homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.167.238.60
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32 ( [1] 2 > >     
New at Google - Longer Snippets and Search Refinements
pageoneresults




msg:3877688
 3:43 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Two new improvements to Google results pages
[googleblog.blogspot.com...]

More and better search refinements
Starting today, we're deploying a new technology that can better understand associations and concepts related to your search, and one of its first applications lets us offer you even more useful related searches (the terms found at the bottom, and sometimes at the top, of the search results page).

Longer snippets
When you enter a longer query, with more than three words, regular-length snippets may not give you enough information and context. In these situations, we now increase the number of lines in the snippet to provide more information and show more of the words you typed in the context of the page. Below are a couple of examples.

 

maximillianos




msg:3877784
 5:42 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Interesting. Longer snippets could mean less click throughs if the user is able to get the info they are searching for from the snippet.

randle




msg:3877794
 5:54 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

regular-length snippets may not give you enough information and context. In these situations, we now increase the number of lines in the snippet

Interesting, will they take that snippet from the meta description? Should we rethink the character limitation of 140?

nealrodriguez




msg:3877795
 5:55 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Longer snippets could mean less click throughs if the user is able to get the info they are searching for from the snippet.

some of the sentences in which one of the words is written are broken up with ellipses; others are complete sentences, but i am sure the complete sentence will persuade a user to want to know more information not covered in the sentence or queried keywords. the snippet length is limited to about 4 lines.

gouri




msg:3877796
 5:55 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have noticed over the past few days that for terms that I search in Google the related searches were showing different phrases than I was used to seeing.

I think they may have been testing this since sometime last week.

pageoneresults




msg:3877797
 6:00 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Should we rethink the character limitation of 140?

I don't think there was ever a limitation on the meta description. It is recommended that you keep it to 255 characters or less. I use meta descriptions that easily fall into the 200 character mark. As long as the most important stuff is in the first 140/160, you're good to go.

I think the Longer Snippets are a great feature. And yes, I also think that there will be less click-throughs for some sites. < Those who fail to optimize the areas that Google is extracting the Snippet from.

We know Google use meta descriptions in many instances. Maybe it is time to stop listening to all the SEOs out there who say that this meta description is of little value. As of this moment, it just became a very important element in the new Snippet equation. Not to mention site structure when viewing source. What exactly do you have sitting right after that <body> element?

Merc




msg:3877811
 6:09 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have noticed these longer descriptions for about two weeks now, mostly at weekends. But most "peculiar" of all, it's that sometimes they would only start showing up from the 4th or 5th page, not on the first three.
I thought that may be was a "way" for G. to give a more fair chance to the "further from the top" pages... as if "emulating" the real world in a way (meaning that first things seen need to have a "quick" impact, while things presented further in... need to have their own "space" to create that impact).
Anyway, if these longer descriptions are also showing on the first pages... my "theory" goes out the drain but it would be nice to see something of the kind.

randle




msg:3877818
 6:18 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't think there was ever a limitation on the meta description.

Yes, no limitation on the size of what you can write, but they only display 140 characters including spaces.

Maybe it is time to stop listening to all the SEOs out there who say that this meta description is of little value.

Itís always had huge value; the trick is in controlling what gets displayed.

nealrodriguez




msg:3877826
 6:34 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I also think that there will be less click-throughs for some sites.

maybe; but seeing a complete sentence with both words queried invites me to click into a search result for info of which i didn't even think.

g1smd




msg:3877849
 7:11 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

*** Maybe it is time to stop listening to all the SEOs out there who say that this meta description is of little value. ***

However, I don't remember any widespread touting in this forum that it was and/or is of little or no value - not at anytime in the last quite-a-few years.

The title and meta description are both critically important. It is the keywords tag that hasn't been all that useful so far this century.

pageoneresults




msg:3877861
 7:35 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Itís always had huge value; the trick is in controlling what gets displayed.

That would be the key right there and my experience shows me that you have a lot of control in this area. Don't leave it up to the SEs to generate Snippets if you can help it. IPW descriptions and front loaded pages will have a major influence on those 2, 3 or 4 lines of snippet showing.

