Software engineer Phiroze Parakh gave a presentation detailing the evolution of Google search results previews. The primary goal of previews is relevance, but there are other goals, such as content diversity. Initially, previews were very simple and limited. Google soon began altering snippets based on the search query. A few years ago, images were added, then video soon followed. Sitelinks were added when Google deemed them to be relevant, and special previews were developed for forums and for pages with dominant tables. Ultimately, the goal has always been to make previews more helpful for the user.
- The main task a user has after landing on a search result page is to find the content they need.
- Around 2016 or 2017, Google discovered that images helped users choose between different results.
- After the positive response to images in search result previews, the natural next step was to display videos.
“The same algorithm that decides if a page is relevant to a query can be used to decide what part of the page should be relevant for the user.”