Vanessa Fox notes over on the Sitemaps blog that Google now supports the META NODP tag. What does this tag do? In some circumstances, Google uses descriptions from the Open Directory Project as the title and snippet for a web result; this tag lets you opt out of the ODP title and description.
For example, if you look at this page, someone added an entry for my blog in the action-packed “Computers: Internet: Searching: Search Engines: Google: News and Media: Weblogs” category:
Matt Cutts – A Google employee gives insight into the company, search engine index updates and SEO issues.
So if you did a search for [matt cutts], you would see something that looks like this:
Just for fun, I added
<meta name=”robots” content=”noodp”>
to see the tag in practice. And recently, the snippet for the search changed to look like this:
I wasn’t checking every day, but I think it took about 3-4 days after my page was crawled for this change to show up. From Danny’s original “25 Things I Hate About Google” post, this was an item that I’d seen several complaints about, so thanks to the Googlers who added this option.