I’ve seen some frustration in Q&A recently with how Google is dealing with search snippets and META descriptions. You could have seen a schizophrenic search outcome that regarded one thing like this:
Site house owners are understandably annoyed once they see the META descriptions, they’ve labored over get carelessly tossed apart. So, the place do snippets come from, and is there something you are able to do to remain in management?
Search Snippet Basics
Typically, search snippets come from 1 of three locations (and we’re simply speaking fundamental snippets right here, not wealthy snippets like site links):
- META descriptions
- On-page copy
- Open Directory Project (ODP) information
In the instance above, Google is utilizing my question (“January 11”) and pulling up web page content material that the algorithm thinks is related. Since that replicate is admittedly simply dates and fragments, I find yourself with an odd mash-up of an on-page copy.
Controlling Search Snippets
So, is there something you may do to bend Google to your will and all the time use your META descriptions? Unfortunately, the brief reply is “no”. Like a lot of search engine marketing, although, there are some methods to nudge Google in the best path:
1. Focus Your META Description
Let’s say that, for some motive, we actually wished that SEOmoz weblog publishes to rank for “January 19”. One resolution is to make it possible for phrase seems in our META description for the related web page. If Google can discover the matching copy in your description, they’re extra probably to make use of the tag as is. It’s additionally only a good train – determining what your core goal key phrases are and focusing on them naturally in your META description (do not simply make it a listing of key phrases, of course) will assist you to focus your general on-page search engine marketing efforts.
2. Remove Duplicate METAs
In some circumstances, having too many pages with duplicate TITLE tags or META descriptions can lead Google to rank the fallacious web page or filter that META description. De-duplicating your TITLEs and META descriptions is an effective observe anyway, however ensuring that every web page has its personal distinctive and related description also can assist be sure that Google sees worth in these descriptions.
3. Block Your ODP Listing
If you believe you studied that your search snippet is coming from the Open Directory Project (this may be extra widespread on the home-page than deeper pages and long-tail queries), you may block Google from utilizing your ODP itemizing with the next META tag:
<meta identify="robots" content material="NOODP">
This downside is not fairly as widespread because it was once, nevertheless, it does nonetheless pop up infrequently.
4. Block Your Snippet (Caution)
There’s one other, rather more extreme META tag you need to use to dam your snippet totally:
<meta identify="robots" content material="nosnippet">
This directive will take away your snippet ENTIRELY, although, so use it with a warning. It also can have an effect on caching. In common, I’d solely use this selection if Google is taking liberties with snippets that would hurt your model or trigger authorized issues. Typically, these points could be higher handled in your on-page content material instantly.
5. Leave It Alone
Google makes an attempt to match snippets to queries that do not all the time work the way in which you need, however generally they are a good factor. Matching, bolded key phrases drive click-throughs, and other people hardly ever learn the entire textual content of a snippet. If it’s simply a few long-tail queries, don’t be concerned about it. Read More Informative Articles