When search engines ( Google ) index a site, if there is no meta description available the corresponding search engine result will display the text on the page with matches the user’s search in bold text. If a meta description exists, it will override this functionality and display the meta description with matches ( if any ) in bold. Our client has instructed us not to use the meta description tag in favor the first option.
When a product does not have an explicit meta description, the first so many characters of the product short description are substituted. First off, this seems like duplication of content ( bad for SEO ) and reduces the chances that whatever the user has searched for will match in the search engine results ( bad for click-through ).
Diving into the code, it’s easy enough to find the function:
<meta name="description" content="<?php echo htmlspecialchars($this->getDescription()) ?>" />
Now where the heck is that function defined? More importantly, how can we change it to not use the product short description?