Bing adds snippet controls to help sites control their search result previews

Bing announced Wednesday that it now supports new snippet controls with robots meta tags to help webmasters manage how their search results are displayed in Bing. These new controls work via robots meta tags in HTML or X-Robots-Tag tag in the HTTP Header.

New meta tags to settings snippets. Here are the three new controls Bing offers:

  1. “max-snippet:[number]” — This lets you specify the maximum text-length, in characters, of a snippet in search results. Here is the meta tag “<meta name=”robots” content=”max-snippet:400” />” For example, if you set the value = 0, Bing will not show a text snippet. But if you set the value = -1, then it does not specify a limit.
  2. “max-image-preview:[value]” — This lets you specify the maximum size of an image preview in search results. Here is the meta tag “<meta name=”robots” content=”max-image-preview:large” />”  For example:
    – If value = none, Bing will not show an image preview.
    – If value = standard, Bing may show a standard size image.
    – If value = large, Bing may show a standard or a large size image.
    – If value is not none and not standard and not large, it does not specify a limit.
  3. “max-video-preview:[number]” — This lets you specify the maximum number of seconds (integer) of a video preview in search results. Here is the meta tag “<meta name=”robots” content=”max-video-preview:-1” />” For example:
    – If value = 0, Bing may show a static image of the video.
    – If value = -1, it does not specify a limit.

Combine them. You can use these meta tags alone or combine them if you want to both control the max length of the text and video. Here is an example ​<meta name=”robots” content=”max-snippet:-1, max-image-preview:large, max-video-preview:-1, noarchive” />

Launching soon. Bing said, “over the following weeks, we will start rolling out these new options first for web and news, then for images, videos and our Bing answers results.” So this should be live in the upcoming weeks, probably by the end of Spring.

Directive. Bing said it will use these options as directive statement, not as hints.

Help documentation. Bing has published more help documents over here.

Google too. Google announced similar controls last September.

Why we care. One of the bigger requests SEO Companys, webmasters and site owners have wanted was more control over what Bing shows for their listings in the Bing search results. These new settings give you more flexibility in terms of what you do and do not want to show in your search result snippet on Bing and brings Bing and Google closer together on similar support.


About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.

Website Design & SEO Delray Beach by DBL07.co

Delray Beach SEO