We all know how bad some feature snippets in Google’s search results can look but even if you point it out to one of Google’s lead search engineers, it might not get fixed. Let’s look at a recent example where Paul Haahr from Google responded on Twitter to a complaint about a really bad featured snippet.
The search result was for [can a sitting president be arrested] and it features a photoshop image of President Obama standing in front of cops with his hands behind him as if he is being arrested in court. Here is what the search result looks like on mobile:
Paul Haahr from Google first apologized to the searcher saying “Sorry.” He then admitted it is a bad result, “yes, very bad.” Sadly, he goes on to explain that he personally can’t go around fixing individual issues in search, “but I can’t go after individual problems,” he added. “There is a feedback link on that screen for this reason,” which goes into some sort of bucket. Google does take care of those feedback results quickly for featured snippets, I believe.
Paul Haahr, from what I know, isn’t a fan of Trump, I believe he was a pretty big Obama supporter. Why is this important? It shows you that even the most senior Googlers, who worked directly on search, can’t go in and just clean up a poor search result. It shows you the algorithm controls it and they need the feedback to improve the overall algorithm.
Forum discussion at Twitter.