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Q: Site listing at google - only url shows. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Site listing at google - only url shows.
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: jackken-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 14 Apr 2004 16:11 PDT
Expires: 14 May 2004 16:11 PDT
Question ID: 330342
I have a site at that seemingly has been 
crawled by google but when one searches for the
only thing that displays is  No metatag shows
or any text from the page. Does anyone know why?  I've seen a few
other sites like this at google.  The site displays fine in the paid
subscription program at Inktomi even for keyword searches so at least
it must be readable.

Clarification of Question by jackken-ga on 14 Apr 2004 19:56 PDT
I'm just typing in into the google search box.
Subject: Re: Site listing at google - only url shows.
Answered By: serenata-ga on 14 Apr 2004 23:31 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Jackken ~

You are quite right!

Doing a search for your URL,, produces the following results:


      Google can show you the following information
      for this URL:

      * Find web pages that are similar to
      * Find web pages that link to
      * Find web pages that contain the term """
   - ://

It doesn't pick up your Title Tag, "Dog Breeders in Iowa and
Illinois", which the snippet of information published with search
results usually does.

Nor does it pick up any of the text on your site, which it would
normally do, meaning that snippet of information would or should read,

     "Dog breeders in Iowa, Illinois: Cavalier King Charles
      Spaniel, Coton de Tulear, Dandie Dinmont Terrier,
      Havanese, more. Rare breed puppies for adoption from
      Wishbone Farms."

or at the very least, your description tag, which is in order and
identical to the first words on your actual web page.

As you noticed, yours is not the only site which this has happened to
since the last major update to Google's algorithm.

This was first noticed and remarked upon in a thread on Webmaster
World in March. The discussion thread is here:

While the problem was noticed and a lot of theories on why this is
happeninig expounded, there is no definitive word from Google on why
this is happening.

Some of the theories are:

   1. The title is lost when updates don't occur for a while,
      and Google is crawling higher ranked pages more often
      lower ranked for updates. [Msg #13 by trimmer80]

   2. A way to eliminate "spammy" content. [Msg #15 by

   3. Google was expiring old index pages before it had a
      chance to reindex. [Msg #60 by Dayo_UK]

   4. Pages that had their titles and/or text dropped had no
      or only one inbound link [Msg #67]

   5. Pages with no PageRank or links TO the page had this
      happen to them - including links in the Open Directory
      ( [Msg #124]

   6. Google hiccuped and is giving strange results.

Even more recently, this has been noticed again in this thread, "No
title no description - Answers or more questions?"

And it is suggested it is caused by a few more reasons not covered in
the first thread mentioned above.

Please bear in mind that these discussions are only anecdotal, and the
participants are using websites with which they are familiar to check
out these theories. The truth is only Google knows, and they haven't
said anything in either of the threads. (GoogleGuy is a Google
engineer who often helps out in the Webmaster World forum and you can
assuredly pay attention to any posts made by him).

Now, having said you aren't alone in what you see, an examination
shows that Google has no links TO your site listed, and your site
isn't included in

Whether or not this is the reason, it does match some of the criteria discussed.

It has also been noticed that Google is weeding out what it considers
"spammy" websites - and while in come cases the definition may be
obvious, in others, it can be a bit more subtle.

For instance, your description metatag matches the first words (within
your H3 tags) at the top of your web page. Moreover, their being where
they  are make no logical sense in relation to the rest of the page,
which does contain information. It has been suggested that this is
read as an attempt to 'spam' or 'game' the system, and it might have
triggered a filter of some sort which created the listing as it is.

Other speculation is that it is a "shot across the bow" from Google
for those same kind of 'spammy' practices.

The real truth of the matter is that only Google knows, and they're
not talking about it.

The good news is that those pages (and evidently there were thousands
of them) which were represented exactly as yours is - that is, just
the URL and no snippet, are slowly reappearing with their Title tag
showing and an accompanying snippet of information.

The basic answer to your question about "why" this is happening is an
honest "I don't know" - nobody does.

In the meantime, an easy way to fix it is to make some changes to your
site and to submit it via Google's Add URL page here,
   - ://

Bearing in mind that Google recommends making your page for your
visitors, not for search engines, you can make some simple changes
such as:

1. Title Tag - Currently your title is "Dog Breeders in Iowa
   and Illinois". I wonder if that is as effective a title as
   using your name, or the name of your breeds, etc., instead
   of such a broad title, which to a casual searcher might
   indicate a list of all dog breeders in those states.

   You might also want to pull your closing </title> tag up 
   against your actual title text, instead of on a line by
   itself. While it is uncertain if this has a bearing, why
   leave empty space for your title. Why not exactly define
   the title and leave no room for speculation.

