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Sitelink demotion request not being honored

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Sitelink demotion request not being honored Russell Jensen 1/23/13 10:59 AM

I demoted the above link as a sitelink in Webmaster Tools several weeks ago but it is still showing in our sublinks for Lexingtonlaw.com. This is a problem is because the phone numbers are being displayed in our search results. We have a robust phone tracking system with dynamic phone numbers on that page. The sitelinks are displaying the wrong phone number most of the time and costing my channel a lot of money.

Additionally, I put this code around all the dynamic phone numbers on the page <!--googleoff: snippet-->855-456-8576<!--googleon: snippet--> but it doesn't seem to be taking the phone numbers out of the SERPS.

Is there any other way to get this link http://www.lexingtonlaw.com/about-lexington-law/contact-us.html demoted as a sitelink and to remove the dynamic phone numbers from the SERPS entirely? I don't want to de-index the page in the process.

Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Becky Sharpe 1/23/13 11:07 AM
Why not put the phone number on as an image and noindex the image? 

The sitelink demotion is a request - if Google determines that the page is one that is particularly useful to users it will be listed as a sitelink. You could, of course, noindex the page - that would fix it.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Russell Jensen 1/23/13 11:20 AM
Making the phone number an image was not an option because we would have to redesign the entire dynamic phone number system just for this one issue. That's a lot of cost and development time for not enough return. We can't de-index the page entirely because we have a high volume of people coming to that page via search results. We want people to find the page and click through to it instead of calling the phone number without clicking through.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Becky Sharpe 1/23/13 11:25 AM
The fact that you have a high volume of users who are looking for that page explains why Google is retaining it in as a sitelink. Inconvenient as it may be for you, as site owners we do have to remind ourselves that Google has user experience at the forefront of their consideration, not site owner preferences.

Having said that, demotion requests take quite some time to work through, so you may find in time it does disappear.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Tash Zen 2/1/13 10:20 AM
I wish google would let site owners have complete control over sitelinks demotion. Obviously there are many site owners who are dissatisfied with sitelink results, or at least add a text link "more results for x.com" for all sitelink results.

Google thinks it helps surfers which is ok but as a online store just like a retail store, we choose not to add in front of the store 4 links which makes no real sense, these are most visited pages probably but not best sellers, and it almost looks like we are suggesting 4 specific products, and confusing customers.

Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Becky Sharpe 2/1/13 10:28 AM
Google puts its users first and foremost. As webmasters that doesn't make us happy, but that's just the way it is and there's nothing we can do to change it.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Russell Jensen 2/1/13 10:37 AM
That phone number being in the search results is a disservice to our users. We have a dynamic phone number system that changes the phone number for ever different type of visitor that comes to our site. Google is serving up the WRONG phone number and our clients are calling the wrong place. This causes a lot of transferring within the phone system when someone calls us. It's NOT good for the user. If Google would give me control of this I could direct people to the right place. Saving us money in phone use an saving the client some pointless time on the phone.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Russell Jensen 2/1/13 10:40 AM
I would like to get a response from someone that could actually help me change this instead of a bunch of opinions why it should/shouldn't be changed. Opinions are great but like Obama promised, I need CHANGE.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Becky Sharpe 2/1/13 10:49 AM
Then your only solution is to put the phone number at the end of the contact details instead of first - that way it will be truncated and end in an ellipsis. As far as you are concerned it is the wrong number, but Google is just indexing what it finds.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Becky Sharpe 2/1/13 10:51 AM
I'm not offering an opinion, I'm giving you facts. If you don't want the page to appear as it does then just de-index it.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Russell Jensen 2/1/13 11:32 AM
This actually might work. Thanks for this.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Russell Jensen 2/1/13 11:33 AM
Like I said in the original post. De-indexation is not an option.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Tash Zen 2/1/13 1:59 PM
I understand google puts its users first and foremost, what about the information supplier like us, we are people too.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Becky Sharpe 2/1/13 2:43 PM
Sorry Russell, I didn't go back to your original question. I hope the re-writing works for you :)
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Becky Sharpe 2/1/13 2:45 PM
Tash, as webmasters we have to accept that Google is for users (which all of us are a lot of the time). 

When our sites are visible we have free advertising - if we want that we have to play be Google's rules. I think it's a price worth paying.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Russell Jensen 2/1/13 3:26 PM
I think it will work nicely. Thank you Becky. Now I just have to wait 4 weeks for a simple change to go through our development queue:)
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Becky Sharpe 2/2/13 2:52 AM
You're welcome - the joys or corporate!!
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Tash Zen 2/2/13 8:42 AM
Becky, or any other experts can you give me a suggestion too, will appreciate a solution.

For our website currently 4 of our product links appear as sitelinks without a textlink "more results from x.com"

This possibly makes our customers think we are suggesting these four products when all of our products work the same. I am aware that these 4 links maybe our most visited links.

