Now webmasters can control their content display on Google’s search list What does that mean? When you search for something, Google makes sure to give you relevant results. You see a title/headline in the result and other elements like image, video, text etc. with it. Google automatically identifies the content on your site and use it to show up in search results. You had no control over it. This led to the demand from webmasters for more control over listing on Google.

So now, Google’s New Snippet Settings now offers more flexibility to website owners.

Searches on Google depends on various factors like what is the category of your search and on what device you are searching.  Google automatically decides which content should be on the preview for snippeting. E.g., if you are searching for a bakery shop you may use thumbnail and ratings and not snippets text.  Alternately, if you are searching for a theatre show nearby, you will get the results directly on the search list.  This is possible because the publisher marks its page with structured data.

The setting works either through the set of robot Meta tags and HTML attributes.

What has changed?

Earlier you could have allowed or not allowed the content for snippeting, with this new setting you can tell Google about your preference for the snippet in a more refined way.

What are the new settings?

Following four Meta Tags can either be added to HTML Tag or you can specify via the x-robots-tag HTTP header. The new settings are:

  • “Nosnippet”- you are already aware of this option which has not changed. If you don’t want to show text for your page, use this tag.
  • “Max- snippet [number]” – This is a new Meta tag; through this you can specify a maximum text-length of character in a snippet.
  • “Max-video preview [number]” – This new Meta Tag allows you to specify the number of seconds for which animated video will run.
  • “Max image preview [setting]”- Specify the image size as large, standard or none with this new Tag. This helps to mention the size of the image preview for the image of your page.

Use these Meta tags in combined form for more convenience or use it alone. However, to use it in a combined way, see the example below.

<meta name = “robots” content = “max-snippet: 60, max-image- preview: small”>

Html attribute: “data= no snippet”

If you don’t want to use the Meta tag, you can use HTML attribute “data=nosnippet”. The benefit is, you can hide that part of HTML page which you don’t want to show in snippet.

About feature snippet and rich results

Google utilizes structured content to show rich results. Your feature snippet may not qualify if you don’t give a certain minimum number of characters. Your page may not qualify for featured snippets.

AMP large image– Google said that publishers who don’t want to use a larger thumbnail image when their page is shown up in results and discover, can use the above Meta setting to do so.  Use “standard” or “none”.

Ranking – Google will index, crawl and rank in the way it was doing, so it has nothing to do with ranking your page. Google just wants to improve users ‘experience for search.  This new feature gives flexibility to webmasters and SEOs to show or not to show up things in your search results snippet on Google.



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