2. About that <h3> tag which echoes your description metatag -
   With the way your site is designed, and the content within
   it, it is easy to assume you are repeating that phrase in
   the hopes of getting a higher ranking in the search engine
   results pages.

   I admit, I am trained to look for spam and therefore see
   it where none is intended, if I had to make a judgment, I
   would say this was 'spam'. Repeating the phrase for no 
   logical reason, and it really adds no value to your site.

3. Content - One of the hardest things to do for any website
   is effective copywriting. The object is to use terms under
   which you which to be found in search engines, and to get
   the message across to your visitors. In terms of commercial
   sites, the object is to compel the visitor to look within
   and ultimately, to buy.

   You might want to rework the content to reflect what the
   site is about - the *purpose* of the site, and put the 
   personal information inside on an "About Us" page. This
   gives you an advantage of refreshing content and perhaps
   making your site a more effective tool.

Then resubmit your site - it can't hurt, and as you can see, you
aren't penalized for doing so. This will prompt the Google crawler to
revisit your site, and it may 'clean up' any problems they may be
having. It won't hurt, and it may help.

Develop relevant links TO your site. Currently, Google shows no links
to your site, and Google emphasizes the importance of links in "How Do
I Get My Site Listed on Google?"
   - ://

Finally, you can also wait for the problem to correct itself. It seems
that in time these sites come back with their title and a snippet
showing as you would expect to see the listings in response to a
search query.

Some Google Resources For You

I have taken the liberty of including important links from Google's
site. This information will help you understand Google's goals and
responsibility to the web searcher (and not the webmaster or site

Webmasters who follow the guidelines and avoid Google's "Thou shalt
nots" usually have no problem getting listed and showing up under the
search terms they desire.

   * Google Today (absolutely the best information you
     can read about the "how and why" of Google's results
     - ://

   * How Do I Get My Site Listed on Google?
     - ://

   * My Web Pages Are Not Currently Listed (a good 'primer'
     on how and why Google works so well)
     - ://

   * PageRank Information (covers both Google's PageRank and
     - ://

   * Webmaster Guidelines (contains both the dos and don'ts)
     - ://

   * Google Facts & Fiction (can  you buy your way to a
     high ranking in Google?)
     - ://

   * Search Engine Optimizers (some good advice on what to look
     for if you're going to hire a Search Engine Optimizer)
     - ://

   * Frequently Asked Questions (pretty much what it says, but
     definitely worth wading through)
     - ://

   * Remove Content from Google's Index (just in case you feel
     a burning need to start all over again)
     - ://

Other Sources of Information

There is also good information from many of the top search engine
optimization experts, such as

   * Detlev Johnson, Search Engine Guide

   * Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Watch

   * Jill Whalen, High Rankings

   * Shari Thurow, Web Pro News (and quoted all over the Internet)

who all have columns or newsletters to which you can subscribe and
keep abreast of the best way to use good content for better
positioning in search engine results.

In addition, Webmaster World - - has
discussion boards on most of the search engines. While some of the
discussions are anecdotal and/or questions for information, there is
usually enough discussion to keep abreast of what seems to be

There is an entire section devoted to Google at:

It never hurts to keep track of the discussions; but remember, trying
to optimize for search engines only is like trying to hit a moving
target. You'll notice among the more experienced contributors to the
discussions - plus the SEO experts listed above - that there really is
no substitute for content, relevant links and good HTML.

While this didn't pinpoint what the problem is, it does give you some
food for thought, and at least shows that it appears to be enough of a
problem that you can be assured that Google will fix it. After all, it
is Google's job to continue to work to bring searchers the most
relevant content in response to their search query.

Search terms ~
  I relied on information I refer to and use on a regular basis to
answer your question.


Google Answers Researcher
jackken-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Wow!  Would tip more but I live in Canadian dollars so it's more to me
than it seems to you.

Subject: Re: Site listing at google - only url shows.
From: respree-ga on 14 Apr 2004 18:46 PDT
I don't see you in the Google index.  Can you tell what you're typing
in to see the Google search results?
Subject: Re: Site listing at google - only url shows.
From: serenata-ga on 22 Apr 2004 13:53 PDT
Hello again, Jackken ~

Thank you for your kind comments and the generosity of your tip -
especially since it is Canadian dollars!

Both were very nice of you to do.

Warm regards,

Subject: Re: Site listing at google - only url shows.
From: serenata-ga on 30 Apr 2004 12:54 PDT
I see you've got a full name and description back.

I had seen evidence in Webmaster World that they were starting to come
back. Glad to see it was just a temporary wonk.


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