Ex-Googler On Featured Bits: 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 discussed that it wasn’t Google that was bad it was the Web. Then she opined that a person of the factors for keeping users on Google is since the web isn’t always a great experience.

Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer

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

She left Google to become president and CEO of Yahoo! for five years.

Mayer was not just there at the start of Google however played a role in shaping the business, which provides her an unique viewpoint on the company and its thinking, to some degree.

What is the Factor for Zero-Click SERPs?

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

In one part of the podcast she firmly insisted that Google search is only a mirror and does not produce the low quality of the search engine result.

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

The podcast then moves on to go over featured bits, what some in the search marketing neighborhood call zero-click search results.

They’re called zero-click since Google shows the info a user needs on the search results page so that the users receive their answer without having to click through to a site.

Google formally says that these search functions are developed to be handy.

Marissa Mayer believed that another motivation to keep individuals from clicking to a website is since the quality of the Web is so bad.

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

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

If you ask a simple question about cooking or the age of some politician or actor, or perhaps what’s the very best podcast, you might see what Mayer calls an ‘inline result,’ or what Google calls a ‘highlighted snippet.’

It’s a bit of text that addresses your concern right there on the search-results page, with no requirement to click a link.”

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

She described:

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

And to me, you know, that points to a natural stress where they’re stating,

‘Wait, we see that the web sometimes isn’t an excellent experience for our searchers to continue onto. We’re keeping them on our page.’

People may view that and state,

‘Well, they’re keeping them on the page since that assists them make more money, gives them more control.’

But my sense is that recent uptick in the number of inline results is due to the fact that they are worried about a few of the low-grade experiences out online.

I think that the problem is truly tough.

You may not like the way that Google’s resolving it at the moment, however provided how the web is changing and developing, I’m uncertain that the old approach, if reapplied, would do in addition to you ‘d like it to.”

What Is the Inspiration Behind Featured Snippets?

The factor Google offers for supplying featured snippets in the search results page is that they are practical for users.

Google’s help files discuss:

“We show highlighted bits when our systems determine this format will assist individuals more easily discover what they’re seeking, both from the description about the page and when they click the link to check out the page itself. They’re particularly practical for those on mobile or searching by voice.”

Marissa Mayer’s opinion matters because she played an essential role in shaping Google, from Search to AdWords to Gmail.

Certainly she’s only offering her viewpoint and not stating a truth that Google is hesitant to send out traffic to sites because the quality of the Web is bad.

However could there be something to her observation that Google is just a mirror which sites today are not great?

Consider that in 2022, there were 8 officially acknowledged Google updates.

Of those eight updates, six of them updates were spam updates, useful material updates and item review updates.

The majority of Google’s updates in 2022 were created to eliminate low quality web content from the search engine result.

That focus on removing low quality sites aligns with Marissa Mayer’s view that the Internet today has plenty of low quality content.

The history of Google’s algorithm updates in 2022 conforms to Marissa Mayer’s observation that web content is bad and that it affects the quality of search results.

She said that she gets a sense that Google may be “worried about some of the low-grade experiences out online,” and that’s one of the reasons that it might be “reluctant” to send out traffic to sites.

Could Marissa Mayer be stating out loud what Googlers might not say in public?


Listen to the Freakonomics podcast here

Is Google Worsening?

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