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12/7/10
Original Poster
Laetus

Conflict in description meta-tag between author content and displayed snippet content

I have read the FAQs and checked for similar issues: YES
My site's URL (web address) is: www.laetusinpraesens.org
Description (including timeline of any changes made): I use separate meta-tags for AUTHOR and DESCRIPTION. I note Google does NOT
recognize the AUTHOR meta-tag and would like to find the author info in the DESCRIPTION meta-tag. I have over a thousand documents on
my site. If I repeat the author info (myself) in the DESCRIPTION tag then the snippet descriptors would all be the same -- a practice.deprecated by Google
 
However, very amusingly, Google endeavours to find the author (displayed in light grey for Google Scholar) from other information in the menu structure displayed with each document and frequently inferprets an item therein ("Cognitive Fusion Reactor") to mean that the document is "by CF Reactor" -- so displayed in Google Scholar.
However even more amusingly are other situations (rarer), such as a piece about "Osama bin Laden" which gets interpretedby Google as being authored "by O bin Laden".
 
The result is benign but I do not see scope for remedial action since the distinguishing snippets in DESCRIPTION are more important than displaying my name in the search results. Also I would like my name to be available through View Source since typically it is not displayed in the body of the text.
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All Replies (15)
Google user
12/7/10
Google user
You should be supplying distinct/Unqiue descriptions for each page - pertinent to each page.
That does Not mean that you cannot include "site wide" information as well ... you should be able to append/include the authoer detail in the description, as well as the title, keywords, headings, link text/title attribute etc.

12/7/10
Original Poster
Laetus
Point well taken. However my understanding is that best practice is to keep the DESCRIPTION short -- basically snippet length, even less than a tweet
 
So yes the author information could be appended beyond that limit (would it then be recognized), but how to distinguish between the "snippet" part and the "author" part and, for uses elsewhere of the AUTHOR meta-tag, does this mean duplicating the information
Google user
12/7/10
Google user
As G isn't interested int eh Author tag, duplciating it isn't an issue.
The description shown may/may not match 100% what you provide.
G may well pick parts of it that are relevant to the search, or take bits from the content etc.
12/7/10
Original Poster
Laetus
Clear and thanks.
 
But on the webmaster meta tag help page the format is presented as
 
<META NAME="Description" CONTENT="Author: A.N. Author, Illustrator: P. Picture, Category: Books, Price: £9.24, Length: 784 pages">
 
So do I append it to a potential snippet giving something like:
 
<META NAME="Description" CONTENT="Study of rabbit breeding in arctic conditions without suitable nourishment. Author: A.N. Author">
 
Is Google going to find, "Author:" or is that unpredictable and not my problem. It would just be embarrassing if "O bin Laden" authored to many more of my papers !
Google user
12/7/10
Google user
What do your current descriptions look like?

/docs00s/sudoku.php
<META NAME="Description" CONTENT="Explores the possibility of more radical ways of engaging with knowledge of detectable dysfunctionality in order to engender a more creative response. The focus is on how to hold and configure knowledge to enable transformative approaches to the conditions of the planet.">
--> could become -->
<META NAME="Description" CONTENT="Author Anthony Judge explores the possibility of more radical ways of engaging with knowledge of detectable dysfunctionality in order to engender a more creative response. The focus is on how to hold and configure knowledge to enable transformative approaches to the conditions of the planet.">


To help things along ... I'd be going full hog ...and having the following;


<title>Governance through Pattern Language: creative cognitive engagement contrasted with abdication of responsibility (by Anthony Judge) </title>
<meta name="description" content="Author Anthony Judge explores the possibility of more radical ways of engaging with knowledge of detectable dysfunctionality in order to engender a more creative response. The focus is on how to hold and configure knowledge to enable transformative approaches to the conditions of the planet.">
<meta name="keywords" content="Anthony Judge, governance, pattern language, cognitive engagement cognition, identity, creativity, responsibility.">

and then I'd be changing some of the content from

<h2 align="center">Governance through Patterning Language </h2>
<h3 align="center">Creative Cognitive Engagement contrasted with Abdication of Responsibility </h3>

to

<h1 align="center">Governance through Patterning Language </h1>
<h2 align="center">Creative Cognitive Engagement contrasted with Abdication of Responsibility </h2>
<h3 align="center">Authored by Anthony Judge</h3>


I'd also be looking at the links to such pages,
and ensuring that you include the author name in it somewhere, even if it's only the link title attribute.

.

Now - I cannot promise you that G will start putting the right name where you want it,
but you Should start doing a little better on searches including the author.
12/7/10
Original Poster
Laetus
Wow. Thanks for the attention to this matter. Points understood and appreciated.
 
I guess the missing part of the equation is that I do not want my name to have that prominence, whether by
putting it into the body (h3 etc) or into DESCRIPTION (Authored by....) although these are clearly valid options
 
My need is to stop Google results from attributing some other author to the paper in search results. "by CF Reactor" is fine
since it is meaningless, if G wants to find that from the menu script as at present (I thought he
was some secret gatekeeper for Google Scholar). It is the "by O bin Laden" situation which is
a bit problematic, especially as the result of a site search.
 
My sense is that if I put the "Authored by.Anthony Judge" at the end of DESCRIPTION, then G might pick it up there rather than looking further -- and I would not have to mess with anything else
Google user
12/7/10
Google user
Unfortunately you cannot stop G doing such thigns, nor tell it to ignore certain thigns.
The only option is to supply data/info/content that G may decide to use instead.

So work from teh basic bits up, and see if you can get away with just the Desc. for the moment.
12/7/10
Original Poster
Laetus
Noted.
 
I will leave things as they are.
 
I liked the idea of a mysterious "CF Reactor" gatekeeper !
 
There does not seem to be any guaranteed approach worth the effort on 1600 pages.
 
But thanks.
Chris Hunt
12/7/10
Chris Hunt
You could consider including Dublin Core metadata in all your documents - see http://dublincore.org/documents/dc-html/ - in which case you'd put (I think)
 
<meta name="DC.creator" content="Judge, Anthony" />
 
There's various other metadata that you can use DC labels to include in your documents, and which academic applications could pick up.
 
Having said that, I doubt whether it'll make any difference to Google Scholar - Google tend to be resistant to using any kind of metadata, due to its abuse by spammers. They prefer to try to figure things out from text that end-users will see, rather than hidden text fields.
 
 
12/7/10
Original Poster
Laetus
Thanks. Basically the uncertainties are such that I will simply enjoy "CF Reactor" and "O bin Laden". and other consequences of the assumptions made by G. in exploring the document. Maybe I will put a note on the page to the effect that "The author is not responsible for what Google determines is the author of this page" in case any one wonders about"by O bin Laden".
 
What a laugh
 
Is no one else exposed to this problem? My meta tags seem to be kosher on the pages where I have inserted them in full.
 
No problem. Thanks guys.
4 MORE
Vacilando
2/18/11
Vacilando
The article below is a story and analysis of a worrisome experience with phantom authors listed by Google Search, a problem that has been discussed (also) in this thread.
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