Last month, a client asked us about the small fragment of text that shows beneath the link in an organic Google result.
They weren't pleased with the fragment Google selected to describe their homepage, and wanted to know how to change it.
Google calls this text the "snippet", and gets the text from DMOZ or from the META DESCRIPTION tag on the page, or from the page contents itself.
The red arrow points to the snippet:
Many retailers aren't aware of DMOZ / ODP, and often find their firm's description in the ODP isn't how they'd describe their brand.
Until this month, if Google used DMOZ to snippet your site, and if the DMOZ entry was weak, your only solution was to try and get the DMOZ entry fixed, which in some cases was difficult, given the directory is maintained by volunteers.
Google introduced a Google-specific META robots tag value, "NOODP", which tells Google not use the DMOZ description.
Here's the tag syntax:
<meta NAME="GOOGLEBOT" CONTENT="NOODP">
Helpful to control the presentation of your brand.