Should Webmasters Be Responsible For Google's Snippets?

Jun 3, 2009 • 8:20 am | comments (1) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

Yesterday, I wrote at Search Engine Land about a report from The Register about how a Dutch company was sued over the snippet Google choose for a certain web page of theirs. Let me quickly explain what happened.

A web page on Miljoenhuizen.nl showed up in Google for the search phrase [Zwartepoorte] and [bankrupt]. When you read the snippet under the Miljoenhuizen.nl listing in Google, it basically read that Zwartepoorte was bankrupt. The issue is, Zwartepoorte was not bankrupt. So Zwartepoorte sued Miljoenhuizen.nl to make Google remove the snippet. The thing is, Miljoenhuizen.nl did not say Zwartepoorte was bankrupt, Google took several words on a page and mixed them together to completely make that up.

A Dutch court ordered Miljoenhuizen.nl to change the page, so Google's snippet would change. Miljoenhuizen.nl removed the page and the issue is now resolved.

Personally, I think it is crazy for a court to make such a request. But what do I know? I really want to see how you guys feel about this.

Should webmasters be responsible for what Google shows in their snippets about our web pages? Take our anonymous poll:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

Robert

06/03/2009 01:01 pm

As webmaster's can't ensure what Google puts in its snippets I can't see how they can be responsible. It's obviously different if the snippet matches an exact phrase on the page...

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