I am using Google Site Search on our site and am looking for a way to get our parts number to show on the results page when searched.

For example, if a user searches E23-457-123 or E45-65-322 or E11-23-567 I want the page specifically about our E part.

I was considering using CSS and hiding a <div> but I can't seem to get them to show up in the search results.

<div style="visibility: hidden">
    E23-457-123 E45-65-322 E11-23-567

Is there a better way?

  • Any ideas since the part numbers are not currently on the page and have about a hundred different specific part numbers per model? – DigitalAce7 Mar 24 '14 at 14:50

Hiding your text is a signal to Google to not index it. It's worth remembering that Google wants your web site to be a good user experience and part of that is having relevant text readable by humans. Hiding text looks like spammy behavior to Google and it will hurt your rankings. Don't do it.

That being said, this is a job for Microdata (aka Structured Data). If you properly add the microdata attributes on your product pages, you will be able to hint to Google to create Rich Snippets for your products (and they even tell you what they expect to see).

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  • I believe I understand the concept of Microdata or Structured Data but the problem is the part numbers are not on the page at all. The E part has about a hundred different part numbers because of different configurations. How can I implement this onto the website and make it searchable? – DigitalAce7 Mar 20 '14 at 13:53

I would not hide anything just in case of a penalty. I would promote the use of the part number into an element that search engines specifically look to for keywords such as URL (path/file name), title tag, and first h1 tag. Other elements may not give you the desired results, however, I would also consider using it within the description meta-tag too.

Remember there is a high to low order as to how search engines look at keywords. People have the natural tendency to use words in the order of importance from left to right (assuming English). Search engines examine this order though other linguistics patterns can trump this. This means that the most important keyword should be used first (or as close as possible) which is what I am recommending. Your part number would be recognized as a keyword, but not a dictionary term and therefore not reordered.

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You can provide data that will be indexed, but this means you have to explicitly list all values (you can keep them hidden).

While using meta elements for this purpose is possible, Google will only index up to 50 meta tags, so this will not work for "about a hundred different specific part numbers". (They don’t document that it would be possible to provide multiple values in one meta tag.)

PageMaps migh work for you:

Although the structured data is not visible to your users or to Google Web Search, Custom Search recognizes it when indexing your webpages and returns it directly in XML results or in JSON format in the Custom Search element.

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