Google Featured Snippets Go Wrong, Consider Using data-nosnippet

Mar 13, 2023 • 7:21 am | comments (3) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

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On Friday, Bill Elward noticed how a featured snippet had a header above it that read "Advertisement." Bill asked if this was a new Google Ad format from Google for featured snippet placement - the answer was no. The featured snippet simply picked up text on the page that said "Advertisement" and put that in the featured snippet.

When this happens, it can look bad for the site from who the featured snippet is coming up for and it can look bad for Google. But the site does have some control over that featured snippet. they can try to use the data-nosnippet robots meta tag to block Google from using portions of their page for snippets.

Here is what went down on Friday when Bill Elward posted about this:

I replied, this is not a featured snippet Google Ad, it is Google picking up the text on the Mayo Clinic page that says "Advertisement" and showing it in the featured snippet. Featured snippets are not ads.

Here is what I pointed out; notice the featured snippet "Advertisement" text:

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So I clicked over to the page and first looked for that word, and yep, here it is:

click for full size

Google's Search Liaison confirmed this is where it came from, saying, "Correct. It's just unfortunately picking up the word as part of the featured snippet. Not an ad. We don't have featured snippet "ads." Will pass it on."

Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison, then recommended looking to use the nosnippet metag tag if this occurs. Glenn Gabe pointed out that it would be the data-nosnippet tag you'd want to use.

Anyway, figured I'd share and highlight this from Friday.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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