To take you a little back in the past when Danny Sullivan shared screen shots from a Google Ranking Fair where he voiced some prominent SEO and webmasters concerns. One of those concerns included that “Webmasters want more control over sitelinks, titles, snippets, mixing images and text in featured snippets, rich snippets, knowledge panels, opt out of featured snippets and more.” Afterall, there’s no webmaster who doesn’t wants to have a firm hold over their search listing display in a full-fledged manner. And now you’d be glad to know we got it. Google successfully adds max-snippet, max-video-preview and more to the nosnippet snippet controls.

Hearing it right from the Google: The company (Google) sets out new snippet settings to let webmasters control how Google search displays your listings- as per the announcement directed via Google webmaster blog. Note: These settings work either through a set of robots meta tags and an HTML attribute.

New Meta Tags Available In Settings Snippets: Now you can add the aforementioned meta tags to either an HTML page or specified via the x-robots-tag HTTP header. The new settings involve:

nosnippet: This option is available since quite long time and has not changed since then. It lets you specify that you don’t require any textual snippet shown for this page.

max-snippet: (number): This newly added meta tag allows you specify a maximum text-length, in characters, of a snippet for your page.

max-video-preview: (number): This newly added meta tag lets you button down a maximum duration in seconds of an animated video preview.

max-image-preview: (setting): This newly added meta tag enables you display a maximum size of image preview to be shown for images on this page, using either “none”, “standard”, or “large”.

Thus, you can use these meta tags standalone or merge them if you want to control the max length of the text as well as the video.

For Example: <meta name= “robots” content= “max-snippet:50, max-image-preview:large>

HTML attribute: You can also use it as an HTML attribute and not as a meta tags. With this, you can prevent that part of an HTML page from being shown within the textual snippet on the page.

Rest Of The Search Engines: As per the information given out, Bing and and the rest of the search engines do not currently support any of these new snippet settings. Google is the first among them who came out with support for these new settings.

Directive, not a hint: Google said these are directives Google will follow, as opposed to being hints that it will consider but might ignore.

Preview: There is no authentic way to preview how these new snippet settings will work in live Google search. So you just need to implement it and wait for Google to show them. You can use the URL inspection tool to expedite crawling and once Google crawls it, you should be able to view the revised snippet in the live search results.

Going Live Till Mid-to-Late October: Google said this will go live in mid-to-late October. Google will announce when this feature is live on its Twitter account at @googlewmc. When it does go live, it can take time to completely roll out, possibly over a week to completely roll out. This will be a global roll out a month from today.

Featured Snippets And Rich Results: Always remember that if you restrain Google from showing certain information, it may impact if you show up for featured snippet results and it may impact how your rich results look. Features snippets need a certain minimum number of characters to be displayed, and if you go below that minimum, it may result in your pages not coming up-to-the mark for the featured snippet position.

Control Size Impacts Appearing In AMP Results: Google said you can excerise control over what size impacts are shown in your AMP results, like top stories and other areas. Google said “publishers who do not want Google to use larger thumbnail images when their AMP pages are presented in search and Discover can use the above meta robots settings to specify max-image-preview of “standard” or “none.”

Rankings: This is not going to impact your overall Google web search rankings. Google will still crawl, index and rank your pages as it used to do before. It may impact your listing showing up with certain rich results, or your site showing up as featured snippets, as we described above. But this does not impact your overall rankings in Google search.

Why Do We Care? One of the biggest wish of SEOs, webmasters and site owners have been successfully granted. Now, cherish to easily excerise control over what Google shows for their listings in the Google search results.

How Does It Makes One More Powerful? These new settings offer you a considerable amount of freedom and power in terms of what you do and do not want to show in your search result snippet on Google.


Ritu from PageTraffic is a qualified Google Ads Professional and Content Head at PageTraffic. She has been the spear head for many successful Search Marketing Campaigns and currently oversees Content Marketing operations of PageTraffic in India.