Monday, January 15th, 2007

SEO Answers #11: "How do I edit my website description on Google?"


QUESTION: How do I edit my website description on Google? Please direct me to the correct place. – Barb C.

ANSWER: There are three ways your website description might have been created by Google and fortunately each method has a solution which I have outlined below:

1) Google most commonly determines page descriptions from an assortment of the text on the page; usually the first 25 words or less. Controlling what is used by Google in this scenario is not foolproof but if you make certain that the first sentence on your page exemplifies an ideal description you will be off to a good start.

2) If Google does not choose the text on your page it may use the META Description tag found in the source. Ensuring that this description is well written is the simplest method of controlling result descriptions.

3) Perhaps the most frustrating scenario is when Google decides to use the description set for your website by the Open Directory Project (ODP). You can tell whether this has happened by searching for your website and cross referencing the description. If it turns out that ODP is the source of your frustrations then you are in luck! Just last year a new META tag was created which tells the search engines to no longer use your ODP description. Just place the following code with the other META tags on your page: <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOODP”>

As a final benefit make certain that the descriptive sentence you use for solutions 1 and 2 are identical which emphasize consistency and improve your chances of controlling the description used by Google.

10 Responses to “SEO Answers #11: "How do I edit my website description on Google?"”

  1. urbanized

    Thanks Ill try it

  2. Meg

    So If I would like to change my description and it is based on my meeta tags, when I change my meta tag description will google eventually change it to the new one, or do I have to contact them some how?

  3. Scott Van Achte

    Hi Meg,

    IF your existing Meta Description tag is what Google is using to describe your site in the snippet, then by changing your Description, one of two things will happen.

    Either Google will automatically revert to the new description, OR, they will pull a new description from somewhere else. Regardless, the description being used currently will ultimately be removed.

    There is no need to try and contact Google (and even if you did, they are highly unlikely to do anything for you anyways)

    If Google is displaying a description as taken from part of your site content, and not your Description Meta tag, then try slightly altering the content where it is pulling form. That may help influence what is being used.

  4. Money Academy

    i have a problem that my blog posts appeared in search results and the description of this page appears as my blog info not the post description !! any help ?

  5. Rank High Google

    InterestingI hadn’t never thought the simple ways Google thinks. The truth of the matter is that while Google looks at your page multiple times, it still takes a metric tonne of due effort on your part to get a website to become “relevent” to the big G. I guess this adds to my knowledge of SEO!

  6. website promotion software?

    web-site advertising and marketing is really almost all about the quanity of other pages and posts connecting to your target. without those one-way links you are usually up the creek without a paddle. I realized this shortly after getting started with what is i believe the most effective semi-automatic website link building application on the market … promoting website

  7. Jim

    Great info, I just published my site and this is the simplest tutorial Ive seen on the subject of website “Description” SEO optimization. Im going to use your strategy right away. Tks so much.

  8. Janey Milbauer

    I liked reading this post so much that I wished it was longer. Very engaging writing style!

  9. Tilal

    hello there,
    Wonder if you can help. The description under my site when searched on google reads as follow:
    “Welcome to: This Web page is parked for FREE, courtesy of This web page is parked FREE, courtesy of Share a …”

    How do i delete and change that if you may?

  10. Ross Dunn

    Hi Tilal, pardon the obvious but is your site parked for free on GoDaddy? If so you need to set it up on an appropriate hosting account and then configure the Meta Description tag manually for each page of your site. I am sorry if this seems to general an answer but there are many other aspects of this question I would need background on before I could answer with greater detail; such as what CMS are you running and what is your level of Internet know-how? If you would like an hour of consultation to assist you with this process please don’t hesitate to submit a service request and I will be glad to personally assist you with this.

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