Google introducing snippets: put anchors in your text

Mon 28 September 2009 10:18, Bas van den Beld

Google introducing snippets: put anchors in your text

We knew it was coming for a while, some spotted the links in the snippet texts already, but just before the weekend Google 'officially' launched the renewed site snippets. In these snippets you can now put links to parts of the page which cover the different part of the search. It's anchor texts put into the snippets.

Google explains on their blog the what and why of the links in the snippets. Wikipedia is the best example to explain the use of the snippets. That's because Wikipedia has got very long pages with content divided in different parts of the page. Before you had to scroll down to the specific part of the page, but now you can click on the link in the snippet and you will be directed straight to the part you want.

If for example you are interested in search marketing the first result in Google is from Wikipedia. But you can be interested in it for different reasons. Therefore there are snippets. You can click directly through to the history, or ethical questions if that's more what you're looking for. The second result, a Yahoo page, makes differences between How much does it cost, Small Business and Sponsored Search.

There are two different kind of snippets. There are the links placed below the actual text and there is the one within the text. The "in-snippet links" will only appear for relevant queries.

The reason why Google did this is eminent: it will speed up your searching. You will no longer have to look for the specific terms you were searching for in the first place when you are redirected to a page.

So how do you get these links? Google generates them for you, completely algorithmically, based on page structure. So you cannot put them up yourself, just like with the sitelinks. You can however increase your chances of getting them:

  • make long, multi-topic pages
  • make the pages well structured
  • make the pages broken into distinct logical section
  • make sure each section has an associated anchor with a descriptive name
  • make sure your page has "a table of contents"

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