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Question About Google Snippets


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#1 Clark Financial

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 12:34 PM

I've noticed that most of the time when my site pops up in Google search results, the description of the site comes from my meta description tags. However, from time to time the description is random text pulled from the page itself.

Here's the problem: A good percentage of the text on my site is legal and risk disclaimers that also contain my target key words. While these disclaimers are important to make sure potential customers fully understand the risks involved in my business (and keep me in compliance with regulatory bodies) they aren't exactly the type of language I would hope for in a description of my site.

Here's my question: Is there a way to block certain parts of your text from being used in the snippet?

I had considered making the disclaimers jpegs, but I was afraid it would slow the site down too much and I would run the risk of not having those disclaimers appear on a user's screen if they didn't load for some reason.

Thanks in advance for your help!

#2 incrediblehelp

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 01:06 PM

1. You can always block the robots from accessing the whole page using the noindex meta tag or in the robots.txt

2. Block them using a htaccess command.

3. Consider putting the content that you dont want read by the bots in a image?

4. Yahoo offers attribute support to block only parts of page content, not sure if other SE's do as well:

class="robots-nocontent"

http://searchenginel...0502-132315.php

#3 iamlost

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 01:24 PM

1. It is possible that your meta description is too short. In my experience if there are less than 50-characters (excluding space, punctuation, stop words) Google will go content mining. Be natural and useful and get that character count between 100 and 150 and Google will be much less prone to content diving.

2. It is possible that some searchers' query terms are missing from the meta description but are (1) found in the content body and (2) that page ranks well for those terms.

You need to take control of those words and add them into the meta description. Google may no longer pay much attention to the meta keyword BUT it pays very nice attention to an appropriate listing of descriptive keywords (term alone, verb or adjective plus term, term plus definition/answer) in the meta description. :)

Google's creation of sites' titles and descriptions (or "snippets") is completely automated and takes into account both the content of a page as well as references to it that appear on the web.
...
The meta description doesn't just have to be in sentence format; it's also a great place to include structured data about the page.
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Similarly, product pages might have the key bits of information - price, age, manufacturer - scattered throughout a page.
...
http://www.google.co...mp;answer=35264



#4 Respree

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 01:32 PM

I'm not aware of any techniques to prevent G from picking up only selected portions of a page within the snippet.

Structurally, your pages seem a little odd to me with legal disclosures on each page. I can't help but think it was an attorney that thought of this placement. Have you considered putting a link to these disclosures (a prominently placed one, if it is important your customers be made aware of these disclosures), rather than to imbed it onto the page itself. Seems like that would solve the problem of G thinking your legal disclosures are more important than the actual content (i.e. 'the meat'). Just an idea.

Edited by Respree, 07 December 2007 - 01:34 PM.


#5 Clark Financial

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 03:31 PM

Thanks for all the great responses! I think I'll start with the easiest idea of adding length to my discription tags and then proceed from there.

:cheers:

#6 Respree

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 04:10 PM

Just had a thought. Are your targeted keywords critical to your legal disclosure? I wouldn't imagine they are. Can you pick other similar words to use in their place? That might help with the problem too. :)

#7 JohnMu

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 04:31 PM

Putting the disclaimer into JavaScript (even JavaScript included from a different, shared file), Flash, an image or an iframe would work to prevent search engines from indexing it. However, I'm not sure how legally binding your disclaimer would still be in those cases.

John

#8 Respree

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 05:01 PM

Seeing as how some people surf with javascript turned off, it seems like one might be hard-pressed to say with confidence that 'every' user saw or had the capability of seeing a javascript activated disclosure. I think the lawyers might 'object' to this method. <pun intended> :)

Edited by Respree, 07 December 2007 - 05:02 PM.


#9 Clark Financial

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 05:27 PM

Unfortunately, my target keywords are also critical to the disclaimers. Ironically enough, when our compliance officer gave me the language for the disclaimers, I was pleasantly suprised with how key-word rich the language was.

If you would like to see what I mean, my site is clarkfinancial (dot) com and my target keywords are:

options trading, online options trading, futures trading, online futures trading

Thanks, again!

#10 Respree

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 06:12 PM

Today, they're pulling the meta. I wonder why sometimes they'll pull it from the page... Hmm. Seems odd one day its one thing, and on another day, its the other.

#11 Clark Financial

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 06:57 PM

It seems that most of the time they use the meta tag, but every now and then I see the snippet with "options involve substanial risk....". Again, everybody should know the risks before investing, but I'd still prefer to not have it as my snippet. I guess for as rarely as it seems to happen, I should just live with it.

Thanks!

#12 sonjay

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 08:22 PM

You could try beefing up your use of those keywords in the main text area on different pages of the site. Then G. might show those bits as the snippet instead of the disclaimer text.



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