Google Featured Snippet Update
You Only Show Up Once Now
Google no longer allows your website to show up as a snippet (answer at the top of Google, see the second image for example) while also showing as a regular result (see the second box in the second image).
This use to be great for businesses because your website would be seen twice in Google – once in the snippet, second in the results below.
Now it’s seen only 1 time if you have the Featured Snippet.
What Is A Featured Snippet & Why Care?
Google likes to give people answers to their questions as fast as possible.
Instead of forcing you to have to go to a website to get your answer, Google offers:
- Featured Snippets (FS)
- Rich Snippets (RS) and
- Knowledge Graphs
to make getting an answer faster and simpler.
You should care because there is lots of evidence that getting a featured snippet reduces clicks to your website. This update will likely reduce clicks more because the snippet will be considered a position in the SERPs. That means that if you have a snippet, then that is the only time you will appear.
To clarify more, you don’t get to choose what Google shows in the snippet. You can only try to influence Google, but she gets the last say. So people could see what Google wants them to see and it may not be correct, and if it is correct, maybe it’s not good enough to entice people to click on your link.
Many times the snippet does not properly answer the query and people will click results below it. Since you now longer appear down there people will not click on your website.
The SEO community is experiencing a flood of “de-optimization” jokes because it seems that the honor of getting an FS is no longer best for business, and that having a lower position in Google is better.
Maybe This Is A Good Thing
Another aspect of this update is that Google will put ALL snippets in the main part of the page. There will no longer be a right hand side bar in the SERPs. These are often called Knowledge Panels.
Knowledge Panels seem to also reduce clicks and take attention away from the other search results. See below for more.
In this image you see that Screaming Frog mentions that there is a 60% drop in clicks for website pages that have the snippet on the right hand side of the SERPs (search engine results page), aka the Knowledge Panel.
It seems that moving the Knowledge Panel to the main part of the SERPs is Google’s answer to improving clicks for websites.