Google Bolding Related Words In Search Snippets - Not Titles

Jan 20, 2014 • 9:05 am | comments (17) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Mark Traphagen posted on Google+ how Google is getting better at understanding Semantic Search. Truth is, they have been doing it well since 2011 but this is an interesting one.

A search for [google authorship gone from search] matches the word "gone" with "disappeared."

Google bolding related words

I searched for "gone" but Google highlighted the word "dropped" in the snippet. Not in the title, Google did not bold the word "Drops" in the title tag. They did bold the word "dropped" in the snippet.

Interesting distinction, don't you think?

Back in 2011 Google bolded the title for related words.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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Daniel Sanchez

01/20/2014 02:09 pm

That's been happening for months now.

Barry Schwartz

01/20/2014 02:13 pm

I said since 2011.

Daniel Sanchez

01/20/2014 02:16 pm

I thought you meant since 2011 in titles only.

Barry Schwartz

01/20/2014 02:16 pm

No, now it it not in the titles for some reason in this example.

Alexander Hemedinger

01/20/2014 02:36 pm

Ah I didn't think of this. This helps a bit with dynamic placements. Pretty interesting distinction indeed.

Daniel Sanchez

01/20/2014 03:21 pm

I see, never mind then (^_^)


01/20/2014 03:24 pm

Not "gone" with "disappeared." but "gone" with "dropped."

Justin McGill

01/20/2014 03:44 pm

All about semantic indexing!


01/20/2014 04:51 pm

this is obvious isn't it.. 'drops' is present tense.. 'dropped' and 'Gone' are past tense.. so it would be ridiculous to link drops and dropped as the same, at least semantically.

Gareth Mailer

01/20/2014 06:22 pm

Disqus = rubbish. Tired of using it - always fails to log comments and barely loads half the time. Spent 10 minutes writing a long comment on this post, clicked submit, it logged, came back here, it disappeared from my dashboard. Not the first time, doubt it will be the last. #frustrating.

Soni Sharma

01/21/2014 08:19 am

I searched "google authorship gone" "google authorship dropped" and "google authorship disappeared" in all searches Google changed the snippets for appropriate description now it is not showing word disappeared in place of gone.

Courtney Cox

01/21/2014 01:37 pm

It's frustrating for publishers, too. I wrote a blog recently, and someone wrote a pretty nasty comment on it. I didn't delete the comment, but Disqus malfunctioned somehow, and the comment stopped showing up. He accused me of deleting the comment to avoid his criticisms.


01/21/2014 02:12 pm

I recently searched "gta 5 throwing grenade while ducking". Google highlighted f***ing, try it!


01/22/2014 04:47 pm

try to search any error message, regular expressions or some code. results will incredibly insane.

Aaron Bradley

01/23/2014 06:10 pm

I guess this is a sort of "semantic search" but it's really unrelated to Google efforts that we normally associate with the term: the Knowledge Graph, semantic markup, Hummingbird and the like. All of these things relate in some way or another to entity disambiguation, disambiguation and properties (including topical entities). Rather than dealing with entities though this is really a case of language processing at a different level, that Google has been doing capably for the last decade. In other words, what Mark has called here is less related to "semantic search" than the quite different "latent semantic indexing" (I never thought I'd be typing that phrase again!:).

Spook SEO

01/31/2014 04:44 am

I experienced and cited the same problem with you Soni and Barry. Is this a Google System Error? As of my knowledge about this thing, Google is highlighting/bolding those words that match your search queries to the words that the website contains who indexed on the SERP. For example, if you search for the keyword "dropped the bottle of mine", if the website indexed for that keyword has the title tags or having meta descriptions that contains "bottle of mine", Google will only highlight the word "bottle of mine the indexed website has.

Sam Hamer

04/23/2014 11:02 am

I googled dutch sandwich and in many of the results double irish was bolded, come on google, don't try to be a smart arse...I loathe it when stuff is emboldened by google that was not part of my search terms.

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