Whenever I see snippet challenges for websites, first thing I do is view source. 10 out of 10 times the content after the <body> element is not focused and the SEs have a difficult time digging deeper (further down in source) into content to generate snippets. That means if your targeted phrase is appearing in navigation that is first in source, guess what the snippet is going to look like? :(

oddsod




msg:3877871
 7:52 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Next "improvement": an expanding snippet that includes the whole destination page so the user doesn't have to leave google.

Robert Charlton




msg:3877876
 8:03 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Also see...

New Google Search Options: Sort SERPs by recency, page type, wonder wheel, or timeline
[webmasterworld.com...]

nomis5




msg:3877891
 8:27 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Regarding what there is after the <body> element. Let's be clear, in a natural world you would have the page header which would not contain any meaningful snippets. Then, if your nav is below the header or on the left, the code would show next. That's always been the way.

I hope it's not being suggested that we engineer our pages so that the snippet appears unatuarly (code wise) immediately below the <body> statement?

Nope, Google defintely are not THAT stupid. Yes there will be ways to influence (not control) what appears in the snippets, but not by positioning selected words just after the body statement.

ZydoSEO




msg:3877898
 8:39 pm on Mar 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

The first improvement makes me think it's getting more important than ever to not only focus on your major keyword phrases but instead to also focus on clusters of related keyword phrases. IMO it would likely improve click-thrus and conversions if you ranked in the top 10 for not only a particular keyword phrase but also for some or most of the related keyword phrases that Google will be displaying. If the consumer keeps seeing your site show up under several of the related keyword phrases, they would be more likely to click because you'd be seen as more of an authority in the users eyes.

I have been trying to do this for some time, but now that Google will be steering users to particular related phrases, a growing percentage of consumers will be more likely to pick one from the list and less likely to enter their own related phrase manually as they refine their searches.

It will be interesting to see which related phrases Google comes up with for particular searches. I wonder how closely they might coincide with the related keyword phrases displayed in Googe Insights ( [google.com...] ) for the last 30 or 90 days.

[edited by: tedster at 11:35 pm (utc) on Mar. 24, 2009]
[edit reason] make link clickable [/edit]

AjiNIMC




msg:3878213
 3:43 am on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hmm... (I haven't gone through whole discussion), I have done some tests and here is how they are showing the longer snippets.
  1. Search for "widgets" - it has one word, so they search for the word and show a 2 line snippet.
  2. Search for "widget in webmasterworld", they still show 2 line snippet as they are able to get both the words in 2 lines
  3. Now search for "widget in webmasterworld with ajinimc" , now it will show 3 lines for some sites and 2 lines for some sites depending on whether they are able to find these 3 words in the 2 lines or 3 lines.
  4. Now keep adding words to "widgets in webmaster with ajinimc" and it will keep lengthening the descriptions to accommodate the important words in the snippet.

Anyway for us it doesn't matter as we were practicing it for many years :),

Maybe it is time to stop listening to all the SEOs out there who say that this meta description is of little value.

:) 99% of SEOs says what they hear from others and 1% of them who experiment and know the benefits are too busy doing it.

2clean




msg:3878303
 8:34 am on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm guessing that this is preparing the way for formatting changes to Adwords.

JS_Harris




msg:3878316
 9:03 am on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

What's all this "stop listening to SEO's" stuff? I for one was prepared for this change, all of my descriptions are long and strong. 140 Characters of call to action goodness and this is going to improve my results further. Thanks G!

As for the new wonder wheel, bring it on too! I am so all over that.

Folks, for months and years you've read about SEO, dreamed SEO, talked SEO, tested SEO and felt the pain when it went wrong... All of these new features require you not only to learn even more but you had better have your basics down cold. I KNEW spending so much time learning and testing would pay off !

I'm actually excited with this, it's a whole new set of possibilities, kinda like someone finally took the training wheels off. Over 90% of the sites I visit can't even get a basic internal link structure down right so I imaging there will be some pain too for some.

Any word on when the sortable options will remain active ?

marketingmagic




msg:3878397
 11:48 am on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Trying to check this out from Canada and Google.ca is down where I am. .com works fine - anyone else seeing this? 748AM EST.

pageoneresults




msg:3878409
 12:13 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I was reading a few articles yesterday that spawned from this Google Announcement. One of those articles used a title with "Google Rolls out Semantic Search Capabilities" and for the life of me, I cannot tie Semantic Search Capabilities with these two changes from Google. Can someone help me? That word semantics just doesn't mean the same to many people and I want to find out if you would classify this as a Semantic Search Rollout.

