Publicity #6014

Google search listing

Added by Matt Gold over 5 years ago. Updated over 5 years ago.

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Report from a community member:

I wanted to let you know that I just did a quick google search of "CUNY Commons" and I was surprised to see that the first entry in the search list was as follows:

CUNY Academic Commons
CUNY Academic Commons
Originally a vibrant place to share resources, the Commons Wiki isn't used much any more. Members have more modern collaborative tools, and we've decided ...
You've visited this page many times. Last visit: 8/7/16

I am not sure how it got there but it is a disservice to your work. I don't know if you have a tech person who can trace this down.

I usually use Duck Duck Go myself, but I just checked Google and had slightly different -- but still potentially problematic -- results, in that the main listing seemed to show info from our slider rather than a general description of the site. Screenshot attached

If the dev team could look into this, I'd appreciate it.


#1 Updated by Boone Gorges over 5 years ago

  • Status changed from Assigned to Reporter Feedback
  • Target version set to 1.9.28

Google ultimately makes its own decisions about what to show in this space. However, we can make suggestions by using the "description" meta tag.

I've added the following description meta tag to the bp-nelo theme:

"The CUNY Academic Commons is an academic social network created by and for the City University of New York."

Suggestions for improvements are welcome, but the max recommended length is 155 characters.

Apparently Google is more likely to actually use this description if it's page-specific. That'd mean we need a programmatic way of building the string, depending on what page you're looking at - Members Directory, specific member page, etc. If anyone would like to take a swing at writing copy (or a format with placeholders, for member/group pages) for these various page types, I can implement.

I'm going to move the ticket to Future Release so that the more specific descriptions can be written. The general one will go into 1.9.28. Once someone has owned the task, we can move into a specific milestone.

#2 Updated by Matt Gold over 5 years ago

Great -- thanks, Boone!

#3 Updated by Matt Gold over 5 years ago

Note from Tony -- "Don't mean to be a pest but the google search issue occurred again this morning. See attached screenshot."

That's a pretty terrible search description result!!

#4 Updated by Boone Gorges over 5 years ago

the google search issue occurred again this morning

No change had been made to the production site since the time of the original report, so this is not a surprise.

I have pulled the new meta tag to the Commons as a hotfix. At this point, it is out of our control whether Google decides to respect it. I recommend checking every week or two to see what changes.

#5 Updated by Raymond Hoh over 5 years ago

We could try and tell Google to reindex the site:

This might expedite the process.

#6 Updated by Matt Gold over 5 years ago

Thanks so much to you both -- Boone for the hotfix, and Ray for the reindexing info. If one of you could reindex (or ask another member of the community/dev teams) to do so, I'd appreciate it.

#7 Updated by Boone Gorges over 5 years ago

Thanks, Ray. I have triggered a re-index for the Commons home page and will monitor the results.

#8 Updated by Boone Gorges over 5 years ago

The Commons has been reindexed (for me at least). Screenshot attached.

#9 Updated by Matt Gold over 5 years ago

Thanks! I'll check in with Tony

#10 Updated by Boone Gorges over 5 years ago

  • Target version changed from 1.9.28 to Future release

Moving to future release to think about other pages.

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