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Google Description Snippet Says "Showing Results X-X of X"
haggul

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4547055 posted 10:55 am on Feb 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

We've noticed today that Google listings have appended "Results X - X of X" in front of our meta descriptions.

We don't show that text on the page (although we have similar as the page is pageable) and it's something thery have added.

I've seen it for a few other sites also. It just looks odd and we are worried on the impact it might have on lick through.

Is this a new Google initiative? Anything we can do to stop it?

 

Andy Langton

WebmasterWorld Senior Member andy_langton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4547055 posted 11:07 am on Feb 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is part of Google's "rich snippet" detection routine. They believe that your page contains a list of items, and thus are showing users how many items there are on the page. This is perhaps more suitable for e-commerce types of sites, and if you're not in a suitable category, it is a little odd and potentially unhelpful for users.

The first thing I would do is to see whether the impact of this is good or bad (or possibly there will be no noticeable impact at all). In the event that it is negative, the only way to stop it occurring is to alter your markup so that Google doesn't not interpret the page's content as a list.

Of course, if you have accidentally used a markup that implies a list it is likely worth correcting this regardless.

haggul

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4547055 posted 2:28 pm on Feb 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes it is a list - it's effectively our category pages. We'll just have to monitor I guess and see if it makes any negative difference.

me nacholibre



 
Msg#: 4547055 posted 2:47 pm on Feb 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have seen it on my websites too, it seems that google picks your html structure and it's able to tell how many results you have. I don't know if this will affect CTR but at least you know your website is structured well :).

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4547055 posted 12:35 am on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

seems that google picks your html structure and it's able to tell how many results you have

Doesn't this description make it sound as if multiple results from the same site will be collapsed into a single search result, so you will never get a SERP showing eight pages-- or even eight forms of the same page-- from the same site?

Har de har.

Andy Langton

WebmasterWorld Senior Member andy_langton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4547055 posted 1:03 am on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

so you will never get a SERP showing ... eight forms of the same page-- from the same site


Google knows you have 'items' and how many items there are. If it also catalogues the individual items, it would also know if you had many pages that simply re-ordered the same items. So, it would be unlikely to want to show pages that are simply different orders of those same items.

Indeed, done excessively, this might imply a low quality site overall - that might warrant particular consideration.

But this is some way beyond the actual 'rich snippet' which, as far as I'm aware is really just pattern-matching sequences on a single page, and doesn't really imply anything more.

thedonald123



 
Msg#: 4547055 posted 6:09 pm on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, this started happening for me on Thursday, the 21st. Google is replacing my custom written meta description entirely for all my Subcategory pages. This is resulting in a 20% drop in traffic overall. I am assuming it is affecting CTR. (Unfortunately both Analytics and Webmaster Tools are not being helpful in my attempts to prove conclusively that the loss in traffic is due to a drop in CTR only to Subcategory pages.)

This is what my SERPS look like now
Page Title
URL
10+ items 6 words from meta description followed by...
Title of Item #1 Votes: 167, Rating 4.27
Title of Item #2 Votes: 340, Rating 4.15



This is happening for all my subcategory pages which are usually responsible for over 60% of my traffic from Google.

This happened last year as well and I was successful at stopping Google from doing this by complicating the HTML pattern of the items listed on the page.
They were listed using div's and I interspersed an Advertisement between items 3 and 4. It worked for a year; apparently the Google Algorithm has gotten a little wiser.

We've noticed today that Google listings have appended "Results X - X of X" in front of our meta descriptions.

So, unlike the OP and other posts I've seen elsewhere, I am seeing a complete removal of meta description, (well except for 6 words which is fairly useless and probably hurts rather then helps).

My first attempt, implemented today, to stop this unwanted behavior and bring back the higher CTR is moving the Ratings Rich Snippets, (stars, rating and vote count) from right beneath the item title and above the excerpt to beneath the excerpt. My assumption is that it's not the first line added to the SERPS, "10+ Items" that is causing the drop in CTR but the removal of my meta description from the SERPS. Since others are not seeing a compete removal of meta description as I am, I suspect that all that Rich Snippet rating data is making Google giddy and they just need to display it, leaving no room for my meta description. Well, if it's below the excerpt maybe they will place less importance on it.

Has anyone else experienced a complete removal of the meta description?
If so how has this affected your CTR?
Any successful attempts at stopping Google from displaying this 10+ Items Rich Snippet?

philipboyle



 
Msg#: 4547055 posted 9:50 am on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

@thedonald123: This happened on our site around a year ago. We couldn't find any way to stop Google from displaying our results in this format so we decided to embrace it and work on front loading the meta description so that even the first 6 or 7 words were useful and then alter the order of the data in each item so that the most useful and enticing data was used in the snippet.

We definitely experienced a fall in our traffic when this change was made, so all things being equal this was down to reduced CTR. After making the changes above we recovered most of this drop.

However, recently Google has gone back to displaying our regular meta description, but retains the 1 - 12 results of 500 before it. We have seen them experiment with switching between styles many times so I don't have any confidence that they will stick with this change for any length of time.

haggul

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4547055 posted 10:09 am on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I can see similar for some of our competitors now as well so I am less worried.

We were going to look into Rich Snippets but I think now that might do more harm than good unless we are clever enough to craft them well.

As you say no doubt in a few weeks or months they will change the format again so I won't panic yet (actually I wasn't bu the powers that be here were!)

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4547055 posted 8:47 pm on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

So, it would be unlikely to want to show pages that are simply different orders of those same items.

Unless your name is big-domain-above-the-law dot com. Or even, in some cases, middle-sized-domain-but-we-can't-be-bothered-to-fix-the-algorithm dot com. Sigh.

Hence the har har yuk yuk.

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