First off what is a SERP?
A SERP is the Search engine Results page…the page of results you see when you do a search in any of the search engines.
Now…where does the search engines get the description you see showing below your listing?
Most of the time the search engines will take it from your Meta Descriptions tag. Now, in a previous post we talked about how the Meta data are not as important as it used to be, but you still and should make sure it is there, since the search engines algorithms are always changing you want to make sure you have the bases covered.
Here are some other ways the search engines may get your web site description for your search listing:
Google – Mainly use the meta description tag but if you don’t have one, they will take a sentence from your web page that contain that particular keyword that the person is searching on. OR they may even use your description from the open Directory DMOZ.
Yahoo! – Will take some part of your meta description and part of a sentence on your web page that contain the keyword phrase. Again, if there is no meta description in place, it will go to the Yahoo Directory listing.
MSN/Live – Will use the meta description or the first sentence that contains the keyword phrase.
Things to remember:
Make sure your meta description has your keywords in there. Don’t try to stuff it with keywords though, the user will see this too so it is not just for the search engines to read.
If possible, make sure the first sentence of your web page has the keyword phrase in the content.
Check your DMOZ and Yahoo Directory descriptions and make sure it still pertain to your business, if not you can request to edit it.