Posted September 29, 2008 10:02 am by with 19 comments

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According to Google, you likely fall into one of three distinct categories.

  1. You like the description "snippets" in Google’s results just the way they are.
  2. You’d rather not see any text snippets–you want just the page title.
  3. Like Billy Idol, you want "more, more, more" text in your snippets.

If you don’t conform to any of the above, you likely won’t care for Google’s latest micro-test–where you get to choose just how much description text is shown alongside a result.


  • This is an excellent idea by Google. They’re encouraging their users to customize search results, and by extension they’re encouraging website operators to customize their listings. Both actions will make Google stickier. Google is heading towards 80% of the US keyword search market, pretty clearly.

  • Not only do I want more, more, more … but I want it with a rebel yell.

    When Google can do that for me, then I’ll be impressed.

    Ami Ohayon’s last blog post..From Jerusalem to Boston

  • Frank Reed

    I think this is a great feature especially since there looks to be a way to make it fit your personal tastes quite easily.

  • I hope most of web sites can benefit from this idea.

  • PS3

    That is one massive snippet, the only problem is that they will end up with two or three pages per result!

  • It seems like Google is updating every day, this will be a cool new feature and it would make Google customizable so everyone will be happy

  • Is this trying to break the hold of reliance on the meta description field? In other words, by not knowing the length of the display description, it’ll be best for the website owner to rely on Google to choose the snippet for the website?

    Just a thought…

    I might have read into it too much though 😉

    sheppy’s last blog post..SEO for your landing pages

  • More more more would just clutter the hell outa the page.

    Dennis Edell’s last blog post..Important Tip: FREE Will Cost You In The Long Run – Do You Agree?

  • PS3

    @Sheppy – I’ve notice that search results on a couple of my sites display different snippets depending on the search term.

    I have no control over that and the snippet can be taken from anywhere on the site it seems.

    To be fair, the snippets do actually appear to be relevant to the search, so not a bad thing.

  • Yes, Description Snippets plays an key role in SEO.
    This posts needs to be considered when working on SEO.


  • I doubt how many will really read that description??

    SEO Forums’s last blog post..CPM question

  • It seems to me that most users would elect to display LESS text for the snippet so their pages wouldn’t be huge (too much to read = waste of time). If this hypothesis is true, then webmasters need to even more carefully edit their description tags and on-page copy for relevance.

  • Ty

    Trying to figure out what Google is doing?? This example site does not have a meta description tag, so it is pulling off the content….?
    So will the descrip tag become obsolete?

  • I think this is brilliant. If some people don’t want to see any description they can view a simpler list. If anyone cares to discern between one page and another, they have choices.

    Frankly, I see a point in time when so many sites are optimized that you could conceivably get ten results back with the same exact titles, or at least similar enough that title alone is not even close to being enough to provide an understanding of which link to go to as per “most relevant”.

    The process of relying on quality meta descriptions helps, yet even then, it’s less than ideal given it’s limits.

    The notion that Google can grab a snippet that’s only a smidgen of information and expect to get the right content is ludicrous.

  • muskoka

    well, by the time the users make the choice small medium large-that extra click could have taken them to the web page! Nope, search has to be boom data bing!If spider daddy finds meta desc tags duplicative then it can default to choosing its own snippets from parags or titles with -guess what-keywords!!!!!! :))

    Thanks for reading.

  • Label me in category 3. I need snippets.

  • This is a bad idea. It will take up so much space. The current length is good enough.

  • That’s interesting – I hadn’t seen this… I think I prefer the smaller snippet, but I’m also wondering whether they will still use any existing meta description, even if it’s short…

    Peter Coughlin’s last blog post..When Do You Stop Working On a Website

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