Retailers have new ways to control the display of their products in Google search results using robotic meta tags and an HTML attribute.
With these new methods of tagging product pages, retailers can customize search snippets to their liking.
Retailers can already use schema.org markup or Google Merchant Center to determine how their product should appear in search results.
However, Google may choose to display other on-page content that it finds through regular crawling.
Because of this, some retailers may want more control over how their product information is displayed.
Here are a few ways retailers implement controls to prevent products and product data from appearing on Google.
Don't show a snippet for products
Retailers can now use the “nosnippet” robot meta-tag on product pages.
This will prevent a snippet for the page from appearing in search results
Using the tag will remove all text, image, and rich snippets for the page on Google. It essentially removes the page from any free listing experience.
Here's a comparison of what a product page looks like on Google without the tag and with the tag.
Enter a maximum snippet length
Retailers can use the robot meta tag "max-snippet: [number]" to specify a maximum snippet length in characters.
If the structured data is larger than the maximum snippet length, the page will be removed from all free lists.
See an example below:
Set a maximum image size
Retailers can customize the product image that appears in their snippets using the Max-Image-Preview: [setting] robot meta tag.
Read on below
This meta tag allows retailers to set a maximum size of image previews to display for images on the page, using either "none", "standard", or "large".
Here's an example:
Prevent certain content from appearing in a snippet
The HTML data-nosnippet attribute allows retailers to specify a section of content that should not be included in a search snippet.
Note that if this attribute is applied to information related to price, availability, ratings, or the product image, the page will be removed from all free listing experiences.
Google's new opt-out mechanisms for retailers are in line with the attributes introduced for regular pages last year.
Read on below
These guidelines do not apply to information provided through schema.org markup or product data submitted through Google Merchant Center.
Before applying any of these settings, retailers must first remove all schema.org markup before the opt-out instructions can take effect.
The Google Merchant Center offers its own mechanisms to deactivate the appearance of products in Google.
According to Google, display restrictions do not affect the ranking of pages in search results.
However, excluding certain data from display may prevent the product from showing up in large results and other product results on Google.
These options are now available to retailers worldwide.