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    Google not using META description


    Just wondering if anyone can shed a little light on a problem I've not seen before. I have a site selling used vans which is a pretty competative arena in terms of google positioning, as you might imagine. I'm trying to push it up the results - I'm well aware the site itself is pretty terrible from a visitors perspective, but I'm hoping that upping the traffic will give me justification to totally redesign the thing.

    anyway, the problem is that google is showing a snippit of text from the content on the site rather than the META description, I thought snippits were only used when there was no META description available? I know google pays at least *some* attention to the contents of the description and I'm a little concerned its overlooking the one on the site.

    [google]Van Monster - Used vans and used cars for saleWhatever size or shape of used commercial vehicle you need, we have a monster range to choose from: used vans - small, medium or large - trucks, ...
    www.vanmonster.com/ - 9k - Cached - Similar pages
    [/google]

    META description...

    Code:
    <meta name="description" content="Used vans and used cars for sale, massive range of quality used vans, nationwide depots and online vans database" />
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    Originally Posted by ChrisHill
    Just wondering if anyone can shed a little light on a problem I've not seen before. I have a site selling used vans which is a pretty competative arena in terms of google positioning, as you might imagine. I'm trying to push it up the results - I'm well aware the site itself is pretty terrible from a visitors perspective, but I'm hoping that upping the traffic will give me justification to totally redesign the thing.

    anyway, the problem is that google is showing a snippit of text from the content on the site rather than the META description, I thought snippits were only used when there was no META description available? I know google pays at least *some* attention to the contents of the description and I'm a little concerned its overlooking the one on the site.
    I really am rolling on the floor... i am sorry your post is so amusing.....

    There is so much pointless, repative discussion on this board about meta description and more relevant snippet from page... here is an example of where google has decided that your meta description is not relevant to the search query and taken a snippet from your page. You than say that you are awatre that the site is "pretty terible" but you want to increase its rankings and than redisgn it... I have a question have you ever heard of the analogy of putting the cart before the horse......
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    Originally Posted by gazzahk
    I really am rolling on the floor... i am sorry your post is so amusing.....

    There is so much pointless, repative discussion on this board about meta description and more relevant snippet from page... here is an example of where google has decided that your meta description is not relevant to the search query and taken a snippet from your page. You than say that you are awatre that the site is "pretty terible" but you want to increase its rankings and than redisgn it... I have a question have you ever heard of the analogy of putting the cart before the horse......
    The keyword is 'used vans' which granted, appears twice in both the meta description and the snippit, however the description also includes the two words individually, I cannot fathom how google has decided that the description is not relivant to the search.

    The site is terrible from a design perspective, however it is still generating resonable revinue which implies it is working - I just don't like how it looks. If I can increase the visitors I can justify the budget to redesign based on how many people are viewing a nasty looking website.

    Thanks for the reply, I'm glad I registered as I can see the other members are quite welcoming of inexperianced SEOers... I look forwards to plenty of reasoned and unhurried descussions where I can learn without fear of being ridiculed.
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    Here is what Google says about the META "Description".

    Jean-Luc

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    • terriwells agrees : Because I was going to link to that and you got there first. ;-)
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    Originally Posted by ChrisHill
    I cannot fathom how google has decided that the description is not relivant to the search.
    It would make complete sense if you were an engine trying to produce results to a page that had the content where people could see it. Why should anything count that isn't produced for the visual enjoyment of the searcher when they land on the page?
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    Originally Posted by ChrisHill
    The keyword is 'used vans' which granted, appears twice in both the meta description and the snippit, however the description also includes the two words individually, I cannot fathom how google has decided that the description is not relivant to the search.

    The site is terrible from a design perspective, however it is still generating resonable revinue which implies it is working - I just don't like how it looks. If I can increase the visitors I can justify the budget to redesign based on how many people are viewing a nasty looking website.

    Thanks for the reply, I'm glad I registered as I can see the other members are quite welcoming of inexperianced SEOers... I look forwards to plenty of reasoned and unhurried descussions where I can learn without fear of being ridiculed.
    If you include your domain name in the Meta Description then Google will use your meta Description [your search query MUST BE in the Meta for your Meta to appear as the description.

    Like used vans monster see how great your decsiption is
    Whatever size or shape of used commercial vehicle you need, we have a monster range to choose from: used vans - small, medium or large - trucks, ...
    WOW that's something!

