I currently work on a site that has a quite dated search results page. We're looking at refreshing the design and have been conducting user testing which indicates that price and photos are the only things most of our users look at before deciding to click through to a product details page.
We currently carry a fair amount of other information on results including a snippet of the product description. Those snippets seem to contribute well towards our Google ranking on those results pages we allow them to crawl but users find them distracting.
It's worth noting that we don't allow crawling of all results pages. For example, we would have something like:
as a crawlable page but not
I'd like to do the right thing for users and remove all of the superfluous information from results but I'm worried about the impact on SEO.
So, my question is in two parts:
- What methods/processes can I use to assess the likely impact of removing the product descriptions?
- If the risk of damaging our ranking is high, what approaches can I use to minimise the visual noise of text while keeping the SEO value (we'd considered just showing one line and keeping the rest of our short description behind a 'read more' slider but I'm worried that could be interpreted as bad behaviour)?