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While testing some queries to see how a few money SE questions are ranking in Google's search results, I came across the following. Witness:

      Google search engine entry for a question from which is highlighting the close reason as the "Top answer".

  1. Is this inference of a "Top answer" a feature of Google exclusively, or is it driven by metadata provided by the Stack Exchange question page, and Google is simply taking advantage of it?

  2. If the latter, i.e. Stack Exchange is providing "Top answer" metadata, wouldn't the above behavior constitute a (marketing) problem? The search engine result is citing the close-reason as the "Top answer". Not very inviting for a click-through?

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Nice catch. And ideally, it wouldn't be closed questions that show up, but I suppose it depends on your search. Eyeballs on closed questions are better than no eyeballs. – Matthew Read Dec 9 '11 at 20:27
up vote 4 down vote accepted

We are not providing Google any special metadata here...the HTML we give you is the HTML we give them (unless it's a route we don't want indexed, in which case we give them nothing, and it wouldn't even show up in Google's results).

This is definitely an issue on the Google side, along with answer counts.

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Pfff. It took me long time to realize you linked to, messing up with the world as I know it! ;-) Any chance the logo could be made different for that mini-site? – Arjan Dec 11 '11 at 12:44
(Oh, there were only 3 occurrences, which I now all changed.) – Arjan Dec 11 '11 at 12:50
Thanks for the answer. Thinking out loud: Is there any way, formal or informal, to report such a "bug" to Google? They evidently took the time to build "Top answer" inference into the SERP entries... and somebody should tell that guy about the rough edge. I don't personally know anybody at Google. – Chris W. Rea Dec 12 '11 at 18:13

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