Thursday, April 2, 2009

Longer Snippets in SERPs - Possible Problems

In late March Google released information regarding 2 new improvements with regards to Search Engine Page Results. It's the second that I'm going to focus on here.

When a SERP presents the organic results, the small description below the title is called a snippet, and Google have decided to lengthen the snippet for longer-tiled keywords - i.e. giving you a little more to read before you click through to the pages.
Google Logo - Barcelona SEO
This, for me, has 2 main implications. It's clear that this move has been taken by Google to improve the end user experience, to help the users find the right page faster. Google does not want a high bounce rate, or back click rate. If a Google user clicks on a result through the SERP, quickly sees that it's not what they're looking for and then clicks back to the Google SERP, this reflects bad not only on your site for the bounce rate, but also for Google as it's not providing the user with the correct result quickly enough.

So, this can work in a couple of ways. One is that it can improve your bounce rate - if people are clicking through from an extended snippet, it probably means that the page's content is sufficiently relevant for them to find what they're looking for.

Implication 2 is that you won't get clicked through at all. Obviously there will have bee steps taken so as to not be able to abuse the new extended snippet via keyword stuffing, etc. and Google will have taken care of that, but I think it just proves once again how much the content of your pages is so important as a global SEO/Internet Marketing strategy.

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