Google’s search snippets look slightly different when you put quotes around your queries. Learn more about what’s changing in today’s announcement.
“We’re making quoted searches better,” says Google Search software engineer Yonghao Jin in a blog post.
Now, when you put quotes around a word or phrase in a query, the snippet will contain an excerpt of text from the page where the quote appears.
Here’s an example of a snippet that may appear for a query containing “google search”:
Google notes that the bolding of the quoted text only appears in desktop search results.
Before today’s update, Google aimed to serve search snippets describing the page rather than identifying the quoted text.
“Creating a snippet around sections like that might not produce an easily readable description,” Jin continues.
Now, Google is listening to feedback from searchers who say they’d prefer to see where the quoted text appears.
What Does This Mean For Your Website?
Today’s update to search snippets for quoted text only impacts how results are displayed in Google. It doesn’t affect how webpages are ranked in Google.
However, this update could impact the number of clicks your pages receive from Google Search.
Google emphasizes that this change benefits searchers since they can get what they’re looking for easier and faster.
On the other hand, web publishers may not find the change as beneficial.
If searchers can get the excerpt they’re looking for directly in Google, isn’t that less of a reason to visit the page itself?
It’s too early to tell the impact this change will have on click-through rate if any, but it’s a concern that immediately came to mind when I read Google’s announcement.
Other Notes About Quoted Searches
Google’s new snippets for quoted searches may not appear when there are multiple quoted terms in the same query. If the terms are far apart from each other, Google will display one of them in the snippet.
If the quoted text appears several times on a page, Google will show the most relevant occurrence in the snippet.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that quoted searches don’t work for local results. If you enter a query with quotes that triggers a local box to appear, Google will not restrict results to pages that contain the quoted text.
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