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

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Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer in a podcast on the topic of why Google search is so bad described 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 because the web isn’t always an excellent experience.

Ex-Googler Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer was staff member # 20 at Google. She played essential roles in essentially all of Google’s significant products, including Google search, local, 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 start of Google however contributed in forming the company, which gives her an unique viewpoint on the company and its thinking, to some extent.

What is the Factor for Zero-Click SERPs?

Marissa Mayer appeared on a current 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 only a mirror and does not produce the low quality of the search results.

She asserted that if the search engine result are worse that’s only due to the fact that the Internet is worse.

The podcast then carries on to talk about highlighted snippets, what some in the search marketing community 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 officially says that these search features are created to be helpful.

Marissa Mayer opined that another inspiration to keep people from clicking to a website is due to the fact that the quality of the Web is so bad.

The podcast host started the conversation with his interpretation of what featured bits are:

“One method Google has attempted to fight the total decline in quality is by supplementing its index of a trillion web pages with some content of its own.

If you ask an easy question about cooking or the age of some political leader or star, or perhaps what’s the best podcast, you might see what Mayer calls an ‘inline outcome,’ or what Google calls a ‘featured bit.’

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

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

She discussed:

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

And to me, you know, that indicate a natural tension where they’re stating,

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

People might view that and state,

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

However my sense is that current uptick in the variety of inline outcomes is because they are worried about a few of the low-quality experiences out online.

I believe that the issue is really hard.

You might not like the way that Google’s solving it at the minute, however provided how the web is changing and progressing, I’m uncertain that the old technique, if reapplied, would do in addition to you ‘d like it to.”

What Is the Inspiration Behind Featured Bits?

The reason Google provides for supplying highlighted snippets in the search engine result is that they are hassle-free for users.

Google’s assistance documents discuss:

“We show featured bits when our systems identify this format will help people more quickly find what they’re looking for, both from the description about the page and when they click the link to read the page itself. They’re particularly handy 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.

Certainly she’s just providing her opinion and not specifying a fact that Google is hesitant to send out traffic to sites due to the fact that the quality of the Internet is bad.

However could there be something to her observation that Google is simply a mirror which sites today are not very good?

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

Of those eight updates, six of them updates were spam updates, practical material updates and product review updates.

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

That focus on extracting poor quality websites aligns with Marissa Mayer’s view that the Internet today has lots of poor 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 impacts the quality of search engine result.

She stated that she gets a sense that Google may be “worried about a few of the low-grade experiences out on the internet,” which is among the reasons it might be “hesitant” to send traffic to websites.

Could Marissa Mayer be saying out loud what Googlers might not state in public?


Listen to the Freakonomics podcast here

Is Google Worsening?

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Koldunov