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Google‘s latest ‘Search for Beginners’ video is a crash course on how to create effective snippets for search results.
Given that the information is geared toward beginners, what’s covered in the video may already be known to experienced SEOs.
If you’re new to SEO, or want to refresh your knowledge of search snippets, here is a quick recap of the video.Importance of Search Snippets
A Google search snippet is more than just a meta description. A “snippet” refers to both the title and description, as well as other important information about the web page.
Beyond a title and description, a snippet could include:
Date the page was published
Author of the page
Price of a product
Whether a product is in-stock or not
And so on
Page titles should describe what the page has to offer, while a good description is a one or two sentence summary of the content on the page.Google’s Recommendations: Writing Titles & Descriptions
When writing page titles, avoid vague terms like “home” for home page. Also avoid long titles as they may be truncated in search results
Use descriptive terms in titles, but don’t be repetitive or use excessive synonyms. Doing so could look spammy to Google and searchers.
Using unique titles for each pages is important. Many content management systems allow you to manually enter your own page title.
See: SEO Best Practices: How to Create Awesome Meta DescriptionsHow Google Generates Search Snippets
The snippets you see in search results are auto-generated by Google. Snippets aim to emphasize the content on a page that best relates to a user’s specific search.
The same page might show different snippets depending on the searcher’s query. Google tries to pick a relevant and helpful title and description.
That means, even if you manually write out all your titles and descriptions, Google may still choose an alternative depending on the query the user entered.
There are two ways of influencing hot Google generates a snippet: rich results and meta description tags.
This video focuses on only on meta descriptions, as a separate video was already made about rich snippets.Google’s Recommendations: Meta Descriptions
Google says a good meta description is a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about.
Google suggests thinking of a meta description as a “pitch” to convince a potential customer to visit your website. As such, they should be distinctive and relevant to each page.
There’s technically no limit to how long a meta description can be, but they will be truncated in search results as needed.
For more guidance on search snippets, see Google’s full video below:
You're reading Google Seo 101: Here’s How To Update Your Search Results Snippets
SEO is a term known to anyone who is doing online business today. As everything being digitalized, there are simply no ways that a person can do business without having a website. Whether it is a business site or for individual showcasing site, it helps especially with the marketing part of the business. With every passing year the world of SEO and SEO rules seem to be ever evolving to be better and fit everyone.5 SEO Rules to Dominate Online Search
If anyone is looking to dominate the SEO field, there are certainly many ways that one can use to reach their goals. That’s being said, there are only some that will stand out. In this article we will be tackling some of the SEO rules one can use to dominate the online search results.1. Page Loading Speed
If you want your SEO strategy to be a success, then ensure that the speed of your pages is fast enough. If the loading speed is slow then be sure the ranking of the site won’t be as high. Most of the giant search engine companies have an objective of offering better customer experience. This will directly match how the site is ranked in search results. Google included page speed as one of the ranking criteria. The slower the pages on your site, the lower the ranking the site will get on the search engines.
One can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to look and improve the loading speed as required by the search engine. Improving the page speed of the site will also increase the potential visibility of the site. There are also tools like GTmetrix and Pingdom that you can use to assess the speed of the pages on the site.
Below are some of the basic rules to increase the page loading speed:
Try to adopt accelerated mobile pages (AMP).
Ensure to have responsive site design.
Compress content on your site.
Have good quality hosting to reduce server response time.2. Mobile Responsiveness
There has been a tilt in how people use internet in the world today. As opposed to previous years, where most people were using PCs to access the internet, nowadays people are using their mobile phones to access the internet. In fact statistically, the number of mobile searches is by far outpacing that of the desktops.
Mobile Friendly Score
If you want to hack it on the SEO field, then ensure that the site is responsive on all devices. This is an important SEO rule to get success with this digital world. Failure to do so, will affect the ranking of your site, as others will improve their site’s competitiveness. So, before looking at your site on the desktop, check out the mobile friendliness score and ensure to offer rich user experience.3. User Experience
Most people think that user experience doesn’t affect the ranking of a site in search engines. This is because they feel that the search engine companies will not have enough data to understand the design of all the sites to find out about the user experience. But, search engines got wiser a long time ago and only want to present the site with the best user experience with higher rankings.
There are ways that can help ensure that your site has the best user experience.
Use breadcrumbs in the navigation if you have large number of categories on your site.
Reduce the graphics in the site, only use where necessary.
Ensure that the main menu of the site is easy to use.
Group the content on the site with categories, tags and other relevant methods.
Avoid too many pop-ups.
Make use of tools like Chrome user experience report to check and optimize your site.
You can always combine SEO strategy with latest marketing trends to get optimized results.4. Quality Content
The impact of quality content on any site can never be overstated. If you want the site to stand the chance of getting into higher rankings, then you should be able to produce quality content. The consistency of producing and posting such content should also be observed so as to gain trust with the potential viewers of the site. Modern search engines, especially Google, are improving their capabilities of identifying great content and separating them from the weak content.
Producing quality content also has many other benefits:
Quality content will invite the visitors to be more engaged and also, they will easily share the content.
