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Bullet Points in SERP description, is that new?

     
5:34 pm on Aug 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I noticed recently google started to have a 3 line bullet points description for some retail sites.

Instead of showing the meta description or some text taken from the page in 2 lines, it's listing very short form of meta description on the first line, then taking a combination of the name, price and review rating of the top 3 items listed on page and list them in bullet points.

To see examples of this, search for something like "cd tower" and look for target.com's result.

I've seen some other results being listed this way as well, for directory sites.

Is this new or I just haven't been paying enough attention before?
11:18 pm on Aug 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This sounds like something new - I don't remember seeing it at least, and I can even see it now on the example you gave.
11:59 pm on Aug 25, 2011 (gmt 0)



I cant see this either.

It sounds like another trick at pushing more and more of the natural serps below the fold though.

Can you give any other terms?
5:09 am on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)



i've noticed this ... It seems to be able to identify tables & lists and creates bullet points out of them..
5:41 am on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Instead of showing the meta description or some text taken from the page in 2 lines, it's listing very short form of meta description on the first line, then taking a combination of the name, price and review rating of the top 3 items listed on page and list them in bullet points.

The target.com result I'm seeing that roughly fits this is actually the top AdWords result, not an organic result... three lines, each line 5-8 words with product name, short description and then price.

The 5-8 words are hyperlinked... no preceding bullet symbol... and the prices are bold and not hyperlinked.

The tint behind the AdWords results has gotten very faint, so faint that I have to get off-axis on my screen to darken it up enough to distinguish it from plain white behind the organic results.
6:09 am on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I saw the bullet points with the target.com result earlier. It didn't have a big footprint like site links do, but it did stand out a tad. It was an organic result, not an ad.
2:10 pm on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I thought that was rich snippets. Microdata?

"were" rich snippets? No, "was" rich snippets. Sounds weird tho.
2:47 pm on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



cd tower : Target Search Results
www.target.com/s/cd-tower - Cached
Items 1 - 60 of 140 – Shop for cd-tower at Target. Choose from Atlantic Nestable ...
• Atlantic Nestable 100 CD Tower, Gunmetal – Media Type Compatibility: CD
• Black Sereni-T CD/DVD Storage Towers-2pk – Features: Fixed Shelves
• Four-Sided Spinning Tower - Oak/Black – Holds up to 832 CDs, 340 DVDs, 200 ...


^ Looks just like that in the organic SERPs.

More information... A New Google Rich Snippet For Listings [SearchEngineLand.com...]
3:51 pm on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)



So - its there to push sites down - to confirm this - does it appear like that at the top of the serps (for the top ranks only) or have you seen it at various places?
4:06 pm on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It was lowish on the page. 5th? 6th? 7th? Not sure, but had to scroll down a ways.
7:20 pm on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I'm noticing that location will affect whether you see the target.com rich snippet listing as an organic result. I was apparently several miles too far down the freeway from a Target store to be served the target.com result in organic. Changing my default location setting (and/or, overriding an Auto-Detected location on a browser that's not signed in) did let me see the organic result too.

I saw the same result that pageone describes. For me, it was in the #2 organic position. It has longer description lines than the AdWords listing, and the organic description lines aren't hyperlinked to individual product pages as the AdWords descriptions are. Also, the organic results don't show prices.

Changing my geo-location didn't change the ranking of the result, but I didn't play with it very much. Either it ranked in the #2 spot, or it didn't appear for me at all.

Some slightly different queries (like singular vs plural) produce results that have interesting variations... and the behavior of geo-location isn't always consistent across these.
7:25 pm on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I see too. It looks is displaying links to related pages as list (not mandatory <li> in html code).
7:34 pm on Aug 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



PS to the above... we did discuss that this was coming back in Sept - Nov, 2010. Apparently, Google is now rolling this out wider...

Rich Snippets - Implementation time and other factors
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4209512.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Google supports rich snippets for shopping sites
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4225781.htm [webmasterworld.com]
10:01 am on Aug 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Google just announced this officially on their "inside search" blog:

New snippets for list pages [insidesearch.blogspot.com]

Snippets—the few lines of text that appear under every search result—are designed to give you a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to your query. This week we started rolling out snippet improvements for pages that contain lists; results for these pages will now reflect the structure of the page, rather than just showing two lines of text.

If a search result consists mostly of a structured list, like a table or series of bullets, we’ll show a list of three relevant rows or items underneath the result in a bulleted format. The snippet will also show an approximate count of the total number of rows or items on the page (for example, “30+ items” in the screenshot). [4.bp.blogspot.com]

This change to snippets will be rolling out globally over the next few days. Over time we’ll keep making more snippet improvements to better reflect the content of our search results, making it easier for you to find the most relevant results.
10:55 pm on Aug 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've been seeing this for at least a week, rich snippets in mainly local searches in Australia.
11:58 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Why wouldn't Google use schema.org markup for this instead of trying to parse tables and lists?
12:17 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Why wouldn't Google use schema.org markup for this instead of trying to parse tables and lists?


