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Bing Introduces New Ways for Site Owners to Control Their Search Snippets

Bing Introduces New Ways for Site Owners to Control Their Search Snippets

Bing is rolling out new tools for site owners to control how their site appears in Bing’s search results.

“For a long time, the Bing search results page has shown site previews that include text snippets, image or video.

These snippets, images or videos preview are to help users gauge if a site is relevant to what they’re looking to find out, or if there’s perhaps a more relevant search result for them to click on.”

Site owners have always had some control over their search snippets, Bing notes, such as opting out of providing one at all if it may be better not to.

“The webmasters owning these sites have had some control over these text snippets; for example, if they think the information they’re providing might be fragmented or confusing when condensed into a snippet, they may ask search engines to show no snippet at all so users click through to the site and see the information in its full context.”

With the features being introduced today, site owners can further customize how their web pages are previewed in Bing search results.

Extended Support for Robots Meta Tags

Bing is extending support for robots meta tags in HTML (or X-Robots-Tag tag in the HTTP Header) allowing site owners to tell Bing how their content should be displayed in search.

Bing now supports the following directives:

  • max-snippet:[number]: Specify the maximum text-length, in characters, of a snippet in search results.
    • Example: <meta name=”robots” content=”max-snippet:400″ />
  • max-image-preview:[value]: Specify the maximum size of an image preview in search results.
    • Example: <meta name=”robots” content=”max-image-preview:large” />
  • max-video-preview:[number]: Specify the maximum number of seconds (integer) of a video preview in search results.
    • Example: <meta name=”robots” content=”max-video-preview:-1″ />  

Bing notes that the NOSNIPPET meta tag is still supported and can even be combined with the new directives listed above.

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Here’s an example of a combination of these directives would look like:

​<meta name=”robots” content=”max-snippet:-1, max-image-preview:large, max-video-preview:-1, noarchive” />

In this example, Bing is being told the following things:

  • There is no snippet length limit
  • A large image preview may be shown
  • A long video preview may be shown
  • No link to a cache page should be shown.

Lastly, Bing clarifies these are directive statements and not hints.

Support for these directives will first roll out in web search for news, then for images, videos and Bing answers results.

Source: Bing Blogs

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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