Google RSS Snippets Misfiring

I fired up my Google/ig personal home page and RSS reader today only to find it covered in a sea of crosses. Was it a variation on their holiday logos for a Christian holy day I had missed? No, those were plus signs to indicate, in some cases, a preview or an entire entry from each RSS link. The date and/or time of the update is displayed, too. Very convenient.

One problem I encountered was that the snippets are loaded slightly faster than their associated headline. The result is that you can click to expand a headline only to find that the preview blurb doesn’t match. The example below shows what happened when I wanted to see more about the BBC’s children’s feature.

Google/ig RSS Snippet Preview

Sure, my kids my be interested in gross surgery articles, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. Turns out the blurb was associated with a story that was about to be posted. Moments later after a refresh, everything was synchronized properly as shown below.

Google Snippet Preview Corrected

This latency issue could produce embarrassing juxtapositions for feeds that cover a variety of topics. Anyone else run into this?

Google Blogoscoped, Google Operating System, SEO Roundtable, and SearchEnglineLand are covering the snippets in more detail.

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