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Pleased with Your Google Description?. . . if not, consider these tips for getting the Google description that YOU want!

Part Two of Two

By Robin Nobles Copyright © 2004

(Continued from Part 1. If you missed part one, you can read it here)

Let's look at another example:

In a search at Google for the keyword phrase "search engine marketing training" (no quotes), you'll find these first three results:

Online Search Engine Marketing Courses ... experts and trainers you can trust do the research for you? Through our search engine marketing training courses, you'll learn: ... - 33k - Cached - Similar pages

Search engine marketing resources training optimization software Professional search engine marketing training, Web site optimization education optimization software, and search engine marketing resources. ... Description: Search engine marketing resources. Category: Computers > Internet > Web Design and Development > Promotion - 8k - Cached - Similar pages

Onsite search engine workshops taught by industry leaders Robin ... ... top ten positions within the major search engines;. ... Earn search engine marketing certification of your skills ... for jobs for professional search engine marketers;. ... - 37k - Dec 27, 2003 - Cached - Similar pages

In the first example (, the snippet description is being pulled from further down in the body text, which is the first instance of the use of the keyword phrase.

In the second example (, the snippet description is being pulled straight from the META description tag, which is the first instance of the keyword phrase on the page.

The third example ( is the most interesting of all (and the most confusing). Here are the search results again:

Onsite search engine workshops taught by industry leaders Robin ... ... top ten positions within the major search engines;. ... Earn search engine marketing certification of your skills ... for jobs for professional search engine marketers;. ... - 37k - Dec 27, 2003 - Cached - Similar pages

On the page itself, the only place that the keyword phrase is being used is in the first ALT text on the page. However, Google isn't pulling the snippet from that area. Instead, it's picking up bits and pieces of the body text and combining it to make the description. This description would obviously be more difficult to change, if we wanted to do so.

Let's try a slightly different approach. Let's search for the name of one of the companies above, and let's see what snippet description is being used then.

In a search for "Search Engine Workshops" (no quotes), here are the search results:

Onsite search engine workshops taught by industry leaders Robin ... Onsite search engine workshops offer personalized SEO training and certification in search engine marketing strategies. ... Search Engine Workshops . . . ... - 37k - Dec 27, 2003 - Cached - Similar pages

Look at the differences in the snippet description compared to the other snippet description for the same page! Remember that the snippet description depends largely on the keyword phrase, so your page could have a different snippet description based on whatever keyword phrase you're searching for.

In our example above where we searched for the name of the company, the snippet description was pulled from the META description tag and the first heading tag on the page.

And the moral of the story is . . .

Visit Google and search for your most important keyword phrase for each of your Web pages. What does the description look like? Do you like it? Determine from where on your page Google is pulling the description. You'll probably notice that, in most (but not all) cases, Google pulls the first text surrounding the usage of the keyword phrase, wherever that text may appear on the page.

If you don't like the description, try modifying the area where Google is pulling the description, and see if Google will pick up the changes and use the new description as the snippet in the search results.

Why? ...because your description plays a crucial click factor!

Remember that the description of a page is crucial when it comes to increasing click throughs to your site. If your description is compelling and designed to produce clicks, you may even get more traffic than a competitor who is ranked higher.

To a greater degree than most are aware, you can manage some control over your Google descriptions. This is clearly a case where a little research and some easy tinkering can make a big difference in how your site is presented to potential customers, thereby increasing your click-through traffic coming from Google.

Give it a try!

(Writer's Note: This article offers tips for changing your Google description in order to increase the click throughs to your site. However, this has nothing to do with trying to increase your page's search engine rankings.)

Copyright 2004 Robin Nobles. All rights reserved.

About the Author:

Robin Nobles teaches SEO strategies the "stress free" way through hands-on, search engine marketing workshops ( and online SEO courses ( Visit the World Resource Center, a networking community for search engine marketers. ( Is your Web site gathering dust but not customers? Visit and

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