How Google creates the description of your website
for the result page
Having high rankings on search engines is a great thing.
However, it's also important that your web pages are displayed
with an attractive description in the search results. If
the description is not appealing to web surfers then they
might not click the link.
How do Google, Yahoo and MSN/Live create the descriptions
and snippets that are used in the search results?
How Google creates descriptions and snippets
Google seems to use the description from the meta description
tag if you search for a page by its URL, or if the searched
keywords do not appear within the found page.
If the found web page doesn't have a meta description
tag then Google seems to use the sentence that contains
the searched keyword as the description.
If a web page is listed in the Open Directory Project
(DMOZ.org) then Google might also use the description that
is used in the DMOZ directory.
How Yahoo creates descriptions and snippets
Yahoo seems to use only the first part of the meta description
which is complemented by a text snippet from the searched
page that contains the searched keyword.
If a web page doesn't have a meta description, Yahoo will
use the description of the web page from Yahoo's directory
(if the page is listed there).
If a web page has no meta description and is not listed
in the Yahoo directory, then Yahoo will display sentences
from the found web page that contain the searched keywords.
How MSN/Live creates descriptions and snippets
MSN/Live seems to use the first sentence that contains
the searched keyword as the description. If the searched
keyword does not appear on the page, MSN/Live seems to
use the first sentence that appears on the page.
If available, MSN/Live will also use the DMOZ directory
description in the results.
What does this mean for your web pages?
If you want to make sure that your web pages are listed
with an appealing description in the search results, you
should use meta descriptions on your web pages. If you don't
want to use the description that is used in the Yahoo directory
and on DMOZ.org you should use the corresponding tags that
prevent search engines from using these descriptions.
Optimization Editor allows you to quickly edit the
meta descriptions of your web pages. It also allows you
to quickly add the tags that prevent search engines from
using the directory descriptions.
In addition, IBP's Website Optimization Editor makes sure
that you use the right keyword density in all elements. You
can download IBP here.