Ex-Googler On Featured Snippets: Google is More Reluctant To Send Out 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 Web. Then she opined that one of the reasons for keeping users on Google is due to the fact that the web isn’t always an excellent experience.

Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer was employee # 20 at Google. She played crucial roles in essentially all of Google’s significant products, consisting of 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 only there at the beginning of Google but played a role in shaping the business, which gives her an unique viewpoint on the business and its thinking, to some level.

What is the Reason for Zero-Click SERPs?

Marissa Mayer appeared on a current 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 engine result are worse that’s just since the Internet is even worse.

The podcast then moves on to go over highlighted snippets, what some in the search marketing community call zero-click search engine result.

They’re called zero-click since Google shows the info a user requires on the search engine result page so that the users get their response without having to click through to a website.

Google formally states that these search functions are designed to be helpful.

Marissa Mayer suggested that another motivation 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 bits are:

“One way Google has tried to eliminate the general decline 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 political leader or actor, and even what’s the best podcast, you might see what Mayer calls an ‘inline outcome,’ or what Google calls a ‘featured snippet.’

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

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

She described:

“I believe that Google is more hesitant to send out 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 terrific experience for our searchers to continue onto. We’re keeping them on our page.’

People may perceive that and state,

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

However my sense is that current uptick in the number of inline outcomes is due to the fact that they are worried about some of the low-quality experiences out online.

I think that the problem is really hard.

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

What Is the Inspiration Behind Included Snippets?

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

Google’s aid documents explain:

“We show featured bits when our systems determine this format will assist individuals more quickly discover 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 particularly useful for those on mobile or searching by voice.”

Marissa Mayer’s viewpoint matters due to the fact that she played a crucial role in forming Google, from Search to AdWords to Gmail.

Undoubtedly she’s just offering her opinion and not stating a fact that Google is reluctant to send out traffic to sites because the quality of the Web 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, 6 of them updates were spam updates, handy content updates and item evaluation updates.

Most of Google’s updates in 2022 were developed to eliminate poor quality internet content from the search results page.

That concentrate on weeding out low quality sites lines up with Marissa Mayer’s view that the Internet today is full of low quality material.

The history of Google’s algorithm updates in 2022 complies with Marissa Mayer’s observation that web material is bad which 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-quality experiences out on the internet,” and that’s one of the reasons it might be “hesitant” 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 Worsening?

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Koldunov