Or this one?
Both of these examples show snippets from websites that are divisions of the
same corporation. Why does one snippet look deliciously clickable while the other
looks more like a Dadaist poem? Stay tuned:
• How snippets work
• Check your snippets
• Your snippet makeover
How Snippets Work
A snippet is text taken from a web page and shown when that page is listed in the
search results. All four of the major search engines currently use snippets for many (but
not all) search results. The most important thing to understand about search result
snippets is that they are different depending on what keyword has been searched. For
example, a Google search for the term “animal cloning” returns this snippet.
While a search for the term “animal cloning dolly” returns a different snippet
for the same web page.
Notice how each snippet includes the keywords that were searched? That means
a search for your company name will return a much different snippet than a search for
another of your target keywords will, even if both results point to your home page!
The specifics of how snippets are chosen vary for each search engine, but here
are the basic rules:
• In general, the search engine finds the first instance of the searched keyphrase in
the visible text on the page and displays it along with roughly 50 to 150 charac-
ters of surrounding text.
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