Google gives website owners the ability to adjust how their content is previewed in search results. By default, Google always creates search snippets that match user requests and what type of device they are using.
However, previously, there was no room for adjustments – it was only possible to leave pieces of text or not allow it. Now, Google is introducing some methods that allow a smoother configuration of preview content displayed for web pages. These methods include using robots meta tags and also new type HTML attributes. The following is more information about each of these methods.
Configure Search Snippet With Meta Robot Tag
The content displayed in the search snippet preview can now be configured using the robots meta tag.
The following robots meta tags can be added to HTML pages, or specified via the robots tag-header HTTP:
“Nosnippet” – This is the option that exists to determine that you do not want pieces of text to be displayed for the page.
“Max-snippet: [number]” (New) – Specifies the maximum text length, in characters, from the snippet for your page.
“Max-video-preview: [number]” (New) – Specifies the maximum duration in seconds of the animated video preview.
“Max-image-preview: [settings]” (New) – Specify the maximum preview size of images to be displayed for images on this page, using “none”, “standard”, or “large”.
Also Read: 6 WordPress Rich Snippet Plugins to Increase Organic Traffic
The robots Meta tags above can also be combined, for example:
New HTML Data-nosnippet attribute
Google introduces a new way to limit which parts of the page can be displayed as a preview in search results.
The new “data-nosnippet” HTML attribute on the span, div, and section elements can prevent certain parts of the HTML page from being displayed in chunks of text in search results.
In other words – if you want to prevent Google from giving too much of your content in search results, this is the method you wish to use.
Here is an example:
Harry Houdini is undoubtedly the most famous magician who has ever lived.
In this example, if someone looks for questions like “the most famous magician,” the HTML attribute will prevent Google from giving an answer (Harry Houdini) in the search results.
What SEO and Website Owners Need to Know?
There are no changes to search rankings, this update will only affect how the snippet is displayed in search results. Google confirms this setting will not affect search rankings.
Depending on how the site owner chooses to configure this setting, there might be an impact on the CTR, which can then have an effect on traffic. But that is not related to search ranking.
When will this change take effect?
The preview settings for the robots meta tag will become effective in mid to late October 2019. It takes a week for the global launch to finish once it starts.
The HTML data-nosnippet attribute will be useful later this year. There is no specific time frame provided in that particular arrangement.
Will this new change affect how fruitful results are displayed? Content in structured data that qualifies for display as rich results will not be affected by this new arrangement.
Website owners already have control over the content displayed in rich snippet results with what they choose to put into the structured data itself.
How does this change affect the featured snippet?
The snippet that is displayed depends on the availability of preview content. So, if you limit the preview content too much, it may no longer be eligible to be shown as a featured trailer, although it can still be displayed as a regular trailer.
The minimum number of characters required for a featured trailer varies by language, which is why Google cannot provide the maximum length of a short trailer to ensure eligibility.
Can site owners experiment with snippet length?
The site owner can really adjust these settings at any time. For example – if you determine the maximum snippet length and then decide you prefer to show more extended snippets in search results, you can easily change the HTML attributes.