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 subject of why Google search is so bad explained that it wasn’t Google that was bad it was the Internet. Then she opined that one of the factors for keeping users on Google is due to the fact that the web isn’t constantly an excellent experience.

Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer was employee # 20 at Google. She played crucial roles in practically all of Google’s major products, including Google search, local, images, and AdWords, to name a few.

She left Google to end up being president and CEO of Yahoo! for five years.

Mayer was not just there at the start of Google but played a role in shaping the company, which gives her an unique viewpoint on the business and its thinking, to some extent.

What is the Reason for Zero-Click SERPs?

Marissa Mayer appeared on a current Freakonomics podcast that was on the subject of, Is Google Becoming Worse?

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

She asserted that if the search results page are even worse that’s just since the Web is worse.

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

They’re called zero-click because Google shows the information a user needs on the search results page so that the users receive their answer without having to click through to a website.

Google formally states that these search functions are developed to be valuable.

Marissa Mayer believed that another motivation to keep individuals from clicking to a website is since the quality of the Internet is so bad.

The podcast host started the conversation with his analysis of what included snippets are:

“One method Google has attempted to fight the general decrease in quality is by supplementing its index of a trillion web pages with some content of its own.

If you ask an easy question about cooking or the age of some politician or star, or even what’s the best podcast, you may see what Mayer calls an ‘inline outcome,’ or what Google calls a ‘featured snippet.’

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

Mayer provided her opinion that Google might be “reluctant” to refer users to websites.

She explained:

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

And to me, you know, that indicate a natural stress where they’re saying,

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

Individuals may view that and state,

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

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

I believe that the problem is truly difficult.

You might not like the manner in which Google’s fixing it at the moment, however given how the web is altering and developing, I’m not exactly sure that the old method, if reapplied, would do in addition to you ‘d like it to.”

What Is the Inspiration Behind Included Bits?

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

Google’s aid files describe:

“We show featured bits when our systems identify this format will help individuals more quickly find what they’re looking for, both from the description about the page and when they click on the link to check out the page itself. They’re specifically valuable for those on mobile or browsing by voice.”

Marissa Mayer’s viewpoint matters since she played a key function in forming Google, from Browse to AdWords to Gmail.

Undoubtedly she’s just offering her opinion and not specifying a fact that Google is hesitant to send traffic to sites due to the fact that the quality of the Web is bad.

But could there be something to her observation that Google is just a mirror which websites today are not excellent?

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

Of those eight updates, 6 of them updates were spam updates, handy material updates and item evaluation updates.

The majority of Google’s updates in 2022 were developed to get rid of low quality web content from the search engine result.

That focus on weeding out low quality sites aligns with Marissa Mayer’s view that the Web today has lots of low quality content.

The history of Google’s algorithm updates in 2022 complies with Marissa Mayer’s observation that web content is bad which it impacts the quality of search engine result.

She said that she gets a sense that Google may be “concerned about some of the low-grade experiences out online,” and that is among the reasons it might be “reluctant” to send traffic to websites.

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


Listen to the Freakonomics podcast here

Is Google Worsening?

Included image by Best SMM Panel/Koldunov