Ex-Googler On Featured Snippets: Google is More Reluctant To Send Users Out Into The Web

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Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer in a podcast on the subject of why Google search is so bad explained that it wasn’t Google that was bad it was the Web. Then she opined that a person of the reasons for keeping users on Google is because the web isn’t always an excellent experience.

Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer was staff member # 20 at Google. She played crucial functions in virtually all of Google’s significant items, including Google search, regional, images, and AdWords, to name a few.

She left Google to end up being president and CEO of Yahoo! for 5 years.

Mayer was not only there at the beginning of Google but contributed in forming the company, which gives her an unique viewpoint on the company and its thinking, to some extent.

What is the Reason for Zero-Click SERPs?

Marissa Mayer appeared on a recent Freakonomics podcast that was on the topic of, Is Google Becoming Worse?

In one part of the podcast she firmly insisted that Google search is just a mirror and does not develop the low quality of the search results.

She asserted that if the search results page are worse that’s just since the Internet is even worse.

The podcast then proceeds to go over highlighted bits, what some in the search marketing neighborhood call zero-click search results page.

They’re called zero-click because Google reveals the details a user requires on the search results page so that the users get their answer without needing to click through to a site.

Google officially says that these search features are designed to be valuable.

Marissa Mayer believed that another motivation to keep people from clicking to a site is because the quality of the Internet is so bad.

The podcast host started the conversation with his analysis of what featured snippets are:

“One way Google has actually attempted to combat the overall decrease in quality is by supplementing its index of a trillion websites with some material of its own.

If you ask an easy concern about cooking or the age of some political leader or star, and even what’s the very best podcast, you may see what Mayer calls an ‘inline outcome,’ or what Google calls a ‘featured


It’s a little bit of text that answers your question right there on the search-results page, without any need to click on a link.”

Mayer provided her viewpoint that Google might be “hesitant” to refer users to websites.

She described:

“I believe that Google is more hesitant to send users out into the web.

And to me, you understand, that indicate a natural tension where they’re saying, ‘Wait, we see that the web in some cases isn’t a fantastic experience for our searchers to continue onto.

We’re keeping them on our page.’

Individuals may perceive that and say, ‘Well, they’re keeping them on the page because that assists them make more money, provides more control.’

But my sense is that current uptick in the number of inline results is because they are concerned about some of the low-quality experiences out on the web.

I think that the problem is truly difficult.

You might not like the manner in which Google’s solving it at the moment, but given how the web is changing and progressing, I’m not exactly sure that the old technique, if reapplied, would do in addition to you ‘d like it to.”

What Is the Motivation Behind Featured Snippets?

The factor Google offers for providing highlighted bits in the search results is that they are hassle-free for users.

Google’s help documents explain:

“We display featured snippets when our systems determine this format will help people more easily find what they’re seeking, both from the description about the page and when they click on the link to check out the page itself. They’re especially practical for those on mobile or browsing by voice.”

Marissa Mayer’s viewpoint matters since she played a key function in shaping Google, from Browse to AdWords to Gmail.

Clearly she’s only offering her viewpoint and not mentioning a truth that Google is hesitant to send traffic to websites because the Internet is that bad.

However could there be something to her observation that websites are not very good?

Think about that in 2022, there were 8 formally acknowledged Google updates.

Of those eight updates, six of them updates were spam updates, handy content updates and item review updates.

The majority of Google’s updates in 2022 were designed to eliminate poor quality internet material from the search results page.

That focus on extracting low quality websites aligns with Marissa Mayer’s view that the Internet today has plenty of low quality material.

So the history of 2022 Updates type of verifies Marissa Mayer’s view that web content is bad which the only way to enhance search is by improving web material.

Provided what Marissa Mayer states she gets a sense of, that Google might be “concerned about some of the low-grade experiences out on the internet,” could that play a bit part in a few of the choices that Google makes with regard to included bits?

It’s tough to believe that this might be an inspiration for highlighted bits.

However perhaps Mayer is stating out loud what Googlers say in personal.


Listen to the Freakonomics podcast here

Is Google Worsening?

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Koldunov