Google says search result snippets primarily come from page content, not other sources

by | Jan 8, 2024 | Digital Marketing, Google SEO, SEO

The recent update by Google clarifies that the snippets featured in Google Search results are primarily derived from the content on the page, rather than from structured data or meta descriptions. This clarification comes as Google updated its snippets control help document, aiming to provide better insight into the sources of the search result snippets.

According to Google, the previous wording mistakenly indicated that structured data and meta description HTML elements were the main sources for snippets. The updated snippets control help document now states that Google primarily relies on the content on the page itself to automatically determine the appropriate snippet. However, Google may also use descriptive information in the meta description element when it better describes the page compared to other content on the page.

In addition to emphasizing the use of page content for determining snippets, Google has also removed all references to rich results from the document. While most users may already be aware that page content is the main source for search result snippets, it is important to note that there are instances where Google may use other HTML elements for snippets. Nevertheless, the majority of snippets are derived from visible content on the pages.

Ultimately, the clarification from Google serves to provide webmasters and SEO professionals with a better understanding of the sources of snippets in Google Search results. By focusing on the page content as the primary source for snippets, website owners and developers can craft their content to better align with Google’s algorithms, potentially leading to more accurately represented search result snippets.

This update underscores the importance of optimizing on-page content, including meta descriptions, to ensure that they effectively convey the desired information to users and search engines. By aligning with Google’s approach to determining snippets, website owners can enhance the visibility and representation of their content in search results, ultimately improving the overall user experience and increasing the likelihood of attracting organic traffic.

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