You will get trusted visitors who can be turned in to a potential long-term customer.
Over the period, you can easily form an online community.5. No Black Hat Methods
The important thing to sustain in the online world is to follow the good rules. You can checkout the webmaster guidelines and follow them on every activity you do. In other words, avoid black hat SEO methods at any cost, which may spoil all your effort. Below are some of the traditional black hat SEO techniques you should avoid to rank high.
Keyword stuffing – adding the keyword many times in the article unnecessarily. Also include the keywords using white color font or smaller font sizes.
Spam backlinks – spamming forums, social networks and blogs with links.
Traffic exchange – participating in free or paid traffic exchange programs.Conclusion
As written before, there are many ways you can use to dominate the SEO world. But, with the ever-changing field, one has to keep up with the speed at which things change. In addition to the traditional methods of managing meta description and title, follow the above given measures to ensure the site gets the desired ranking.
Google set blogs and webmasters ablaze in coverage last week with their changes in Toolbar PageRank, which was cast aside by some and taken quite seriously by others. It looks like this week, there may be an update of much more importance going on at Google, in their search result rankings.
Google has just cranked up the dial for domain name relevance, it seems.
I have a fairly new website (about a year old) in a very competitive area with millions of search results. The site has only about 100 pages. PR2. Hardly any backlinks. No link campaigns. No optimization. But it’s a single-word dn in .net, e.g., chúng tôi (I bought it in the aftermarket hoping search engines would dig it.)
Once again there has been an update and as usual I lost another 30% of my traffic from Google. Soon it’ll be down to nothing and that is without me doing anything except adding more pages, fixing some typo’s and a few layout fixes.
Yes, there definitely has been an update or algo movement yesterday. My first guess is that there has been some movement on dup content filtering measures.
Strong domains and duplicate content filtering being tweaked in the Google algorithm? Possibly.
One fear last week would be that since Google lowered the PageRank of some sites that it suspected as passing paid link juice, the target sites which were linked to from those sites would lose some kind of ranking.
Hopefully this will not be the case, but if it does happen the full effect of a PageRank (yeah, I know it’s only the toolbar) ‘penalty’ would be heard from the top on down to the bottom. Google does have a knack for keeping things exciting, don’t they?
If you want more specific results in Google, these Google Search Operators will surely help you. From getting a time-specific result to selecting the file type, you can do everything with the help of the following Google search tips and tricks.Useful Google Search Operators
Using Google search operators, you can get specific results like:
Find time-specific result
Select the type of file
Find website specific result
Force an exact match
Check the cached version
Find pages with a particular word in the title
Find pages with a particular word in the URL
Find the map of a location
Find location-specific result
Exclude a term from the search result
Let’s check out these operators in detail.1] Find time-specific result
If you are trying to find news or you want to find something that was published a specific time back, you should use this filter. You do not need to type this operator as Google offers a user-friendly option to select the time range as per your requirement.2] Select the type of file
If you are trying to learn something online or finding a book and you need a PDF for that, you can make use of this filter. All you need is to tweak your regular search term a bit.your-keyword filetype:file-extension
let’s assume that you want to download a PDF related to Windows 10. For that, you can enter the search term like this-windows 10 filetype:PDF 3] Find website specific result
If you want to search for something on a specific website, but the provided search box seems to be broken, you can use Google as a substitute. You need to use the site search operator. It should look like this-4] Force an exact match
At times, you might not get what you are trying to find, as Google can show all the results based on the search term. However, if you use double inverted commas around your keyphrase, it will show the exact match results. For example, you want to find IKEA office tables. For that, you should enter the search keyword like this-“IKEA office tables” 5] Check the cached version
If you are trying to open a website, but it is down as of now, you can use the cached version. On the other hand, if you are a website admin and you want to check the last date of Google crawl, you can make use of the cache search operator, like this for example-6] Find pages with a particular word in the title
If you want to read some news articles about a specific event, you can use this search operator. It helps you find all the pages with a desired word in the title.
For example, you want to find all the pages that have “Windows 10” in the title. For that, you need to enter the search term like this-intitle:windows 10 7] Find pages with a particular word in URL
It is almost the same as the intitle search operator. At times, you might need to find all the webpages that have a particular word in the URL. For that, you can use the inurl: operator. The process is the same as before.inurl:search-term
If you want to include “Windows” in the URL, you need to enter the keyword like this-Microsoft inurl:windows 8] Find the map of a location
Although Google Maps shows the map of almost any location in the world, you can get a quick preview in the Google search as well. All you need is to use the map search operator. You need to enter the keyword like this-map:your-location
The only problem with this map is that you cannot find direction. It shows only popular businesses, cinema halls, public transports, etc. To find the direction from one place to another, you must use Google Maps.9] Find location specific result
If you want to get all the results about an event of a specific location in the world, you can use the location search operator.
At times, you might want to get some news articles related to an event that took place somewhere. To find all the news related to that event, you can enter a search term like this-keyword location:location-name 10] Exclude a term from the search result
Let’s assume that you want to get results for a keyword, but you want to exclude a particular word at the same time. At such a moment, you can use the minus sign. In the end, it looks like this-Search keyword -exclusion
For example,Google maps -navigate
It should show all the Google Maps related result,s but you cannot find the word, navigate, in the Google search result page.
