This week, we had two major stories about Google seriously causing trouble with their search snippets. The first is more obvious with The Register reporting a webmaster was sued for his listing in Google showing something that was not even written on the page. Profy reported that Google Squared, which just went live declared the living to be dead. Yet another case of unstructured search, structuring data into a false fact.
A new Google Webmaster Help thread is now discussing an individual's case of Google showing a search snippet about his company that, he feels, is derogatory about his company. If you do a search for classicexplorations.com in Google, the localsearch.com result shows this:
The owner of the site is very upset that the words "false false false" come before his company name, Classic Explorations. The person contacted LocalSearch.com and LocalSearch.com told him that this was a Google issue. He explained the meta description used for this page did not say the words false on it. LocalSearch.com said that this person needs to Google to fix the issue.
Googler, JohnMu, replied saying:
There is really not much that you could do in a situation like this. For this particular query, the keywords happen to be found on that part of the page, so this is the part that we use for the snippet. I'll pass this on to the team, but I can't guarantee that this will change quickly. In this case, the disadvantage is more on the side of the other website -- users are very unlikely to click on their result (and even more likely to click on your pages :-)), so I wouldn't spend more time worrying about it for the moment.
Clearly this doesn't seem as big of a mistake then declaring a living president as dead or declaring a company went bankrupt when it did not. But this just shows you the power of Google's search snippets and how it can impact a business or truth, as it is known.
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.