Is this common? On the Google results page, just under the title of my hub, Goodle is using the first sentence of the hub instead of the summary. (Yes, the summary is there on the hub, I checked.) Are summaries just wishful thinking on my part? Is this just more of Google playing hard to get and trying to be mysterious and unpredictable? Do I need to go back and rewrite the first sentences of all my hubs?
As far as I understand summaries, they help the Google indexing process, ie. placing the hub in the proper category. But as far as searches, G. attempts to match the search query as closely as possible, which can be taken from any part of the text.
Last time I checked, which hasn't been recently, what Google displays is based on what search words were entered. Virtually any part of the hub can show up depending.
Thanks for the explanations. I have been wondering about the same thing SmartAndFun opened the thread with.
Yes, thanks everyone. For some reason I had it in my head that the summaries were "supposed" to show up under the title in the SERP. Maybe I will rethink all my first sentences.
It need not be just the first few sentences. IF someone searches for something and those words are somewhere at the bottom of the hub then that part will appear in the search. So you'll need to make it all perfect - I'm sure your hubs are already fine
Not many people are gonna type in the exact title of your hub unless its a commonly searched phrase.
Google does as it pleases, it usually displays the first occasion of the search query. It is advisable to use the intended query in your summary. But, there is no real way of controlling what displays.
The summary does appear as the attached text when a link is added to facebook and the various social bookmarking locations, so there is still benefit to crafting the summary with intent to entice those who may read it
Just a thought - how long are your summaries? They should be less than 155 characters. The letter counter in the summary box should be > 346. If your summary is too long it will be ignored.
Yes, without going back and looking I am certain many of them have more than 155 characters, maybe even all of them. I am one of those people who can never shut up, Lol. Thanks for that interesting info. It seems there is something new to learn at HP every day. Now it's time for me to learn to be brief!
I didnt ask the question - but, if you really were asking me.
I dont(hardly) have any summaries, i have around 500 hubs, hubpages decided awhile back to stop using our introductions automatically as summaries (which I crafted intentionally to be dual purpose).. and I don't have the time to work backwards.
SO very few of my hubs have intentional summaries anymore
That's what HP said. However, it doesn't fit my testing. While it's true that HP no longer quotes the initial paragraph in the "summary" box, the initial paragraph will still be used in Google and in HP's own search listings even if that summary box is blank.
Someone is going to dispute this, I'm sure. Just be sure you've tested it rather than quoting what you've read was said.
That would be the expected result. Since the intros were crafted as I would have done for a summary - the target term most often appears there so Google is MOST likely to show it.
One just checks the page source to see that the meta-description is now blank
The point is to make a summary that really 'stands out in the crowd' in the list of search results. It says 'Open me, I have the best information that perfectly matches what you are looking for'. You should use active words that encourage users to click your link. Your first sentence may be boring and less likely to appeal. So really sell your site via the summary to get hits. Include your key words.
Update - keep the summary counter >350 - so the summary is less than 150 characters to stop Google truncating the last few words.
Google does what it believes it's users want. The difference is subtle but it is the difference between understanding what Google is about and paranoia.
The way I see it is:
-If the search words match the title, your summary will show.
-If the search words don't match the title, where ever those words are in the article will show.
Totally agree.. I see it exactly the same
But then nothing has really changed from how it best worked 18 months ago has it?
I don't know how much I could have helped with answering your questions but I definitely did learn something here so thanks for starting this thread. What WryLit said about search words makes a lot of sense.
Yes, Google is ignoring summaries. Well, they're ignoring mine anyway.
I published a hub yesterday and it's appearing on the second page of Google... with the first few words of the hub itself appearing in the search results, NOT the summary.
Could this possibly be one reason why some people are experiencing a slow decline in traffic?
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