Ever spent hours and hours improving meta descriptions to find Google decides to pull through it’s own snippet? Something completely different and unlikely to entice a customer to click-through like this…
In fact, we saw a stat from Search Engine Journal that Google ignores Meta Descriptions almost 70% of the time. There are a lot of factors which go into this such as query intent, however this is a staggering % and one our team wanted to explore more.
We decided to do a bit of investigation around this after one of our clients was clearly seeing a negative effect from this. The solution we put in place worked and we’ve since replicated on another of our clients. We’ve put the instructions in some easy steps for you to follow, do let us know how you get on..
- Have you heard of Google’s data-nosnippet attribute? This piece of HTML allows you to mark-up anything on your page that you don’t want Google to use as part of it’s search result snippets such as answer boxes.
- We thought – why can’t this be used to mark-up elements on a page which are incorrectly being pulled through as part of your meta description?
- Going to back to the example we showed at the start, our clients meta descriptions were pulling in the product listings through the descriptions like the example above..
- In order to find what Google was pulling through, we did a quick inspection of the page. You can do this by finding the elements on the page..
- Make sure you’re in Chrome – right click on the element > and click inspect
- You will be presented with page code screen below, click on the ‘arrow’ in the top left-hand corner (highlighted in yellow below), then click the element on the page again and this will show you where it’s located within the code. (See screenshot). We’ve just used a random page from Pedro site protect client privacy.
- Once we know the attributes which were being pulled through, we could add the data nosnippet HTMLonto the existing code. See before and after…
- Finally we asked the development team to make this change on the page and we re-indexed the page in Google Search Console to speed up the process. Then we waited one day.
- The result was in and it worked! Google was now pulling in the correct meta description…