Did you know that you can search for a specific word or phrase on Google by putting quotes around it? It’s a great way to get specific information about something you’re looking for. And on Thursday, Google announced what I think would be a nice improvement: the small snippets below the search result link will now be generated based on where the quoted term appears on the page.
The Google Blog post about change He has a good picture showing how this works in practice, which I’ve included below. Google’s “Search” and the two excerpts shown in the example include the bold phrase “Google Search”.
Previously, Google would show you results that included the quoted word or phrase, but the little snippet under the link might not show exactly where The phrase appeared on the page. In the blog post, Google’s Yonghao Jin explains why this happened and why the change was made:
In the past, we didn’t always do this because the excerpt sometimes appeared in areas of the document that weren’t suitable for creating useful excerpts. For example, a word or phrase may appear in the page menu item, where you can go to different sections of the site. Creating a snippet around sections like this might not produce an easily readable description.
We’ve heard comments that people doing quote searches would prefer to see it where The cited material appears on a page, not an exhaustive description of the page. Our improvement is designed to help address this.
As mentioned in the blog post, there are some caveats about quoted searches. Some text might be hidden in a meta description tag or alt text and not easily visible on the page, for example, or perhaps Google crawled a page when it contained a quoted term that has since been removed in an update. And Google bold quoted content “primarily” in webpage snippets on desktop – bold will not work with mobile results.