Google ignoring summaries

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  1. SmartAndFun profile image94
    SmartAndFunposted 11 years ago

    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?

    1. rebekahELLE profile image86
      rebekahELLEposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  2. paradigmsearch profile image61
    paradigmsearchposted 11 years ago

    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.

  3. mythbuster profile image72
    mythbusterposted 11 years ago

    Thanks for the explanations. I have been wondering about the same thing SmartAndFun opened the thread with.

  4. SmartAndFun profile image94
    SmartAndFunposted 11 years ago

    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.

    1. lobobrandon profile image89
      lobobrandonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      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 smile - I'm sure your hubs are already fine cool

      Not many people are gonna type in the exact title of your hub unless its a commonly searched phrase.

  5. sunforged profile image72
    sunforgedposted 11 years ago

    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

    1. janderson99 profile image54
      janderson99posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      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.

      1. SmartAndFun profile image94
        SmartAndFunposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        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!

        1. janderson99 profile image54
          janderson99posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Note: If you edit them to make them shorter it may take a few days for the summaries to appear as the articles have to be re-indexed. But this does work in my experience.

      2. sunforged profile image72
        sunforgedposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        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

        1. Howard S. profile image89
          Howard S.posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          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.

          1. sunforged profile image72
            sunforgedposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            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

        2. janderson99 profile image54
          janderson99posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          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.

          1. sunforged profile image72
            sunforgedposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            thanks, I guess :p

            But, you are kind of wasting keystrokes on me

      3. janderson99 profile image54
        janderson99posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Update - keep the summary counter >350  - so the summary is less than 150 characters to stop Google truncating the last few words.

    2. Will Apse profile image88
      Will Apseposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  6. WryLilt profile image90
    WryLiltposted 11 years ago

    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.

    1. Pearldiver profile image68
      Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Totally agree.. I see it exactly the same smile

      But then nothing has really changed from how it best worked 18 months ago has it? roll

      1. profile image0
        EmpressFelicityposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I dunno, my summary was a *much* better match for my title than the first sentence of my hub!

        I will be doing italicised summaries at the top of my hubs from now on, before starting on the hub proper.

  7. SmartAndFun profile image94
    SmartAndFunposted 11 years ago

    Thanks everyone.

  8. Journey * profile image76
    Journey *posted 11 years ago

    Hi SmartandFun,
    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.

  9. profile image0
    EmpressFelicityposted 11 years ago

    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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