Matt Cutts Discusses Snippets

    November 26, 2007

First impressions are important, and as people, we prove ourselves with handshakes and “hello”s.  In Google’s search results, websites are represented by a paragraph or so of information, and the company’s own Matt Cutts recently took a few minutes to discuss these snippets.

His video, which was made in Google’s Kirkland offices, delves into the anatomy of a snippet.  Here’s the good news: according to the head of Google’s webspam team, “The majority of the time you have a great deal of control about how things get presented.”  And there really is no bad news.  Cutts just encouraged experimentation as a way of maximizing clicks and conversions.

Cutts noted that, in many cases, Google uses a site’s meta description tag to form its snippet; therefore, changing the tag may be the fastest way to alter a snippet.  At the same time, Cutts stated, “We do try to find the most relevant parts of a page,” so it might be a good idea to poke around Google Experimental to get an idea of where the search experience is headed.

This will likely include a lot of sitelinks; Cutts spent several moments focusing on those.  Sites that aren’t currently blessed with them needn’t worry, however, as Cutts explained that they are “completely algorithmic.”  Also, to address a more specific concern, he made clear that nobody pays money to get them.

Assuming you’ve got eight minutes to spare, the entire of the video is worth a watch; aside from this useful information on snippets, it contains an SEO tip or two.