. Since you control the page you control what will be included in a on Dmoz description.

Now here's a secret, Google will sometimes display the description meta tag if it contains relevant text to the query.

That's a secret few SEO's know and use well. I use it on some sites specifically for the Google description, so that I can write text specifically for a searcher.
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Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2004 07:38 pm
Monger: one of the problems I have is that I moved the site to a different sub-dir, so the cache no longer applies and I *tried* to fix that. I'll guess I know when I get indexed again. hopefully.

well, I changed things around, but google has yet to index it. The words in the title are also words in the description, well, the main search words at least and are also in the body of the page. I expanded my forum description to be more verbose and including search words which are also similar to the title, description and keywords. I don't know if I'm being too redundant in words. But no search word is repeated more than four or five times in the whole page.

so, if my most common query is lets say "christian discuss" then when those words appear within, let's say, 4 words of each other I should have a text following it which I would like the searcher to see?
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Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2004 11:02 pm
Yes, though not exactly "following it," but rather "in the vicinity of it."

But also pay close attention to the information Craven posted about google sometimes showing the description metatag in its SERPs. That's something I've seen a fair bit, and it offers the most control over the google description you're gonna get.

Regarding keyword redundancy, 4 or 5 instances on a page isn't too much. Your Keyword Density thread has lots of good advice on that subject by Craven.
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