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Search for exact phrase in Google affected by html tag



3:23 pm on Apr 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I was just doing an exact phrase match on my site to check out scrappers and noticed that google didn't return a result. After some trial and error, it came out to be the span tag.

Not sure if I've described the issue correctly, so here's an example:

"red widgets"

will not match your page if the post content is

<span>r</span>ed widgets

To match the same you'll have to try

"ed widgets"

So are my (anyone's) rankings getting hurt for such key phrases since they begin with a span (I use it to style drop caps) like:

<span class="drop_cap">T</span>his is a drop cap.


5:41 pm on Apr 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

You can get the same effect from CSS text-transform but not on a word by word basis like that unless you're doing individual replacements. I have seen where G reads WITH tags often but yours was a fine catch good and an excellent example of why you should not interrupt text in html.

It wouldn't be hard to assume that you can screw up your on page keywords like that but I'm guessing; how are you ranking for the terms that are "interrupted"?

Robert Charlton

7:54 pm on Apr 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

My emphasis added....
...an excellent example of why you should not interrupt text in html

Good you spotted this. Many details do matter.

I think I first encountered this with a client that wanted half of their brandname bolded... and tests I ran showed that it would be a problem.

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