Other Information About Quoted Searches
Although quoted searches have been improved, Google has offered some tips and caveats to accompany its announcement of the change. For example:
– Quoted search results may still match content not readily visible on a page, e.g. a meta description tag, ALT text that describes images, or material brought in through inline frames. Google says in these circumstances. Users can try using a standard Find command in a browser or search from within Developer Tools to help find where the exact match phrase occurs.
– Where pages may have changed since Google last visited them, and the exact phrase no longer exists on the current page, users could try looking at the Google cached copy to see where the quoted content appeared on the previous version of the page.
– Quoted terms won’t appear in web page snippets if they only appear within title links or URLs of a web page.
– Google says that although punctuation is sometimes seen as spaces by its system, it will be able to match content where punctuation like commas or hyphens breaks up words, e.g. don’t, doesn’t, don’t / doesn’t, or don’t – doesn’t.
– If a search involves multiple quoted terms, the snippet may not show all of them if they are far apart.
– Google will mainly show in bold quoted content for web page snippets on desktop.
– Quoted searches don’t work for local results.
– Using quotes may be a useful tool for “power users”, but Google will look for the exact words and phrases by default.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
After making the news for a couple of less than positive issues lately (i.e. the Google engineer who said that Google’s LaMDA chatbot was aware, which resulted in his sacking, plus news of a delay in banning third-party cookies), this is a bit of good news, particularly for “power users” of Search. This is a long overdue improvement to one aspect of the search engine results and is timely. Mobile device users may find it particularly awkward to search whole web pages for a phrase. Businesses may also be pleased to know that this is not a ranking change, i.e. it won’t affect the ranking position of pages. However, the difference may impact the click-through rate, depending on how the snippets help a user decide how relevant a page could be to their query.