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Why Is GOOGLE Butchering SERP Titles and Descriptions?

Posted by Ken Webster on: 2005-04-01 21:00:21

Self SEO > Internet Articles

Is GOOGLE Butchering SERP Titles and Descriptions or Testing Algorithm Changes?

I have just checked SERP Titles and Descriptions for several of my Sites and have come away very disturbed by a new trend.

It appears GOOGLE has reverted to DMOZ anchor text for SERP Titles and included all header image “alt” text in the descriptions.

These SERP listing methods will hit W3C validated Sites with graphical header components the hardest and encourage “alt” text keyword loading, instead of being image descriptive.

My SERP listing just went from:

“Mountain Eagle Marketing - Advanced Custom Web Design, Marketing and Website Financing, Houston Texas”

To the “Fresh” GOOGLE Listing”:

“Mountain Eagle Web Design and Consulting
Horizontal Line 425px. Vertical Line 1340px, Custom Website Design, ...”

DMOZ Listing:
"Mountain Eagle Web Design and Consulting - Web design, consulting, graphics, marketing, and search engine submission. Located in Houston, Texas, United States."

That was the name of my company 5 or 6 years ago, I don’t want that listing in the GOOGLE Index or Directory! Surely they aren’t trying to reinforce the importance of DMOZ without first making it easier to make changes or get new Sites listed.

I am seeing more and more pages and Sites take own these new “butchered” SERP listings in the last few days.

Have they lost it completely?
Do they want to encourage image "alt" text spamming now?
Alt text is now equal to or more important than Titles and metatag descriptions?
Everything is listed in linear order, as parsed in order down the page?
What is relevant about several year old DMOZ Titles?
Are they trying to “beef up” their Image Search prominence?

The adaptation of the DMOZ anchor text title is bad enough, but the alt tag heavy description is much worse. If the trend continues, any page with header graphics and alt tags will have a description "leveling" across an entire Site. This will be a problem for many W3C validated Sites that have header graphics.

I certainly hope this is just a test period before an algorithm update, and it doesn’t last long.

This issue is being discussed at WebProWorld here: http://www.webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?t=42848

Ken Webster

About the Author

Ken Webster is a published, award winning technical author, US Patent Holder and Moderator on a leading Internet Webmaster Forum. His experience as Engineering Manager led him into the Marketing Arena where he got lost in that abyss @ Mountain Eagle Marketing. www.mountaineagleweb.com

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