Google Snippets: Who decides; GoogleBot or you.

Posted in Blog
Google Snippets: Who decides; GoogleBot or you.

Did you ever notice that a Google search results page is not just a list of titles that appear but a short description, or Google snippet, describing what is on the page. That is because Google, by default, will take the first sentence of any page, up to 156 characters, as the Google Snippet.  Google believes that the first sentence is probably the most important sentence within any given page or post.  So, since the Google robot has to choose a sentence to describe the page, it might as well take the first one.  This is one of the reasons that good SEO practice suggests that your keyword phrase for any article be in the first sentence.  In that way, your important keyword phrase gets picked up by the robot and gets a higher priority. In this particular article, my keyword phrase is “Google snippet”.

(As and aside, Google Snippet is not what this description is normally called. It is often called a “rich snippet”, or a meta description.  But running a search on the Google Keyword Tool found that “Google snippet” had 22,400 Global searches with only 14,400 pages and low competition. Also note how naturally I have used the phrase in this blog post. It should do very well in Google rankings.)

Beat the Googlebot

But how often does the first sentence actually tell you what the article is really about.  Look at the first sentence of this article.  It is not a great article description.  Wouldn’t the author want the most exciting title and description to get people to read the article.  That’s is where the Yoast SEO tool comes in.This plugin does an incredible amount of excellent SEO work for you, but one of the aspect I like the most, is how it puts an area on each page for the author to write a meta description that will become the Google Snippet.  Simply paraphrase your article, using your selected keyword, into the meta description area, and you are now dictating what is seen in the search results for Google, Bing, or even Facebook.  So give it a try next time you are writing a blog post and see if you get more readers.

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Steve Schlackman (24 Posts)

As a photographer and Patent Attorney with a background in marketing, Steve has a unique perspective on art and law. You ca see his photography at He is the editor or the Art Law Journal at

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