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I've recently improved the description meta tag for my website to be more descriptive of the visited webpage. Today I decided to check Google and see if it has begun picking up these changes. It has, except it is omitting the commas from the numbers within the description. For example:

<meta name="description" content="Dar Vega lost their Wyvern worth 60,018,555,999.55 ISK.">

is displayed in Google Search as:

Dar Vega lost their Wyvern worth 60018555999.55 ISK.

However, Bing does not modify this at all.

What am I missing here? Why does Google remove the commas? Is there some SEO implication I don't know about?

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Have a look here for the reasoning. I suspect that your issue is the opposite. –  eyoung100 May 15 at 16:18
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@ECarterYoung: How does the linked article relate to this specific issue of commas being removed in the SERPs description? –  w3d May 15 at 17:04
    
Read the article. It specifically states that using a comma will remove google entity results, ie if i search for Dallas Texas, the First result will be a Google Map of Dallas Texas but if I search for Dallas Texas, I get the City Web Portal for Dallas Texas See Answer –  eyoung100 May 15 at 17:15
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@ECarterYoung: Exactly, searching with a comma affects Google Search results, with respect to Google entity results. But the OPs question is asking why commas are removed from the description that appears for his own site. Commas do appear in the search results for other sites (eg. Search for 1000000 and the first result has commas in numbers). The meta description is not used when indexing a site. –  w3d May 15 at 18:13
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Are you using a localized version of Google? If I search [million] I see meta descriptions with commas in the numbers. So I'm wondering if it might have something to do with some countries using commas in numbers, while others don't. –  nathangiesbrecht May 15 at 18:14

1 Answer 1

I checked several sites that contain large numbers in their SERP description. The pattern seems to be as follows:

  • When the description is being pulled from the meta description, it loses the commas.
  • When the description is being pulled from content on the page, it keeps the commas.

That seems to be how it works, though I'd be interested if anyone finds an example of that not being the case.

As to why it works like that, Google don't ever seem to have ever mentioned it so we are left to guesswork.

My suspicion is simply that a page's description will be saved in a different field in their database to the page's content. Presumably then one field has the numbers re-formatted before saving and the other does not. What you see in the listings will be the version of the description they have saved in their database.

If they were deliberately reformatting numbers for style reasons before display, then I'm sure they would do it on both the meta description and page content versions. They are probably simply unaware of this mild styling discrepancy (this post seems to be the only place where it is mentioned - so well spotted!).

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