Improving Photo Page Descriptions

Published on January 3, 2012

At some point last year, I noticed that the Google snippets for search results pointing to my photo section at this site were incorrect. Instead of listing helpful content, they instead showed page navigation information. Here’s an example:

Monkey Album Snippet
Google Snippet Example

Note how in this example, the snippet lists the links that appear in the navigation section of my site. That’s clearly unhelpful to users who find my content through search engines. As a result, I’m trying to fix this issue. Today, I made a change to include appropriate meta description tags on each page. The tags are as follows:

  • All “static” pages (list of albums, list of collections, and favorites) now use a suitable static page description
  • Album pages use the album description itself for the meta tag contents
  • Image pages use the image’s alt-text for the page description

I’m not sure if duplicating the content (in the case of the album description) is a wise decision or not, but I don’t know what else to put there. I suppose I could truncate the data to maybe 150 characters, but that might seem strange on a Google search result page. Do you have any suggestions for how search results of this type should appear? Any ideas would be welcome.

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