How Should I Treat Descriptions in Category Lists of Products on a Schema.org Enabled Site?

by dhaupin   Last Updated June 03, 2015 22:01 PM

Out site lists products in categories, with a choice between showing the children products in either grid or list mode. While in list mode, trimmed product descriptions are shown under the title of each. While in grid, no descriptions are shown. In the source, the list mode is always present, grid just hides the description with CSS. Our site has JSON-LD looping each product with Schema.org in the category list, and hitting the product page has even more schema available.

It used to be that Google would hit the pages, not be able to run js, and get thrown into seeing trimmed product desc by default. With more and more ability for Google to understand JS, I estimate that it is dropped into Grid mode since that is the "human default" way to see the page.

So how should I treat these category lists in regards to child descriptions? What kind of tactics do you use in your store for this? Some angles or thoughts are below:

  • Will Google still see the underlying product list with trimmed descriptions for each in the source, even though it has been forced into grid mode default via JS?
  • How long should those trimmed descriptions be in the traditional source to be effective, while avoiding duplicate-to-product or "too big source code" penalties? (currently its 200 chars)
  • How long should trimmed descriptions be in the JSON-LD to have maximum effect? (currently its 200 chars as well)
  • Should one (or both) of these 2 trimmed description potentials be larger than the other?


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