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How to change Google results text?

Posted on 2011-09-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
Lately, Google has been showing my results with an itemized list, instead of using my META tag Description.

Here is an example:

http://www.laserchips.com/temp/Picture2.jpg

Notice that the Google result shows a list of items on the page, instead of simply displaying my META description.  Do you know how I can turn this off and force Google to return my META description?
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Question by:arthurh88
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Matthew Nguyen earned 250 total points
ID: 36720384
This is a fairly new feature that Google rolled out back in August to help formulate what the page is about if it is primarily a list or a table, here is the release notes:  http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2011/08/new-snippets-for-list-pages.html.

Unfortunately, you can't turn this feature off.   Even if you have a meta description, Google has said that it will show the information in the snippet and page title that best fits the information on this page.  If your page consists primarily of a list or table, Google may be seeing that the primary information on the page and using that information instead of your meta description.

This is a fairly new function, so Google will definitely be tweaking this as time goes on.  As for your issue, I would make sure that you have content on the page that at least matches what you are saying in your meta description, preferably at the top of the page.  That way, Google will see that the content matches the meta description tag and hopefully switch back to the Meta Description.

Here is a post on SEOmoz about how to implement the bullets on the snippet, maybe it can provide some help into how you can change your page so that Google pulls your meta description tag.  http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-do-i-get-googles-bulleted-snippets
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:jhoekman
jhoekman earned 250 total points
ID: 36720412
Google has listed you in their local results, which it treats differently than it's standard SERPs.  I don't think you will be able to change this, as Google usually picks what it thinks is best to display for the description of your site.  

Notice that they have taken part of your description which it thought was most relevant to the 'Counseling Los Angeles' search term, which is Los Angeles CA counseling with clear and caring moral values.

Overall, I don't think the listing is bad.  Matter of fact, I think it is good.  If I saw your listing and saw that there appeared to be 25+ people who are available for counseling in Los Angeles via your site, I would be likely to click through.  

Honestly, I think what Google has selected to display for you is more effective (at least AS effective) as the description you are hoping they use instead.

I am sure you were hoping for other news, but outside of setting up a places page for each city you represent, I don't think you have many options here.  The good news, though, is that the result they have decided to show instead is effective, IMHO.
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Author Comment

by:arthurh88
ID: 36720439
"Overall, I don't think the listing is bad.  Matter of fact, I think it is good.  If I saw your listing and saw that there appeared to be 25+ people who are available for counseling in Los Angeles via your site, I would be likely to click through.  "


thank you!  That is a very helpful statement.  Its nice to get an objective opinion, I wasn't sure if I liked it, but your comment adds new insight to me
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Author Comment

by:arthurh88
ID: 36720495
Even better, I just modified my page to change how the text of the bullets show up.  This is actually a good thing now.  I like it.  Thanks for your feedback Jhoekman, based on what you told me, I am going to make the snippets look even better.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:jhoekman
ID: 36720499
Excellent!  Glad to help!
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