Where do snippets come from?

September 26th, 2006


Q: Can you explain again where the snippet of information listed below a link in a Google search result page comes from? I believe you said some search engines use the meta description, but where else in the code should this information be placed?

A: Google pulls content for the snippet mainly from the body copy, but also from the image alt tags, the meta description, and even select lists in fill-in forms. Google assembles the snippet dynamically, based on the search query that the user searched for. Text in close proximity to the user’s search terms are much more likely to get incorporated into the snippet, particularly if that text is higher up in the page. Typically the company logo is the first image on a web page. Given that fact, consider having a keyword-rich alt tag for that image, complete with a compelling call-to-action. You may very well find that bit of text appearing in your snippet