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Yandex Introduces Interactive Snippets "Islands" To SERPs

 5:42 pm on Jun 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yandex, Russia's largest search engine, has announced significant changes to its Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) with the launch of interactive snippets called ‘Islands’. This new feature will speed up engagement with websites and services by allowing users to action their query – such as booking cinema tickets, making restaurant reservations or paying a bill – directly from the search page rather than through an organisation’s website.Yandex Introduces Interactive Snippets "Islands" To SERPs [company.yandex.com]
"Interactive snippets deliver a new level of user experience. Sitelinks are an outdated way of providing information and rich snippets are mere decoration. We know users want faster, more direct engagement with services, and interactive snippets mean businesses can better serve the needs of their customers by offering a shortcut to the ultimate search."



 6:53 pm on Jun 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

the launch of Islands does not mean Yandex will decide what information appears on the search page; that will be determined by the website owner who will be able to choose whether he or she wants to include interactive snippets, and if so, what they should look like.

Yo! Google! Ya listening?

Now, why a website owner would want to include such information is not perfectly clear to me...


 6:01 am on Jun 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

That might explain the unusual UA spotted recently:
66.249.83.nn - - [02/Jun/2013:20:59:32 -0500] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 301 236 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:6.0) Gecko/20110814 Firefox/6.0 Google (+https://developers.google.com/+/web/snippet/)"
They hit only the front door of one old site 3 or 4 times.


 6:48 am on Jun 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

No, the snippetbot's been around for ages. Well, long enough for me to ban it anyway ;) In spite of its name, it never picked up anything but the front page plus favicon.

:: detour to re-check ::

First sighting (by me), 29 March. Still comes by periodically to eat a 403. If you lock it out, it doesn't ask for the favicon. (Pretty droll in my case, because that wouldn't have been blocked.) I think it was its persistent snuffling around my test site-- which is 100% roboted-out-- that got it banned. Don't think anyone ever figured out what it's supposed to be for.


 7:47 am on Jun 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

the snippet user agent is used for urls shared on Google+ and it isn't a bot.
google calls it a "fetcher" which is an appropriate description.

http://developers.google.com/+/web/snippet/ [developers.google.com]
This service is different than the Googlebot that crawls and indexes your site. These requests do not honor robots.txt or other crawl mechanisms because this is a user-initiated request.


 8:02 am on Jun 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ah, now that you bring it up I do remember that description:

A post to Google+ that include a link renders a preview, or snippet, that contains the page title, a brief description of the page, and a thumbnail image.

How it contrives to render a thumbnail image when all it has ever downloaded is the raw html must remain an impenetrable mystery ... alongside the equally impenetrable mystery of who, exactly, would have put up a link to my test site.


 11:32 pm on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

:: bump ::

After forgetting all about this, I found a link while looking for something else. What it links to is a little bit of a mystery though:

The box at the top leads to a video. Russian with subtitles. I recommend clicking the "HD off" button, or you'll be there all day. (It killed Camino outright; I had to continue investigations in Safari.) If nothing else, it gives you a look at some Russian Matt Cuttses. Personally I think yandex comes out ahead. But they really should hire some women too.

The only other link I can find is
That's for webmasters, not users.

Anyone speak Turkish? You can see it in action at
Er, maybe.

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