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Google using DMOZ descriptions?

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

Monday, March 21, 2005
15 years ago

I noticed last week that Google's now started to use DMOZ descriptions, where available, in its results snippets *before* it uses the META description or page content. (It only displays if the DMOZ description if it contains one or more of the keywords searched for, same as it does for the META descriptions.)

This is a bit of a kick in the balls for those people who are listed in DMOZ and have had a completely rubbish description written by one of the DMOZ editors. If this is going to be a permanent update, it's probably best not to be listed in DMOZ at all...

Had anyone else noticed this?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Do you have a sample search available to see this?

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

I was searching for "translation", "professional translation" and "About Free2Professional Translation" (all separately, without quotes) and was then comparing the snippet returned in the results for the www.freetranslation.com website.

I noticed this last week and showed it to some collegues this morning (trying a few more examples too). However, having just tried this again, it seems they're not using the DMOZ descriptions in this way anymore.

This morning the 1st search ("translation") returned the DMOZ description; the 2nd search ("professional translation") returned the META description; and the 3rd search returned a mix of the META description and some content. Now, all three of them return a mix of the META description and some content from within the page.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

It appears that google.co.uk was doing this again for a few moments. Here are some screenshots of a search using the keyword "google":

Google.co.uk:


ruscoe.net/images/www-google-c ...



Google.com:


ruscoe.net/images/www-google-c ...



(And whilst writing this post it seems to have changed back again!)

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Using one of the Google.co.uk IP addresses (dnsstuff.com/tools/whois.ch?ip ...) the phenomenon seems to be randomly alternating when I repeatedly reload the page at the moment:

216.239.59.99/search?q=google

(You may need to refresh the results several times...)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Thanks for the follow-up. Also interesting to see the GOOD stock link below the Google result...

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