We are an ecommerce health store but with our own products, so we are not at all comfortable that 4 links appear which are also not our best sellers or very special among our product links.

Now these product pages all have a page rank 3, only solution I can see at this point is to change file name and
Remove url for these product pages, or block googlebot. Because of this we have also moved our advertising to yahoo msn because as a small time brand/ecommerce store it does make a lot of difference for us how we present our website, or how it is presented by google.

Please help with any suggestions, or solutions. let me see if experts at google forums really can help.

Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored StevieD_Web 2/2/13 9:59 AM
@Tash

if you don't like the sitelinks produced by Google then you are free to demote the suggested sitelinks through WMT.

Sitelinks are automatically generated links that may appear under your site's search results. Learn more. If you don't want a page to appear as a sitelink, you can demote it. Only site owners and users with full permissions can demote sitelinks.

Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Becky Sharpe 2/2/13 10:34 AM
Stevie, demotion is only a suggestion to Google. If other evidence tells them that it is an important page to users they will override the demotion request. Like the canonical it is a request, not a directive.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored webado 2/2/13 10:51 AM
Then use javascript  to insert the phone number.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored StevieD_Web 2/2/13 12:02 PM
Yep, I know, suggestion

But as Google says:

If you think that a sitelink URL is inappropriate or incorrect, you can demote it. Demoting a URL for a sitelink tells Google that you don't consider this URL a good sitelink candidate for a specific page on your site. Google doesn't guarantee that demoted URLs will never appear as a sitelink, but we do consider a demotion a strong hint that we'll try to honor when generating sitelinks.




Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored webado 2/2/13 12:05 PM
You can achieve better results by actively controlling the indexable content rather than relying on suggestions and demotions.

Which is why I don't agree with dynamic phone numbers as in the case mentioned above. A page's indexable content has to be the same regardless how you arrive at it.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Tash Zen 2/2/13 1:24 PM
@ Stevie

I demoted sitelinks tens of times in the past few months, sitelinks demotion does not seen to be working for our site.

Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored StevieD_Web 2/2/13 2:30 PM
demotion is a suggestion.


Google says  we do consider a demotion a strong hint that we'll try to honor when generating sitelinks.

The demotion task is only a suggestion. A hint.  Not an absolute rule.  Google will override your suggestion if

A) they feel you made a horrible/drastic mistake (ie demoting the sitelink to your contact page)

B) if potential visitors often perform a navigational type query seeking that page (ie "contact info for example.com")

C) if your demotion suggestion would cause you to not have any sitelinks for a good/popular/complex/large site that could benefit from sitelinks.


Oh, and the demotion takes time to work its way through the system.


Since most sites benefit from having a good mix of sitelinks, I would not spend a lot of time trying to sculpt the available sitelinks and would rather spend my time developing and perfecting my on-page content.



Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored JohnMu 2/3/13 2:42 AM
Just to sum up the possibilities ...  As others have mentioned, Sitelinks demotions are demotions, not removals, so what you're seeing might be as expected (also, the changes are not immediate).

If you'd like to have text removed from the snippet, there are a few possibilities you might want to look into:
- use the "nosnippet" robots meta tag
- use an image (as others have suggested)
- use a robotted JavaScript file (also mentioned above)
- use a robotted iframe

The "googleon" / "googleoff" tags are only for Google Search Appliances (so if you're running your own, local search engine), not for web-search. 

Cheers
John
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Tash Zen 2/3/13 9:09 AM
John,

Thank you very much for your suggestions.

Russell Jensen 2/3/13 1:59 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Russell Jensen 2/3/13 2:01 PM
Oh, I think I just understood what you said. The googleon/googleoff is not for web search at all. I thought it only excluded other search engines like bing and yahoo.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored webado 2/3/13 3:19 PM
Now you got it :)


Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Tash Zen 2/4/13 10:31 AM
I was wondering if it is possible to use a meta googlebot nosnippet but still have the meta description appear because without the description it just looks strange.
Any experts can help please?
Russell Jensen 2/4/13 3:21 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Russell Jensen 2/4/13 3:22 PM
I THINK the "nosnippet" will override the other meta description. I could be wrong though. I would have to test that on one of my domains. It would be nice if that wasn't the case.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Tash Zen 2/4/13 4:00 PM
very true would be really nice if there was a flexibility to control individual sections of the snippet.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Russell Jensen 2/6/13 11:35 AM
The "nosnippet" meta tag worked almost instantaneously. Now that the phone number is taking out of the search results we will have to see what happens to CTR on that page. Thanks for the help.
Re: Sitelink demotion request not being honored Tash Zen 2/8/13 10:19 PM
for us the nosnippet tag removed the meta description but not the sitelinks. we may have to remove all sitelinks pages and change the url names to remove sitelinks. Not sure what is the point of sitelinks demotion weblink, very frustrated.
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