Google Losing Money With Search Snippet Jump Links

by Matthew Diehl on October 14, 2009

I know Google has been playing around with the way they display their search snippet text with a lot of reports about Google increasing the length (Confirmation That This Is True ). Snippet text is an interesting topic because Google will either use a snippet from your META Description Tag for this text or will use a snippet of the page’s actual content (which ever fits the search best).

In the scenario that Google is pulling your content for the snippet, Google will also take a look at the page structure to add an additional usability element to the search snippet text – a link! Here is what it looks like:

jump-to-snippet-link

This appears to be controlled by the usage of on-page “jump” anchor links.

When you visit the page and do a search for “Jump to Lakewood” it will not be found. What you will find is a list of cities each having an on-page jump anchor link, specifically Lakewood is listed as such:

on-page-anchor-link

You will then find by hovering over “Lakewood” the jump anchor link appears as so in the bottom of the browser:

jump-to-link

By Google picking up on this on-page jump link they have added that nice “Jump to Lakewood:” link in the snippet so you can skip over all the irrelevant cities (which on some pages can run on and on and on ….) and go directly to the information you are looking for. So, A+ in my book for increased usability of the search snippet text.

What they have now inadvertently done is sent the user past five on-page ad elements (3 of which are Adsense, 1 is Amazon and 1 other). So, with absolutely none of the ads being viewed the webmaster completely loses out on visual impressions to users even though each ad records a page impression because they were loaded. Thus leading to Google missing out on the Adsense ads being viewed, clicked and generating revenue.

So, even though Google has increased the user experience with their search results in getting people to where they want to go faster this could have a negative impact on the bottom line as they are losing out on visual ad impressions and clicks.

What are your thoughts on the “Jump to” link the search snippet text? Good? Bad? or a Push?

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