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Does Google use the Meta Description Tag for Description of Page?

I just noticed that when searching Google for the name of a website I'm working on, the search result description now has a broken English phrase which does not appear anywhere on that website, nor on the Google Places page:

Screenshot of Google search result: "Company builds blogs and custom plug in software for the sites." ...?

Where might this text be coming from? How can I fix it?

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marked as duplicate by Su', Lèse majesté, paulmorriss, John Conde Mar 3 '12 at 2:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

3 Answers

Google couldn't find the <meta name="description" value="value here!">, so he picks an old one or generates one himself.

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I believe what you are seeing in the description of the company on Dmoz. You should be able to use the noodp tag to get it removed.

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Google can actually display whatever it likes in the search results i.e. what it thinks is relevant to the most common queries about that page/site/file/whatever but most often it goes with whats in your meta title and meta description tags e.g.

Daily Telegraph Google Result

Daily Telegraph Homepage result from google

Corresponding meta tags

<title>News - Latest breaking news - Telegraph</title>
<meta name="description" content="Latest news, breaking news and current news from the UK and around the world, plus celebrity news and political news from Telegraph.co.uk, all the latest breaking stories" /> 

So you need to insert these two meta tags into the <head></head> section of each of your HTML pages, it is best to have unique content about each page in them, rather than the same text repeated over and over again.

@Joshak's answer shows exactly where this particular description is coming from and how to change it on DMOZ, my answer tells you how you fix your site.

I would also recommend implementing google webmaster tools as it will help alert google to the changes to your page and give you a better idea about what google knows about your site.

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