Why your Shopify collections are showing nonsense text in the search results

A customer recently emailed me asking why Google was showing their product tags for their search result descriptions:

It seems like search results for my collection pages are containing product tags of products contained within the given collections.

Is there a way to prevent product tags from displaying in search results? Or maybe even a way to segment ones that are and are not prevented from being displayed?

When Google visits a page they'll try to extract all of the content they find on the page, especially if it's unique.

When there's no meta description set in Shopify or if it's a generic one that doesn't describe the page well, Google has to create a description for you based on the page content.

Collection pages in Shopify are usually very thin and devoid of content so Google will struggle to find something worthwhile. When that happens, they'll use any text they find. In this case, the product tags were listed so Google decided to use the tags as the search result description.

This is not ideal.

For this customer, they were using a quickview feature that had some basic product content including the tags. That's why Google was listing their internal product tags in the public search results.

The best things you can do for your collection pages would be:

  1. Add some unique content to each collection page. Aim for 300 words or so, either above or below the products. That will give Google something to understand if they wanted to create a dynamic description for you.

  2. Fill out the SEO description field for each collection. It's about 160 characters so all you need to do is to summarize the page with something unique.

Doing both of those for each collection page will be the easiest way to boost your collection pages SEO. There's more you can do but this will cover 80% of what those pages need.

Today would be a good day to Install JSON-LD for SEO if you haven't yet.

You still have a couple of months before the holiday season. Just enough time to start getting Rich Snippets and beating your competition in the search results.

Or reply and let me know if you'd like a free Structured Data Audit done for your site.

Eric Davis

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Topics: Keywords Organic search Seo

Would you like a daily tip about Shopify?

Each tip includes a way to improve your store: customer analysis, analytics, customer acquisition, CRO... plus plenty of puns and amazing alliterations.