Ex-Googler On Featured Snippets: Google is More Hesitant To Send Users Out Into The Web

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Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer in a podcast on the topic of why Google search is so bad discussed that it wasn’t Google that was bad it was the Internet. Then she opined that a person of the reasons for keeping users on Google is due to the fact that the web isn’t constantly a great experience.

Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer was staff member # 20 at Google. She played essential roles in practically all of Google’s major items, consisting of Google search, local, images, and AdWords, to name a few.

She left Google to become president and CEO of Yahoo! for 5 years.

Mayer was not only there at the beginning of Google but contributed in shaping the business, which offers her an unique viewpoint on the business and its thinking, to some extent.

What is the Factor for Zero-Click SERPs?

Marissa Mayer appeared on a recent Freakonomics podcast that was on the topic of, Is Google Worsening?

In one part of the podcast she firmly insisted that Google search is only a mirror and does not produce the low quality of the search engine result.

She asserted that if the search results are even worse that’s only because the Internet is worse.

The podcast then moves on to discuss highlighted snippets, what some in the search marketing community call zero-click search results page.

They’re called zero-click because Google reveals the details a user requires on the search results page so that the users receive their answer without having to click through to a site.

Google formally says that these search features are created to be helpful.

Marissa Mayer believed that another inspiration to keep people from clicking to a site is due to the fact that the quality of the Web is so bad.

The podcast host started the discussion with his interpretation of what included snippets are:

“One way Google has attempted to eliminate the total decline in quality is by supplementing its index of a trillion web pages with some material of its own.

If you ask a simple question about cooking or the age of some politician or star, or perhaps what’s the best podcast, you may see what Mayer calls an ‘inline result,’ or what Google calls a ‘highlighted snippet.’

It’s a little text that addresses your concern right there on the search-results page, without any need to click on a link.”

Mayer used her opinion that Google might be “hesitant” to refer users to sites.

She explained:

“I believe that Google is more reluctant to send users out into the web.

And to me, you understand, that points to a natural tension where they’re saying,

‘Wait, we see that the web often isn’t an excellent experience for our searchers to continue onto. We’re keeping them on our page.’

Individuals might perceive that and state,

‘Well, they’re keeping them on the page because that assists them make more money, gives them more control.’

However my sense is that current uptick in the variety of inline outcomes is because they are worried about some of the low-quality experiences out on the internet.

I believe that the problem is actually tough.

You may not like the way that Google’s solving it at the minute, however offered how the web is altering and evolving, I’m unsure that the old technique, if reapplied, would do along with you ‘d like it to.”

What Is the Inspiration Behind Featured Bits?

The reason Google offers for providing highlighted bits in the search results page is that they are practical for users.

Google’s aid documents describe:

“We display featured snippets when our systems determine this format will help people more quickly find what they’re looking for, both from the description about the page and when they click the link to check out the page itself. They’re specifically helpful for those on mobile or searching by voice.”

Marissa Mayer’s opinion matters since she played a key function in shaping Google, from Search to AdWords to Gmail.

Clearly she’s just providing her opinion and not stating a reality that Google is hesitant to send out traffic to websites because the quality of the Internet is bad.

However could there be something to her observation that Google is just a mirror which sites today are not very good?

Consider that in 2022, there were 8 officially acknowledged Google updates.

Of those eight updates, six of them updates were spam updates, helpful content updates and product review updates.

Most of Google’s updates in 2022 were developed to get rid of low quality web content from the search results.

That concentrate on extracting low quality websites aligns with Marissa Mayer’s view that the Web today is full of low quality content.

The history of Google’s algorithm updates in 2022 conforms to Marissa Mayer’s observation that web content is bad which it affects the quality of search results page.

She said that she gets a sense that Google might be “worried about a few of the low-quality experiences out online,” which’s one of the reasons why it might be “hesitant” to send out traffic to websites.

Could Marissa Mayer be saying aloud what Googlers might not say in public?


Listen to the Freakonomics podcast here

Is Google Getting Worse?

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Koldunov