Has Google changed the snippet algorithm

  • 1
  • April 1, 2008
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

This morning I noticed a couple of my blog posts were showing up in the Google results with the date showing up as part of the snippet.

Not really thinking much of it as Google isn’t consistant about snippet generation I didn’t do any more research but it appears other people are seeing this as well.

Snippet date

It seems that in some cases the date is being added to the start of the snippet leaving less room (17 characters less) for the rest of the snippet text. For those of you who create snippets right up to the normal 155 character limit using meta descriptions this might cause a bit of annoyance as your final word gets missed out.The only thing that’s certain about this algorithm update is that it isn’t being applied for every single blog post. There are numerous posts that include the data in the snippet and quite a lot that don’t. It seems to be 50/50 at present and the cache date and date the article was published appears to have nothing to do with it.

Google seems able to pull the date quite easily from all the major blogging platforms and I’ve seen the dates showing for major newspapers as well so it isn’t just blogs that are affected.

As a searcher faced with lots of different results about a subject I would be more than happy for Google to tell me one is 2 years old and one was published yesterday – it’s valuable information to have.

As a blogger I want to know whether to start making my meta descriptions a bit shorter and, at present, nobody seems sure.