AjiNIMC




msg:3878417
 12:26 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Can someone help me? That word semantics just doesn't mean the same to many people and I want to find out if you would classify this as a Semantic Search Rollout.

No, not at all. I felt that this is a plain and simple feature. Please give [webmasterworld.com...] a check. You will find it to be a simple feature.

2clean




msg:3878428
 1:03 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Semantic web is the idea that computers, and by extension the web, will be able to think for themselves and we as humans will be able to dump a load of tasks at this intelligent machine. Sounds perfect and very appealing which is why everyone flogs it as much as possible but it's a myth, much like PPC advertising and the idea that SEO is dead ;)

tedster




msg:3878487
 3:07 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

As I understand it, the semantic part is in the search refinements. They employ not only literal text matches and word stemming but also phrases that are related only by meaning (sematnics), and not necessarily by having similar character strings.

Shaddows




msg:3878509
 3:34 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Not only "related by meaning" but understanding a word in context.

So, for eg, a page is exclusively hitting a keyword "apple".

One searcher is looking for "itunes". Another is looking for "cider".

The "apple" page will rank (albeit poorly) in one set of SERPs but not the other EVEN IF neither itunes nor cider appears on the page.

So, the "semantic rollout" would be covered with this refinement:
Starting today, we're deploying a new technology that can better understand associations and concepts related to your search, and one of its first applications lets us offer you even more useful related searches
[emphasis mine]

inbound




msg:3878513
 3:36 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Semantic Search, to me, means a system which has looked at the meaning of pages it has crawled - not just the word occurences and co-occurences. An example would be 'understanding' something like "we do not do widget cleaning" and excluding that page from a set of rusults for "widget cleaning".

There are also many instances where context is vital to 'understanding' the query/source data. A system that can understand "Many customers have dirty widgets, we offer a cleaning service for them." to match "widget cleaning" would be getting closer to the holy grail of semantic search.

As it stands, the related searches feature is just statistics - based on a lot of data. It's not rocket science - in fact I have created a system which does a pretty good job of doing the same thing (within the scope of Local Search), and testing shows that we give 'related searches' of a similar quality - so I'd say Google are not showing all of their cards here (as I'm not daft enough to think that 1 person can come up with a better feature than the combined data/resources of Google).

Shaddows




msg:3878517
 3:43 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Before anyone appeals to backlinks and anchor text...

OBVIOUSLY backlinks and anchor text is going to 'help' in the categorisation. The point is Google will have pre-discovered list of associations independant of the backlink profile.

I suspect this semantic componant will tie in somewhere with google bombing (backlink association exists where semantic doesn't) and the OOP (statistically low co-occurance with semantically related concepts)

suzukik




msg:3878668
 6:31 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Also see...

New Google Search Options: Sort SERPs by recency, page type, wonder wheel, or timeline
[webmasterworld.com...]

Below are screen shots and a video.
[blogoscoped.com...]
(Let me put a specific URL here; seeing is believing.)

texasville




msg:3878782
 8:46 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have been seeing this for a while now. I have noticed when running queries on sites I manage that the query result on 4 word key phrases are returning snippets from two different parts of the page that has been returned. For instanceon one site I have products we sell and lower down the page I have events that go on in different cities around the state.
The purpose of this was to inter associate the geographic area we target with our products.
The new serps are producing that product searched for and another snippet about the city and the event. So if someone searched green widgets for sale in someplace, state it produced the above referenced.
It's time totake serious the amount of content on ecommerce type sites. Metas may not have anything to do with it in the near future. I think googles new technology is combining semantic linguistics with whole page digestion.

anallawalla




msg:3878828
 9:54 pm on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

The Blogoscoped article contains a cookie that you can set on your browser to view these tests for yourself. For non-Americans, note that you have to use google.com to see this.

nealrodriguez




msg:3879400
 4:28 pm on Mar 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

The Semantic Web is an evolving extension of the World Wide Web in which the semantics of information and services on the web is defined, making it possible for the web to understand and satisfy the requests of people and machines to use the web content.


[en.wikipedia.org...]

it just means that they are facilitating the sourcing of data. semantics is defined in a dictionary as related to different meanings of words; maybe their expanded suggestion list can be better classified as semantic refinements.

This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32 ( [1] 2 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved