Ex-Googler On Featured Bits: Google is More Hesitant To Send Out 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 believed 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 worker # 20 at Google. She played crucial functions in virtually all of Google’s significant products, consisting of 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 beginning of Google however played a role in forming the company, which provides her a distinct point of view 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 Getting Worse?

In one part of the podcast she 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 results page are even worse that’s only due to the fact that the Internet is worse.

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

They’re called zero-click because Google shows the information a user needs on the search engine result page so that the users get their response without needing to click through to a website.

Google officially states that these search functions are created 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 discussion with his analysis of what featured snippets are:

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

If you ask an easy concern about cooking or the age of some political leader or actor, or perhaps what’s the very best podcast, you may see what Mayer calls an ‘inline result,’ or what Google calls a ‘highlighted bit.’

It’s a little text that answers your question right there on the search-results page, with no need to click a link.”

Mayer used her viewpoint that Google might be “reluctant” 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 understand, that points to a natural tension where they’re saying,

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

Individuals may view that and say,

‘Well, they’re keeping them on the page since that helps them make more cash, 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 concerned about some of the low-quality experiences out online.

I believe that the issue is really difficult.

You may not like the manner in which Google’s solving it at the moment, however provided how the web is altering and developing, I’m uncertain that the old approach, if reapplied, would do as well as you ‘d like it to.”

What Is the Inspiration Behind Included Bits?

The reason Google offers for supplying highlighted snippets in the search results is that they are convenient for users.

Google’s aid documents discuss:

“We display featured bits when our systems identify 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 read the page itself. They’re especially helpful for those on mobile or searching by voice.”

Marissa Mayer’s opinion matters due to the fact that she played a crucial function in forming Google, from Browse to AdWords to Gmail.

Clearly she’s only using her viewpoint and not specifying a truth that Google is reluctant to send out traffic to websites since the quality of the Web is bad.

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

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

Of those 8 updates, 6 of them updates were spam updates, useful material updates and product review updates.

Most of Google’s updates in 2022 were designed to eliminate low quality web material from the search results.

That focus on removing poor quality websites lines up with Marissa Mayer’s view that the Internet today has lots of poor quality content.

The history of Google’s algorithm updates in 2022 complies with Marissa Mayer’s observation that web material is bad and that it impacts the quality of search engine result.

She said that she gets a sense that Google may be “concerned about a few of the low-grade experiences out online,” which is among the reasons that it may be “reluctant” to send out traffic to websites.

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


Listen to the Freakonomics podcast here

Is Google Worsening?

Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Koldunov