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Do the words "Search Results" on a page affect rankings?

 3:12 pm on Jun 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does anybody know if having the phrase "Search Results" on the top of a page can affect whether or not Google trusts it as a legitimate page?

Right now, I have category pages that say Search Results, due to the CMS. It has been updated, however, so that any pages as a result of manually entered keywords in the search box are noindexed. Only true categories are indexable.

I have added the proper signals Page Title, H1 tag, and paragraph of content. But it seems like these pages have an impossible time ranking for me. Product level pages rank perfectly, but frequently show up for middle to head terms that should be going to category level pages.

Thanks for anyone's input.



 6:11 pm on Jun 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

It would not surprise me. I changed some page titles to include the word "search" and they started getting de-indexed. I posted about it here:
Does Google disfavor the word "search" in page titles? [webmasterworld.com]


 9:13 pm on Jun 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

A couple years ago Google said they wanted to start focusing more on original content and trying not to show results of searches in their search results.

Since then, my search results pages have been on a long, slow steady reduction of traffic from Google. While my overall G traffic is about the same, more than half used to be for various search results. Now it's probably in the single digits.

My pages don't say "search results" but they do say "Searched..." in one place, and several lines below they say "Showing Results 1 to 20 of X"


 9:21 pm on Jun 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Right now, I have category pages that say Search Results, due to the CMS.

I think it's important to fix that. In addition to confusing Google, it confuses your visitors. They know that they clicked on a Category, but now they are seeing a page called "Search Result"!

I also hate it when a technical error causes a broken link and the site's message says "Your search produced no results." "I didn't DO a search," says the user, you know?


 4:47 pm on Jun 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies. I think I'm going to have some conditional logic that only shows that phrase if it is in fact a manual search result. Since it's a widespread issue spread across thousands of pages, it'll be a good test to see if the removal changes anything.

I'll update if I notice anything.


 8:43 pm on Jun 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

From the horse's mouth:
allowing search result-like pages to be crawled
- users dislike leaving one search result page and landing on another search result page that doesn't
add significant value for them

Of course it would be far-fetched to suggest that if users don't like it --euphemism for "it drives this user up the wall"-- and g### itself doesn't recommend it, maybe they could tweak their code to simply ignore such pages in the first place.


 8:52 pm on Jun 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Search results pages fall into my "don't need to be in Google - ever" category.


 9:05 pm on Jun 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just checked a search term and found 3 sites in the top 10 using a internal search page as a landing page.

The URL either Search or Tag / Keyword

The page contains the phrase "Search Results" or "Results found"

I remember reading this post by Matt Cutts like seems 10 years ago

The new webmaster guideline that you’ll see on that page says “Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don’t add much value for users coming from search engines.”

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