John Bokma MexIT
freelance Perl programmer

Stopping DMOZ snippet appearing in Google Search results

Saturday, July 15, 2006 | 0 comments

Today Tonnie posted in the Usenet group a link to an article on how to make Google Search stop showing DMOZ (ODP) snippets for your page(s) in its search results.

The Open Directory Project (ODP, also called DMOZ) is according to its about page: "the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.". People who have attempted to submit their site know that due to ODPs use of volunteer editors it can take around 6 months to get included.

The site description one can suggest while requesting for a site to be included might sound good at time of writing, but over time things change. For example perl help (Google Search) shows the description I submitted to DMOZ: "Short examples of Perl scripts with some explanation". But nowadays that description sounds a bit too modest (see: Perl help, examples, and tutorials). However, changing the DMOZ entry might take quite some time, if the editor can be reached and is willing to change the entry.

Yet, somehow Google has decided to give a very high priority the description in the Open Directory Project for a given URL and uses it as a snippet even though it might not be the best option from the point of view of the owner of the page.

Sadly, instead of creating an opt-in solution: display the DMOZ snippet only when requested so, Google decided (not for the first time) to take the opt-out option. You have to tell Google that you don't want them to use the ODP description by adding the following to your web page (between the opening and closing tag of the head element):


Other search engine robots might honor this request as well, so if you want to request none of the bots to use the description as submitted to the Open Directory Project you might want to use:


Note that the above methods also suggest that Google (and other search engines honoring this request) shouldn't use the title you submitted to the Open Directory Project on the search result page as well. In short: this method requests to stop using both the description and title as recorderd by the ODP.

Also, note that it might take some time before you see the change in Google's search results since your page needs to be fetched and processed again by Google in order to honor the request.

In my not so humble opinion it's odd that an other web site then your own can be more authoritative regarding the selection of a snippet (or title).

Google snippets and titles related

Please post a comment | read 0 comments | RSS feed
A visit to Parque de Los Berros, and an update on scorpion babies >
< Limited User Account bug