These are some Google search operators that you may find useful.
Google mysteriously began showing the wrong result for Twitter on Thursday December 6, 2023. Multiple theories on why immediately popped up. The real reason turned out to be surprising and also led to even more questions.Google Shows Wrong Title for Twitter
I discovered this earlier in the day and didn’t think about it until I saw a tweet by Bill Hartzer (@bhartzer) about it on Twitter, where he asked,
“Why is Google showing a random Twitter account in the SERPS for Twitter?”
The most immediate suspect was that a rogue hacker had hijacked Twitter and was redirecting it.
Another theory pointed the finger at Google, that it was Google’s fault.
Google’s become so complex, it wasn’t entirely unreasonable to assume that Google was the culprit. Google accidentally removed an entire website from the index just a few days ago.
When you reverse the search and search for the ReallySlowMotion Twitter account, here is what Google showed:Who was to blame?
Ex-Googler Pedro Dias (@pedrodias) suggested the culprit might be canonicals. In the world of SEO, canonicals are like the butlers in those mystery novels who always seem suspicious.
“Probably, for some reason Google chose that url as canonical for Twitter root URL.”Cache Adds to the Mystery
Then another clue made the whole mystery clear as mud.
Here’s what Martin tweeted:
“The canonical, on the non JS enabled version of the desktop twitter homepage (that took a while to actually get to) points at the wrong page for some reason.”
And there you have it! The answer may be that Twitter is showing the wrong canonical.Twitter Title Mystery Solved?
How did that wrong canonical end up on Twitter’s home page?
Was Twitter hacked?
Was it an innocent mistake?
What has been suggested is that Twitter’s canonical tag is incorrect. How that happened is a mystery.More Resources
Google published a new video offering six tips for how to make ecommerce sites eligible for special presentations in the search results.
The video began by highlighting three key elements that help ecommerce product pages stand out:
Images help site visitors understand products
Star ratings increase trust
Pricing and availability helps shoppers choose between sellers
Some of those elements depend on product structured data to make them eligible for enhanced listings, while others require participation in Google’s Merchant Center Feed.1. Title Tags
Kent discusses title links, the links shown in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) that are generated from webpage title tags.
He explains that if the title element doesn’t adequately describe what the webpage is about that Google will rewrite it, using content from the heading at the top of the page or even the anchor text from links to the webpage.
“A good title link can greatly help users understand your offering, bringing quality traffic to your site.
…Low quality title links can harm a users’s impression of your site.”
Alan cautions against using dynamically generated title tags to add availability or price data to the title tag because there’s a lag between when the title tag is updated and when Google eventually shows the updated title link in the SERPs. By this time, the information may be outdated.
He recommends using a Google site: search to double-check what the title tags might look like when displayed in the search results.2. Include High Quality Images
High quality images are a user experience consideration in that they help potential customers make up their minds about a product.
Alan Kent shared:
“We’ve observed that users generally respond well to high quality images and recommend that key images be at least 1200 pixels wide.”
He recommends auditing the site for low quality images and replacing them with higher quality photos.
Lastly, he encourages using product structured data to help Google identify the correct images to show in the search results.
Many businesses consider things like images in terms of how they may help their webpage rank better in the search results.
But it’s more productive to consider product images in terms of how they help users decide to purchase a product.
That means if there’s a question about the size of the product, then it might make sense to juxtapose the product with an everyday object approximately the same size.
Different angles can be helpful, as can showing what clothing looks like on a model, what furniture may look like in a room, or how fencing might look attractive in a yard.3. Share Rich Product Data
Structured data helps Google better understand webpages and makes them eligible to be displayed as rich results, what he referred to as “special presentation treatments” in the search results.
The following are essential elements for product structured data to include:
Check Google’s product structured data guidelines to see what properties are required and which are optional. The structured data guidelines are constantly changing, which can cause a product page to lose its enhanced listing in the search results when the structured data no longer conforms to Google’s requirements.
For troubleshooting, use the Search Console URL Indexing tool to check if the page is indexed and then use the Rich Results Test Tool to see if there are any structured data errors.4. Share Price Drop Data
Appearing in the search results with a special price drop presentation isn’t guaranteed.
To make a page eligible for price drop rich results, you must include the Offer property in the product structured data that is a specific price point and not a price range.5. Identify Products You Sell 6. Create a Business Profile
Lastly, Kent recommends creating a Google Business Profile if the business has a physical presence.
“This can be done via the Google Business Profile Manager.”
Following this tip makes a site eligible for a special listing alongside the search results.
This type of listing is only available for businesses with a physical store presence or a covered service area.Citations Resources cited
Control your title links in search results
Robots.txt meta tag specification
Google Search gallery of structured data usage
Product structured data, including pricing information
Register your Google business profileWatch the Google YouTube Video
How to Make Your Ecommerce Website Stand Out in Google Search (6 Tips)
Featured image screenshot by the author
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