    Case in Point: if people know your domain name do you really think they are that dumb to go to Google search for you?
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    Originally Posted by ChrisHill
    Thanks for the reply, I'm glad I registered as I can see the other members are quite welcoming of inexperianced SEOers... I look forwards to plenty of reasoned and unhurried descussions where I can learn without fear of being ridiculed.
    Aaww - don't take offense from Gazzahk - his mother obviously never told him not to play with his food He has a very valid point though - getting visitors is one thing but it is wasted effort if your site is a turn off - half of good SEO is getting visitors there, the other half is keeping them on it. By having an ugly site you're only doing half a job and wasting a lot of valuable traffic.
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    If you include your domain name in the Meta Description then Google will use your meta Description [your search query MUST BE in the Meta for your Meta to appear as the description.

    Like (address blocked: See forum rules) see how great your decsiption is

    WOW that's something!

    Case in Point: if people know your domain name do you really think they are that dumb to go to Google search for you?
    No obviously if they know the domain name they're not going to use google... but I'm targeting the keywords, or I suppose I should say keyphrase, 'used vans' not 'van monster' since there are considerably more searches performed for the former.

    Whats your point about the 'description' you posted? thats actually the snippit.
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    Originally Posted by Doodlebug
    Aaww - don't take offense from Gazzahk - his mother obviously never told him not to play with his food He has a very valid point though - getting visitors is one thing but it is wasted effort if your site is a turn off - half of good SEO is getting visitors there, the other half is keeping them on it. By having an ugly site you're only doing half a job and wasting a lot of valuable traffic.
    Yeah I know, its not me thats ignorant of that fact. I suggested a total redesign THEN seo but the guys that run the site only see month-end profit, which at the moment it pretty good. They're of the opinion that the site 'works' as it is, which is true - it could just be a whole hell of alot better.
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    Hi Chris,

    At the moment Google's cached copy of your page dates from October 7th. Your meta-description at that time was "Used vans and used cars for sale" - a phrase which is 100% duplicated in your title - so would most likely not be shown for any search term (for reasons explained in the url linked by Jean-Luc).

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    Originally Posted by ClickyB
    Hi Chris,

    At the moment Google's cached copy of your page dates from October 7th. Your meta-description at that time was "Used vans and used cars for sale" - a phrase which is 100% duplicated in your title - so would most likely not be shown for any search term (for reasons explained in the url linked by Jean-Luc).

    Welcome to Seo Chat
    Thank you, that explains it, so duplication between title and meta desc = bad move... good job I changed it really, seems obvious now its been pointed out to me but I guess anythings obvious once you know
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    Originally Posted by ChrisHill
    Yeah I know, its not me thats ignorant of that fact. I suggested a total redesign THEN seo but the guys that run the site only see month-end profit, which at the moment it pretty good. They're of the opinion that the site 'works' as it is, which is true - it could just be a whole hell of alot better.
    I had a look at it (sorry didn't look earlier just took your remark at face value) and actually it's not too bad - it's very easy to find your way around and good clean navigation and ease of use is a large part of the user experience and converting visitors to buyers - so IMO guys that run have a point - yes it could be improved but without a drastic makeover that will affect it's current traffic levels - that's probably what's worrying them.
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    Originally Posted by ChrisHill
    but I'm targeting the keywords, or I suppose I should say keyphrase, 'used vans'
    Then find where you rank for that phrase "used vans" and your Meta Description will be there...

    If you're not ranked... it's useless to use another query to determine how 'this one' would look.
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    Then find where you rank for that phrase "used vans" and your Meta Description will be there...

    If you're not ranked... it's useless to use another query to determine how 'this one' would look.
    Dead right.

    If you can't find your listing (I couldn't) you can use: site:www.vanmonster.com used vans that will show the snippet returned for the phrase (same snippet you mentioned in the opening post)...

    Fathoms point is very valid... not much use worrying about the meta description for a phrase you aren't ranking for.

    I don't think the site's too bad either... (though I would probably add some more on-topic text to the index page). Spend some my time getting links... use the right anchor text and that will fix most of the problems.
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    Then find where you rank for that phrase "used vans" and your Meta Description will be there...

    If you're not ranked... it's useless to use another query to determine how 'this one' would look.
    I'm not using any other keywords or phrase to determine where the site ranks for 'used vans'. I think you've misundersood something I've said somewhere along the lines.

    position #33 (google.co.uk) for 'used vans', snippit is currently used but thanks to clickyB I now know why and hopfully will be able to fix it.
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