Today, Google published an article about how search results are improved when quotes are used in a search term. Originally, the use of quotation marks allowed you to search for a specific word or phrase, and the results filtered out all other options (for example, “caesar salad” would not return results for Julius Caesar). The latest updates introduced by Google improve the snippets that are displayed when the search results are displayed.
These snippets often show a preview of the page they link to, but previously only showed the selected section of the page. If quotes are used in a search, the snippet will now show where that word or phrase is located on the page, as shown in the image below.
According to Google, the reason for this was not before: “cited material appears in those parts of the document that do not lend themselves to the creation of useful fragments.” But feedback from people using these searches showed that displaying the quoted phrase in the snippet was appreciated and found useful.
One caveat that Google has noted is that citation search doesn’t work for local results, where listings will appear alongside a map, and that’s something the company will address in the future.