Google Moving Away from Snippets?

Dan Thies posts about seeing DMOZ and Meta description tags more in Google's search results.

In many small niche categories it may be a bit hard to build quality links outside of DMOZ & the Yahoo! Directory, and acquiring links from those may hurt your listing ad copy.

For those who absolutely recommend avoiding DMOZ & the Yahoo! Directory where else do you recommend getting links from for small niche sites?

Published: September 6, 2005 by Aaron Wall in google


September 6, 2005 - 9:40am

I find it pretty impossible to get new commercial sites listed anyway - I really don't understand why Google is placing so much emphasis on the DMOZ data - yes, it's human reviewed, but as Dan points out, can be woefully out of date with no hope of correction, which may be damaging for sites.

September 6, 2005 - 10:16am

Remember: Google isn't optimizing for "sites" - it's optimizing for searchers, and illegitimate sites is a problem. DMOZ is low on those.

September 6, 2005 - 10:51am

"Unfortunately, since the ODP editor couldn’t spell very well, Google is not doing me any favors..."

Ha! Talk about passing the buck! Sure, the editor didn't spot the mistake, but surely Dan, who presumably wrote it in the first place or at least had some sort of input, should shoulder the responsibility for the errors here? Also, if you don't provide web design, why include that service in your site description?

It's always been important to go through a DMOZ submission with a fine toothed comb, something which clearly didn't happen in this case.

I don't see a problem with Google using DMOZ descriptions anyway. Firstly, how many searchers pay the SERP descriptions any mind? - not many I'll wager. Secondly, with a bit of forethought and care there is no reason a good listing that will stand your site in good stead can not be written.

September 6, 2005 - 2:21pm

I'll disagree with Adam's statement - "how many searchers pay the SERP descriptions any mind? - not many I'll wager."

Wow. I'd say the exact opposite. I know before I even got into search marketing I used the description to provide a snapshot of the context of the page. Especially for multi-word search phrases, it lets one know how that page represents that phrase.

As often as I have the opportunity, I try to observe others (who one might categorize as "typical" search engine users) and watch their search habits. No scientific study, but from what I've gathered others seem to use the 2 or so lines of text in much the same way - a quick summary that lets them know if they page is relevant - if it is discussing what they are looking for, or if it just happens to have those words mentioned perhaps in another arrangement - thus discussing something non-relevant to them.

September 6, 2005 - 2:39pm

I usually think most of your comments are right on the money Adam, but...

>Ha! Talk about passing the buck!

Dan is well known enough that some of his sites might get listed even if he did not submit them. I have one site listed in 2 different categories that I don't remember ever submitting.

>I'll disagree with Adam's statement - "how many searchers pay the SERP descriptions any mind? - not many I'll wager."

I gotta agree w you Jon. I think many of use who use search all the time and well watch the industry use search in a manner where our experience becomes exceptionally unlike the average searcher (get used to processing many results, see some of the same results over and over, etc.)

We are mass info consumers, and I think when we search it is sorta like how Malcolm Gladwell talks about thin slicing in Blink. We are so used to doing it that when we casually do it we do not realize what all information we are using in the process.

December 17, 2006 - 4:18am

Speaking of the importance of Dmoz. I changed my websites business focus and now cant get my listing updated in Dmoz. I cant even get a generic reginal listing.
This bothers me because if we cant keep dmoz accurate then eventually Google will realize they arent any good either. If all you get is an error when you try to fix your listing and three weeks later you still get that error and your emails get returned as non deliverable. That is kind of bad business.

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