There are quite a few HTML elements and attributes that Google can use that are not classified as Microdata. Google have shown us in the past that it is fully capable of taking well structured semantic markup and using it to improve the user experience. This is a good case study for using structured lists e.g. <ul>, <ol> and <dl> and semantically structured <table>s.

<added> Just realized there is a Schema type for Lists.

Thing > CreativeWork > ItemList
[schema.org...]
1:08 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



There are quite a few HTML elements and attributes that Google can use that are not classified as Microdata. Google have shown us in the past that it is fully capable of taking well structured semantic markup and using it to improve the user experience. This is a good case study for using structured lists e.g. <ul>, <ol> and <dl> and semantically structured <table>s.


Microdata is so much more unambiguous than lists and tables though. They've asked us to mark up our pages according to their schema.org spec, and then they don't utilize the markup? Am I missing something?
12:14 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Am I missing something?


I'd say less than 2% of websites have implemented Microdata, that's a rough guess based on my observation of it catching on. I would think that anyone using Microdata is going to see a more robust and controlled SERPs display. Those who don't, Google will do its best at guessing. They're appealing to everyone in this instance, not just those using Microdata.
1:08 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)



Over the past 10 days I've seen more rich data being passed into the SERPs in the UK for:

1. Sites using rich snippets (in the cases I've seen they are using hcalendar)

2. Sites where a normal HTML table (<td> </td> sort of thing) has been used. The Google rich snippet tester doesn't even say that this data will be parsed. I've seen this feed through to SERPs as bullet points
12:35 am on Aug 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Ive just noticed this bullet point thing for a site I run, its a .org.uk domain, when searching for the website title/company title get the main url/google site maps listing at the top then second listing is our news section with the 3 bullet points which list 3 recent news items, above the bullets it says 10+ items, we're not a retail site or anything, non-profit community based charity.

My question is this, will these bullet points provide any extra traffic? I think they are good esepcially for news as it might make people click through if they see an article that interests them.
6:24 am on Aug 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Found one interesting query "händetrockner" on Google.de, three results on the first pages got bullet point snippets. All those results are product list pages.
9:46 pm on Aug 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Of course the bullet points are good for attracting clicks. They occupy more real estate of the SERPs compared to other entries and therefore attract more attention and clicks.


Which is better, five lines in the SERPs or seven?

As far as I can see, if you have Rich Snippets then you are likely to occupy more space in the SERPS. For some reason Google is treating a few lists as if they were Rich Snippets.

But the real way to score in this particular battle is to have Rich Snippets - it will become more important as time goes by. And read the Bing section of WWW - they are rating it as important for the future.

Learn from this, see how the Snippets are presented in the SERPS and manage your Rich Snippets so that you use the space you have gained in the SERPS to YOUR full advantage.
8:43 am on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I have seen this for a site that I look after. To be honest I think it looks poor. I would much rather have the meta description that I have taken time to craft rather than one sentence truncated and a couple of bullet points with text next to them.
9:17 am on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



To all those people who mark up lists using <br> between each line and a small gif for the bullet, you've now got some serious work to do!

I can also hear pageoneresults saying "I told you so". He's also been banging on about the correct usage of HTML elements for the last decade or so.
10:32 am on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



!
So that's what those things are. I stumbled across them while looking up something in a wholly unrelated thread (something about Preview, I think). I was looking up my own site so there's a pageful of hits, but only the first two do the bullet thing.

For the terminally curious:

Item #2 is one of about a dozen identically constructed pages. It's a table with paired rows. The first of each pair is a series of thumbnail pictures which are clickable links; the second is the title. The bulleted list shows the titles, although they are not links. Score one for tables, I guess ;)

Item #1 is structurally similar except that the titles are also clickable. I note also that the snippet for this page includes the <address> line, which fortunately makes the page seem a lot newer than it really is. (The mere fact that, ahem, it has an <address> gives you some idea how far back it dates...)
10:51 am on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



The bullet points really enhance the listing for a News or What's New page in the SERPs - especially when the page has only three or four important points to make.
1:19 pm on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I can also hear pageoneresults saying "I told you so". He's also been banging on about the correct usage of HTML elements for the last decade or so.


I told you so! :)
1:21 pm on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Thought you might. :)

And it all makes perfect sense.
6:41 pm on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)



Ive seen a few on the .co.uk of google now - not sure whether it was rolled at a different time than the .com

Well - hmmmm - personally im on the fence on these - on the one hand I think they look smart, on the other - they do push other sites slightly further down - adding to the overall decimation of traffic from google.
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