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The anatomy of a standard search snippet
The standard Google search snippet has changed over the years, but in essence all the key elements are still there:
These days, Google will do its best to show the meaningful URL path (almost like a breadcrumb) instead of simply the URL of the page. This consists of:
Google used to rely on the page title to generate the title of the search snippet, but it has been rewriting that part more and more often recently.
That being said, it is still recommended to optimize your title to include keywords and entice more clicks — and hope Google will keep it intact.
Google has been generating the search snippet description for years without using the associated meta description: recent studies show that Google ignores meta descriptions in about 70% of cases.
You may still want to create meta descriptions in case Google needs some clues, but expect them to figure this part out on their own.
Another way to try and trick Google into using your chosen snippet description is to create concise summaries of the content and add it at the beginning of the article.
Rich snippets are search snippets enhanced with some additional details. Web publishers can control rich snippets by adding schema markup, so they are thus under website owners’ control.
Structured snippets are less popular than rich snippets, even though they are very common on search.
Structured snippets import tabular data to formulate a more informative search snippet.
All it takes to qualify for this type of a snippet is to create an HTML table. It is a good idea to use tables for summaries, feature comparisons, lists, etc.
Image thumbnails are very rare on desktop. Yet on mobile devices, images show up inside most search snippets.
Dates in search snippets are important clickthrough factors.
Google has clear guidelines as to how publishers can keep dates fresh:
Mini sitelinks are probably the most unpredictable element of a search snippet. Google may randomly pick links from navigation, tag, or category links, etc. There’s also no way to tell Google they made a poor choice.
They can be generated for just about any result out there.
Mini sitelinks represent a very useful feature, because they increase your odds that your search snippet will get a click (by adding more clickable links to your snippet).
To increase your chances that Google will show mini sitelinks in your search snippet use an on-page table of contents (through HTML anchor tags).
Featured snippets were officially considered the #1 organic result (previously they were “position zero” — appearing before the top organic result).
Digital Marketer Welcome to my Deepstash where I share ideas I find most valuable for those who wish learn more about digital marketing!
Google search result pages are becoming more diverse and even interactive. How much control do writers and content creators have over how their content is represented in search? As it turns out, they do have quite a few options when it comes to optimizing their search snippets!
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