When searching with Google, is it possible to see more of the text snippet/blurb for a search result(s)? Where are the text snippets/blurbs being stored (and pulled from)?

What's odd is that sometimes there are snippets/blurbs for results while not having a cached version of the page. There's neither a drop-down arrow for "Cache", nor does searching with "cache:site.com/page.htm" show any cached version available.

I'm trying to see if it's possible to somehow expand the blurb/snippet for a site, like if there's some kind of secondary cache or place where the blurbs are stored. Is it possible to find an expanded form of a snippet?


2 Answers 2


Google uses lots of sources for "blurbs".

One such place is the Open Directory Project, although that has been de-emphasized in recent years. They're also not the only website index.

Let's not forget about Google's own properties: Zagat has tons of human-written descriptions of places.

There's also the text from the website itself. <meta name="description" content"This is an awesome website!" /> Meta tags are used sometimes, if they're not too spammy. (There's plenty of SEO advice out there about using meta tags.) I also imagine that Googlebot looks specifically for pages called "about" or "about us". "Blurbs" may come from there.

But, really, this is all part of Google's "secret sauce". There's going to be no definitive answer for you. The best you can probably hope for is Google's own advice to webmasters.


I imagine they are either being stored in another (non accessible index) or being compiled when the query runs. (My guess would be for high volume non time sensitive queries they are cached elsewhere, and for low volume and newsy type queries they are generated in real time.) In any event as far as I know there's no publicly accessible link you could view these from.

I do know what they look at to generate them so here's that:

Google chooses between the pages meta description tag the body text on the page.

The description tag is often not implemented properly - for example the same will be used across an entire site. It looks like this

<meta name="description" content="page summary content goes here">

Google will look at how relevant the description tag is and how relevant the body text is to the search query and choose between them, often combining two snippets of page content or combining some of the meta description with some of the body text (one such example is shown below):

Google SERP Snippet Screenshot

Typically Google will use the meta description tag in it's entirety for homepages as that is a websites branded summary of their company, but for deeper pages they prioritize body content.

Google states that they do reference the open directory project, but I would be surprised if this info was still weighted very highly.

Google will also create rich snippets based on specified markup in a page, you can see that in action with the star ratings in the image above. More info on rich snippets is here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/99170

The meta description tag should be around 155 characters. http://moz.com/learn/seo/meta-description

And for completeness there are also sitelinks which are generally only given if the root domain has enough domain authority: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/47334?hl=en

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