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Opened 6 weeks ago

Closed 6 weeks ago

#5479 closed defect (invalid)

Plugin/Theme short description should be used for search results everywhere

Reported by: webdevmattcrom Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Component: Plugin Directory Keywords:
Cc:

Description

Currently, the default search on the WP.org homepage is a Google search. But the description that appears for the search results is not the "short description" that plugin/themes provide. The individual pages are coded correctly with their appropriate meta descriptions but the search results are being generated by the first paragraph of the main body copy instead.

https://i.imgur.com/afGhWma.jpg

Change History (3)

#1 @Otto42
6 weeks ago

  • Component changed from General to Plugin Directory

As far as I know, all the metadata is correct, and Google does whatever it does. Unless somebody can point me to a specific thing we're doing wrong, I don't have any idea what to change or how to make it use the short description.

#2 @dd32
6 weeks ago

This can't be controlled by us (At least, not using a custom search, we'd have to be using a Google Search Appliance I believe), but ultimately I think it's fair to say, that when Google ignores the short description it's because it's determined that it doesn't provide a better description of the page than what it can generate.

Looking at the example here of GiveWP, other than the preceding Description tag the Google result does seem to be more relevant than the short text (for some meaning of "relevant") and so I feel that it's probably an uphill battle to even get Google to consider displaying that.

I think it's probably also likely that many short descriptions may be considered keyword stuffing if they've tried to get all the keywords in there, which would once again decrease the likelyhood of it being shown.

Sidenote to GiveWP: Only the first 6 tags in your readme are used, you should reduce the ~30 you have to something reasonable, and probably also consider that the tags that are being used currently seem like search term stuffing.

#3 @jonoaldersonwp
6 weeks ago

  • Resolution set to invalid
  • Status changed from new to closed

Echoing what @Otto42 and @dd32 said.

Users search in lots of different ways, and Google will often replace your description with a different one (or synthesize one from scratch) when it thinks that there's a better match for the user/query in question.

if your description is generic, spammy or self-serving, that's likely to happen more often.

Closing as invalid; sorry!

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