Saerch engines what and how they index help.

Posted on 2006-05-10
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I am in need of some answers regarding Yahoo Indexing of pages. Let me first explain how my pages are set up. My pages are in PHP, They all have a static title actually written in the page but I use a method of 2 things for the meta description. I have a globals page which I keep a variable called "$siteDesc" this variable holds a text string general description of the site. This variable is then echoed out in the meta tag of all pages. It also has a static keyword before and after the echo.
These are what they look like in code and displayed.

<meta name="descrption" content="%KEYWORDCAPS%<?php include("global.php"); echo _siteDescription; ?>%KEYWORD%.">

Displayed View Source:

<meta name="description" content="Static Kewords The global text statement would this then followed by and in lower case the Static Kewords.">

Now I don't know if the above matters because some is dynamic even.

What I have noticed is Yahoo when indexing the pages is they are indexing the TITLE and where the description should be they are indexing the Copyright at the bottom of all my pages.

So a typical indexing for one of my sites would look like.

copyright 2006 mysite,com

How come it is not indexing it like usual

Then a description about the site.

Should I get rid of the copyright on the bottom of all pages?

I don't think the dynamic content in the meta is the problem because on MSN they index my page perfect. Any ideas on how to make the description better on yahoo?
Question by:smphil
    LVL 29

    Accepted Solution

    Each search engine has a different way of spidering a website.  That is the way Yahoo is doing it (today).  They might change in the next week, month, year.  Google is different as well.  Of course, Yahoo, Google, MSN, etc all have the best way to spider, display results as to what they think.  

    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    Hi, The meta description should be a brief overview of the specific web page not global overview of the site. I would also strongly suggest that keywords is put into a seperate keywords  Meta tag. Search Engines can disregard meta descriptions if they look like a list of words so a comma seperated set of keywords in meta description is a big no-no (Use the keywords tag).

    Use of Meta Description information to display in Search Results varies in Search Engines:

    With Yahoo the display within the search results of your website will also be affected and altered by any listing within the yahoo directory.

    With Google the display within the search results of your website will also be affected and altered by any listing within the dmoz directory and content within the page.

    MSN currently are building a directory and have not at present implemented directory descriptions in search results so only Meta description shows.
    LVL 10

    Assisted Solution

    Hi Smphil,

    Is it possible that because of the PHP code within the meta tags are making some of the spiders get lost and thus jumping down to the next item they can index, being your copyright (that's probably text, yes?)?

    I've not experienced the use of php in my meta tags.  I know some use headers and footers with code, but it looks to me like you should just simply use the standard meta tag approach.  Here's more:

    1. Each of your web pages should have their "own" unique meta tag information.  Especially for each web page title, description, keywords (more on that below) and above all else, have good clean text content with relevant keywords and keyword phrases at the top of each of your web pages.

    2. Why not use the standard meta tags and take out the php globals?  I think then you will make each of your web pages unique and search engine friendly.  Today you simply cannot use the same description tag or keyword tag or title tag for all of your pages.  Think of each web page as being just as important as the first landing page and treat them as such.

    3. Meta Tags.  Today the major search engines do "not" rely on your keywords Meta Tag.  This is because a few years back many people were inflating their keyword tag with everyone else's top-performing keywords trying to inflate their own search engine presence.  In short, it's not that importat of a tag whatsoever these days.  Your Title Tags very important and your text content very important.

    Google does "not" rely on Dmoz on how or where your site exists within Google.  Before, Google had a stronger partnership with Dmoz and yes your website description was sometimes used for your Google listing.  But not today.  

    Google treats Dmoz the same as it treats any other website that has links.  Of course, it's good to have your site listed in other sites that have relevant content or categories that represent the theme of your site.

    My advice would be to scrap the php code within the Meta Tag areas and use the standard Meta Tag rules.  Make sure each web page has a unique title full of keywords related to "that" particular page.  Make sure you have good text content at the top of your pages so that the search engine spiders can easily index that page's content. Make sure you have text links on each of your pages linking to other pages on your site too.

    Good Luck!


    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    I think there is some good advice there Mark amongst other stuff:

    Howether the question was on use of meta description in search engines which I tried to answer comprehensively.

    I think you have widened the topic here and it would be confusing to the original question to continue down such paths as 'Google does "not" rely on Dmoz on how or where your site exists within Google'.I would be happy to talk about ranking elsewhere

    The question was on use of meta description in display of search results not on how search engines rank results. I appreciate there is a crossover but in an attempt to prevent this question spillng over to many other factors I will try to summarise.

    My advice on meta:

    Meta description should be summary of page not whole website.

    Keywords should be displayed as part of keywords Meta not part of description.
    LVL 29

    Assisted Solution

    The spiders will not see the php code or shorthand, just the text/ html that the code generates.

    Therefore keiki's initial suggestions do work fine, they wil generate meta/description/keywords fine if used.
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    yeh surely it should work fine in php, the spider only views the generated code!

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