Just recently I noticed our Search Console CTR drop from 4% to 2%. I noticed that we had an ever increasing number of impressions, but despite the increase in impressions, our clicks had decreased.

At first, I chalked it up to bad luck or that we had an increase in indexed pages and maybe they were just showing up on lower spots on the pages leading to the CTR decrease, but overall clicks would not decrease too.

The CTR decrease all started around April 6th too. A few days after Google's new patch.

Next, I found the actual culprit. Google stopped using our meta descriptions and instead is just taking random chunks of text from our website and plopping it on the search results in a way not unlike how a person with a disassociative disorder speaks.

Here is an example:

Buy & Repair Bosch 0810 Valves | Visit Us Today For A Quote
Bosch 0810 valve repair services, we repair Bosch 0810 valves. We do emergency repairs ... Bosch 0810-091-222 Bosch 0810-091-226 · Bosch 0810-091-240

Versus one pulling from the meta description:

Bosch 0810 Proportional Valves - NCServo.com - Visit Us For A Quote!
Bosch 0810 Proportional Valves - NCServo.com - 1 Year Warranty Is Included - Visit Us Today For A Quote!

Presently I am using the following meta tag to curb the Google spiders behavior:

<meta name="robots" content="noodp, noydir, nosnippet, index, follow" />

I just added the following line, nosnippet. I believe the chunks of text that Google is adding might be snippets.

My big question is, what are the effects of using the nosnippet tag? I've heard that it removes the cache as well as prevents snippets from being used in your searches. My assumption is that these little chunks of text that are being selected are snippets, however, I wanted to reconfirm this to be correct.

Will adding a nosnippet tag help with this issue?
Will adding a nosnippet tag make the cached pages unavailable in search results?
Will adding a nosnippet only affect pages with schema or special data?
Is there another tag I could better use to address this problem?

1 Answer 1


The nosnippet tag does prevent caching, but it also prevents a snippet from showing up under the clickable title of you page in SERPs, thus basically devaluing your carefully written descriptions and giving them no chance to show up, correctly or otherwise. If you want to prevent caching, I recommend using noarchive instead, which will do just that, and only that. Furthermore, you can leave out the noodp and noydir meta tags, as both directories are defunct, making the tags obsolete. Thus, your tag would probably serve you better this way:

<meta name="robots" content="noarchive, index, follow">

But as for the issue you're facing, unfortunately our meta tags are more of a suggestion to search engines of how we want our content to display in SERPs. The engines still have the final say. Google looks at your page, reads the content and the metadata, and decides how to show your snippets. It can change your snippets a little bit, or a lot, or not at all. This is why it's important to pay attention to page architecture, the sections of your page's HTML, and the structured data that appears on the page. It's also important to write unique title and description tags for every page, to the extent possible.

While I can't say exactly why Google pulls from your tags on the product page but makes up its own description on your home page, it's certain that on your product page Google has decided that the description is a good representation of what's on the page, whereas on your home page it thinks it can make up a more unique or representational snippet itself.

Part of this could be the redirect from the URL you specified above to your actual home page URL; perhaps it still references that page. Perhaps it's the conflicting descriptions in your meta tag versus your JSON-LD at the bottom of your source code. Hard to say from a bird's eye view, but the best way to get Google to display the snippet you want is, from my experience, to experiment. Write different description tags, update page copy, try different variations of JSON-LD scripts on your pages, resubmit the page to be recrawled in your GSC. Experimentation is how you'll eventually get it right.

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