A NEW UPDATE IN FEATURED SNIPPETS ENSURES THAT THE RELEVANT PART OF A PAGE’S CONTENT IS HIGHLIGHTED, MAKING IT EASIER TO FIND AND THUS MORE USER FRIENDLY
On June 3rd Google SearchLiaison announced through Twitter that Google had updated Featured Snippets.
How the Update Works
By clicking on a featured snippet, the user will be taken directly to the part of the content that best answers their query, which will be highlighted for HTML pages.
There will be no special markup needed in order for Google to send users directly to the content, as this update happens automatically.
This change won’t happen to every featured snippet, only to those where Google is confident it can redirect the user directly to the content.
How it Looks Like (Some Examples)
Type in any search query, like for example “where was pasta invented”, then click on the featured snippet.
You will be immediately redirected to the landing page, where Google will have highlighted the text that we see in the featured snippet.
This feature was first available for AMP pages (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and now for HTML ones as well.
This update is meant to make users’ experience better, as it allows them to locate the content they saw on the featured snippet in an easier and quicker way.
According to Search Engine Journal, along with the highlighting of the text, Google changes the URL too, by adding extra parameters to it. This might make it possible to track user visits to a website if they come from a featured snippet which uses the new URL parameters.
Deduplication of Featured Snippets
It’s important to note that Google has changed the way how featured snippet it will be generated, before the update was possible to rank both SERP result with link to the page and also with the featured snippets, now if your page is visible on the featured snippet it will not rank anymore on SERP. The search engine will “choose” the right resource for featured snippets from any resource at top five results, so to have a chance to be more visible you need to rank on the first five positions.
What are Featured Snippets? (Definition of Featured Snippets)
A featured snippet is normally a block of text that shows up on the SERP which contains the answer to your query. It’s found above the organic search results, in the so-called “position 0”.
This is a feature which makes users’ online search easier, as the answer to their query is visible at a glance. If Google displays your content as a featured snippet, it will get a lot of exposure.
Featured Snippets can be shown as:
A paragraph: a block of text that usually answers the how, who, when, why, what questions;
List: answers are shown in a list, usually for recipes or step-by-step guides;
Table: these snippets are used for comparison charts.
How to optimize your website
Even if Google underlines that no action is required we recommend to have a deep review of your pages and content, it’s clear that on page SEO it’s more relevant. We suggest working with long tail keywords that can add more value for a specific topic, but be careful to avoid over optimization of your pages. Do your best to answer users’ questions and research.And it will also be very important to check your structured data optimization that can make your content more readable.
More resources on Google’s recent updates: