European Press Publishers
Google is currently informing European magazines that they have designated your site a "European Press Publication" based on the recent EU Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the digital single market, i.e. on the internet.
It means that Google has had to change how it displays search engine results in France and implemented those changes at the end of October, 2019.
European countries can decide how to apply the EU directive individually. France has chosen legislation that states your content (text snippets, video previews, and thumbnail images) may not be shared in a way that may infringe on your copyright.
In other words, the URL may be shared, but content excerpts are not allowed to be publicized when a user shares your pages, or when Google displays additional information along with a link in search results. Copying excerpts is considered copyright infringement, unless you explicitly allow it.
Here are Google's FAQs: European press publisher FAQ
The change in legislature will only affect your site for users in France, and not across Europe. This will affect all European sites in France, so users will be aware of the reasons for any display differences in search results, and your SEO will not be impacted by the changes by Google.
Google is providing options to override the default display options, currently set to not show previews in France. Please note that other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo have not yet followed suit.
Google Blog: More options to help websites preview their content on Google Search
Content Preview Settings for Google
There are new options for meta tags that tell Google how to display any previews you would like shown. The robots meta tags addressing the settings for allowing content previews are:
Use a maximum of [number] characters as a textual snippet for this search result. (Note that a URL may appear as multiple search results within a search results page.) This does not affect image or video previews. This applies to all forms of search results (such as Google web search, Google Images, Discover, Assistant). However, this limit does not apply in cases where a publisher has separately granted permission for use of content. For instance, if the publisher supplies content in the form of in-page structured data or has a license agreement with Google, this setting does not interrupt those more specific permitted uses. This directive is ignored if no parseable [number] is specified.
0: No snippet is to be shown. Equivalent to nosnippet.
-1: There is no snippet length limit.
<meta name="robots" content="max-snippet:20">
Set the maximum size of an image preview for this page in a search results.
Accepted setting values:
- none: No image preview is to be shown.
- standard: A default image preview may be shown.
- large: A larger image preview, up to the width of the viewport, may be shown.
This applies to all forms of search results (such as Google web search, Google Images, Discover, Assistant). However, this limit does not apply in cases where a publisher has separately granted permission for use of content. For instance, if the publisher supplies content in the form of in-page structured data (such as AMP and canonical versions of an article) or has a license agreement with Google, this setting will not interrupt those more specific permitted uses.
Publishers who do not want Google to use larger thumbnail images when their AMP pages and canonical version of an article are shown in search or Discover should specify a max-image-preview value of standard or none.
<meta name="robots" content="max-image-preview:standard">
Use a maximum of [number] seconds as a video snippet for videos on this page in search results.
Other supported values:
0: At most, a static image may be used, in accordance to the max-image-preview setting.
-1: There is no limit.
This applies to all forms of search results (at Google: web search, Google Images, Google Videos, Discover, Assistant). This directive is ignored if no parseable [number] is specified.
<meta name="robots" content="max-video-preview:-1">
They can be combined, for example:
<meta name="robots" content="max-snippet:50, max-image-preview:large">
Allowing all preview features
To allow text, image, and video previews on your Google search results, you can simply copy the following line of code and paste it into the Header HTML of your website via our HTML Embed option under Admin > Settings > HTML Embed:
<meta name="robots" content="max-snippet:-1, max-image-preview:large, max-video-preview:-1">
More Settings Options
For further information about meta tag options, including those that block ways that Google presents your content in search results, please visit this Google help document: Robots meta tag, data-nosnippet, and X-Robots-Tag specifications.