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Often I'll be searching for something in google, and see a particular snippet in the short description that catches my eye.

But when I open the web page, the text in question is hidden behind some kind of "Click Here to Expand"-type javascript action. This text is also hidden from the Ctrl+F search.

Is there any way search this text? I normally use chrome, but techniques for IE or Firefox would be cool as well.

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5 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Try using Right-Click-> View Page Source, then Ctrl-F in the Page Source window will find the text if it is there.

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Page source ftw. –  Ryan Thompson Oct 4 '09 at 5:48
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Google uses the <meta name="Description" ... > in the "snippet", if you include one. N.b. it doesn't consider that content when calculating the relevance of a page, but only to pretty up the search results display.

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If you're using Firefox, hit CTRL + U to view the page's source. In Internet Explorer, go to View -> Source.

Then, you should be able to find whatever text your looking for (usually contained within an HTML element). The element is hidden by JavaScript setting the element's display style to "none".

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If you happen to have a text-based browser like links installed, you can simply:

links -dump $URL-that-has-what-you-want
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I often click to view the "cached" google version, as it highlights my search terms. Some sites change fairly regularly and it's not uncommon for the google snippet to no longer exist at all!

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In addition, it is fairly common for sites to serve a different site version to the Googlebot based on its identification tag to try to improve rankings or simply lure people to their site. Perhaps even include information to the Googlebot that is entirely lacking for regular browsers without paying (yes, this happens). The cached version at Google by its very design does include this information, though. –  Daniel Andersson May 18 '12 at 14:24
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