About a month ago, we started taking the first paragraph of people's postings in Profiles, Blogs, Marketplace entries and elsewhere and putting it into the page description. We also started or confirmed that Ecademy was "pinging" the various blog update services. The end result is that Google is paying much more attention to us and the page description in Google results reflects the first few lines of the body text. This has some implications:-

1) Pay attention to the title and first sentence of your Profile, Blogs and Marketplace entries. This has a big effect on how easy the post is to find in Google and the description when it has been found.

2) The beta Google Blogsearch is indexing Ecademy blogs and Marketplace extremely quickly. A new post typically appears in the Blogsearch within an hour. It's not clear yet whether Google routes this through to the main index as well but I rather think they do now.

Technically, what we do is to strip HTML tags from the body text of the entry, we then convert newlines to spaces, finally we take the first 180 characters broken at a word boundary and put the results into the Meta Description tag at the top of the page. So I'll stress this again. Think carefully about the first sentence and paragraph of your posts and profile.

The ping service "pings" a collection of services each 15 minutes if there are any new posts. We're currently pinging Weblogs.com, Pingomatic, Technorati and Blo.gs This is belt and braces but ensures we come to the attention of most of the major search and aggregation engines. [from: JB Ecademy]

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[ 03-Nov-05 2:25pm ]