Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Google Wants to Act Like a Start Up

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I just saw this Google snippet while trying to fine one of our old posts and it was *so* awful that I had to share it.

This is an area where Bing was out in front of Google & used a more refined strategy for years now before Google started playing catch up last fall.

Google ignored our page title, ignored our on-page header, and then use the ‘comments’ count as the lead in the clickable link. Then they follow it with the site’s homepage page title. The problem here is if the eye is scanning the results for a discriminating factor to re-locate a vital piece of information, there is no discrimination factor, nothing memorable stands out. Luckily we are not using breadcrumbs & that post at least had a somewhat memorable page URL, otherwise I would not have been able to find it.

For what it is worth, the search I was doing didn’t have the words comments in it & Google just flat out missed on this one. Given that some huge % of the web’s pages has the word “comments” on it (according to the number of search results returned for “comments” it is about 1/6th as popular online as the word “the”) one might think that they could have programmed their page title modification feature to never select ‘comments’ as the lead.

Google has also been using link anchor text sometimes with this new feature, so it may be a brutal way to Google-bomb someone. It is sure be fun when the political bloggers give it a play. ;)

But just like the relevancy algorithms these days, it seems like this is one more feature where Google ships & then leaves it up to the SEOs to tell them what they did wrong. ;)

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