Google Has Been Messing Around With The Way It Displays Snippets In Search Results

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Google has been busy as usual making numerous changes to its search algorithms, and on Thursday, the company posted a big list of 65 changes it made during the months of August and September. 7 of these changes were related to the snippets Google shows on search results pages.

Google has refreshed the data is uses to generate sitelinks in snippets, and a few of them are related to titles specifically. Here's the list of snippets-related changes:

  • #83105. [project “Snippets”] We refreshed data used to generate sitelinks.
  • #83442. [project “Snippets”] This change improved a signal we use to determine how relevant a possible result title actually is for the page.
  • #82407. [project “Other Search Features”] For pages that we do not crawl because of robots.txt, we are usually unable to generate a snippet for users to preview what's on the page. This change added a replacement snippet that explains that there's no description available because of robots.txt.
  • #83670. [project “Snippets”] We made improvements to surface fewer generic phrases like "comments on" and "logo" in search result titles.
  • #84652. [project “Snippets”] We currently generate titles for PDFs (and other non-html docs) when converting the documents to HTML. These auto-generated titles are usually good, but this change made them better by looking at other signals.
  • #84211. [project “Snippets”] This launch led to better snippet titles.
  • #84460. [project “Snippets”] This change helped to better identify important phrases on a given webpage.

Speaking of snippets, Google updated its Webmaster Guidelines this week, and has some new stuff about rich snippets. You can read more about that here.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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