Ex-Googler On Included 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 explained that it wasn’t Google that was bad it was the Internet. Then she believed that one of the factors for keeping users on Google is because the web isn’t always a great experience.

Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer

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

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

Mayer was not just there at the start of Google but contributed in forming the company, which offers 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 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 develop the low quality of the search engine result.

She asserted that if the search results page are worse that’s just due to the fact that the Web is worse.

The podcast then moves on to talk about highlighted bits, what some in the search marketing neighborhood call zero-click search results.

They’re called zero-click due to the fact that Google shows the information a user needs on the search results page so that the users get their answer without needing to click through to a site.

Google formally states that these search functions are created to be useful.

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

The podcast host began the discussion with his analysis of what included snippets are:

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

If you ask a basic concern about cooking or the age of some political leader or actor, or perhaps what’s the very best podcast, you might see what Mayer calls an ‘inline outcome,’ or what Google calls a ‘highlighted snippet.’

It’s a bit of text that addresses your question right there on the search-results page, with no need to click on a link.”

Mayer offered her opinion that Google might be “reluctant” to refer users to sites.

She discussed:

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

And to me, you know, that points to a natural stress where they’re stating,

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

Individuals may view that and say,

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

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

I believe that the problem is actually difficult.

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

What Is the Motivation Behind Featured Bits?

The factor Google offers for offering featured snippets in the search results is that they are convenient for users.

Google’s aid files discuss:

“We show featured bits when our systems determine this format will assist individuals more easily discover what they’re seeking, both from the description about the page and when they click the link to read the page itself. They’re particularly helpful for those on mobile or browsing by voice.”

Marissa Mayer’s opinion matters since she played an essential role in shaping Google, from Search to AdWords to Gmail.

Undoubtedly she’s only using her opinion and not stating a reality that Google is reluctant to send traffic to websites since the quality of the Internet is bad.

However could there be something to her observation that Google is just a mirror and that sites today are not excellent?

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

Of those eight updates, six of them updates were spam updates, practical material updates and product evaluation updates.

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

That concentrate on weeding out poor quality websites aligns with Marissa Mayer’s view that the Internet today has lots of poor quality material.

The history of Google’s algorithm updates in 2022 complies with Marissa Mayer’s observation that web material is bad and that it impacts the quality of search results page.

She stated that she gets a sense that Google might be “worried about a few of the low-grade experiences out on the web,” and that’s one of the reasons it might be “reluctant” to send out traffic to websites.

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


Listen to the Freakonomics podcast here

Is Google Becoming Worse?

Included image by Best SMM Panel/Koldunov