Need a bit of advice regarding search engines

I manage a blog. Let's say it's called www.thisisanexample.com. I type "this is an example" in the search bar and I get a hit for that one blog. Title reads "This is an Example" in bright blue, of course. And then there's the text below the title. It's always the beginning text of my latest post. I don't want it to show that, I want it to show a custom subtitle. How do I do that? Anybody know?

Well, normally, you need to set the description HTML meta tag to what you want search engines to show (some more onfo here), however since you are managing a blog, I would assume you do not have free reign over the HTML. However, depending on what you use for the blog, you may be able to set the description to something static. Or maybe not - I can't say blindly, but I think the bigger blogging platforms like Wordpress and such would offer that choice.

Its late and been a long day but digging around in memory I think its in the robots.txt file. I can't remember how to setup it up but you can exclude certain files from being searched the by web crawler. If you excluded everything apart from what you want the description to be, you should get what you want.

DoPo:
Well, normally, you need to set the description HTML meta tag to what you want search engines to show (some more onfo here), however since you are managing a blog, I would assume you do not have free reign over the HTML. However, depending on what you use for the blog, you may be able to set the description to something static. Or maybe not - I can't say blindly, but I think the bigger blogging platforms like Wordpress and such would offer that choice.

Sure enough, no free rein over HTML. I'm on Wordpress though. Any idea how I can manage it from there? I'm completely in the dark about it.

albino boo:
Its late and been a long day but digging around in memory I think its in the robots.txt file. I can't remember how to setup it up but you can exclude certain files from being searched the by web crawler. If you excluded everything apart from what you want the description to be, you should get what you want.

No, doesn't quite work like that - yes, robots.txt can restrict which pages are being indexed, but it won't change the description of those pages, so for the index page, it would still change all the time.

Johnny Novgorod:

DoPo:
Well, normally, you need to set the description HTML meta tag to what you want search engines to show (some more onfo here), however since you are managing a blog, I would assume you do not have free reign over the HTML. However, depending on what you use for the blog, you may be able to set the description to something static. Or maybe not - I can't say blindly, but I think the bigger blogging platforms like Wordpress and such would offer that choice.

Sure enough, no free rein over HTML. I'm on Wordpress though. Any idea how I can manage it from there? I'm completely in the dark about it.

I don't really know - never used Wordpress myself, but I know there are lots of customizations for it. I found these two in Google but I'm not entirely sure how applicable are they for you.

DoPo:

albino boo:
Its late and been a long day but digging around in memory I think its in the robots.txt file. I can't remember how to setup it up but you can exclude certain files from being searched the by web crawler. If you excluded everything apart from what you want the description to be, you should get what you want.

No, doesn't quite work like that - yes, robots.txt can restrict which pages are being indexed, but it won't change the description of those pages, so for the index page, it would still change all the time.

You don't need to change to the descriptors of the index page you just need to tell the web crawler not to search that page. So instead of the front page you only allow access to the about me page.

albino boo:

DoPo:

albino boo:
Its late and been a long day but digging around in memory I think its in the robots.txt file. I can't remember how to setup it up but you can exclude certain files from being searched the by web crawler. If you excluded everything apart from what you want the description to be, you should get what you want.

No, doesn't quite work like that - yes, robots.txt can restrict which pages are being indexed, but it won't change the description of those pages, so for the index page, it would still change all the time.

You don't need to change to the descriptors of the index page you just need to tell the web crawler not to search that page. So instead of the front page you only allow access to the about me page.

That would technically work but not really. You know the saying about the golden hammer - it's entirely applicable here, as well. You WANT the index page to be indexed and here are the major reasons:
- from SEO point of view, only having the About page on there is stupid - About does not change at all (or very slightly very slowly) when you want to make updates frequently. At least for Google, that tells them the page is fresh and maintained - having a stale webpage bumps you down search results and you'll tend to keep sinking. Second, your content is now at least one more click away. This is pretty much the same as having a Welcome page that you need to click OK on to proceed - again, unfavourable for SEO. Third, you really really want all your pages indexed (at least the relevant ones) if you want to climb up the search results. The very barest of reasons is that it would increase the traffic to your website (as people may click on something that is relevant and is not About).
- from pure usability perspective...well, you have the same as before but only viewed from a different angle - you don't want users to be landed on a Welcome page (which is what About would serve as), you don't want them to miss out what they may be interested in (which is what they'll probably do if they can't find what they are interested in, as it's not indexed).
- but finally the proper thing to do anyway is use the description meta tag - why not use the tools you're supposed to use instead of reducing the problem to a nail?

DoPo:

Johnny Novgorod:

DoPo:
Well, normally, you need to set the description HTML meta tag to what you want search engines to show (some more onfo here), however since you are managing a blog, I would assume you do not have free reign over the HTML. However, depending on what you use for the blog, you may be able to set the description to something static. Or maybe not - I can't say blindly, but I think the bigger blogging platforms like Wordpress and such would offer that choice.

Sure enough, no free rein over HTML. I'm on Wordpress though. Any idea how I can manage it from there? I'm completely in the dark about it.

I don't really know - never used Wordpress myself, but I know there are lots of customizations for it. I found these two in Google but I'm not entirely sure how applicable are they for you.

Thank you for the links. Apparently I can edit the meta tag for the site by altering the header.php of the theme/template. I can't really try this though since I don't seem to have access to HTML editing. Not sure what to do next. I also seem to be missing a bunch of features from the sidebar, like Appearence and Plugins, which is getting in the way of editing.

Johnny Novgorod:

DoPo:

Johnny Novgorod:

Sure enough, no free rein over HTML. I'm on Wordpress though. Any idea how I can manage it from there? I'm completely in the dark about it.

I don't really know - never used Wordpress myself, but I know there are lots of customizations for it. I found these two in Google but I'm not entirely sure how applicable are they for you.

Thank you for the links. Apparently I can edit the meta tag for the site by altering the header.php of the theme/template. I can't really try this though since I don't seem to have access to HTML editing. Not sure what to do next. I also seem to be missing a bunch of features from the sidebar, like Appearence and Plugins, which is getting in the way of editing.

Do you have FTP or SSH access to the server? Some servers even offer web based editors for files. If you have any of those, then you will probably be able to edit the files yourself.

But I had another look and this page suggests that maybe Wordpress plugins can also be used. As I said, I have not used Wordpress, so I am not entirely sure how easy/hard they are to install (as in, if you need specific privileges on the server - I know plugins are normally easy to add) but it seems that might be at least an alternative answer. I skimmed the page, so it might be worth having a better look at it yourself, however, I think you should be able to just jump to this section and try that.

DoPo:
snip.

albino boo:
snap.

Thanks for the advice! I'm sorting it out right now.

 

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