Position 0, #1 spot or both: How Google updates changed Featured Snippets


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Aug 31, 2010
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Featured snippets have always been part of every SEO strategy as SEOs strive to grasp the coveted paragraph, list, or table results in SERPs.

However, over the last few years there have been several updates to Featured Snippets that affect which content is selected and how the snippets appear in the search results.

So, let’s try to sum up what and how these updates have changed the Featured Snippets landscape:

+ BERT update affected Featured Snippets in 70 Languages: Rolled out on December 9, 2019, BERT allowed Google to better understand complex queries, changing Featured Snippet content to allow for more accurate answers to user queries.

+ Bubble Refinement or Carousel Snippets are still highly prevalent: Launched in 2018, Carousel Snippets continue to be displayed for approximately 8.62% of queries which produce a Featured Snippet result.

+ Right sidebar Featured Snippets are on their way out: Quite a new development where Featured Snippets get displayed to the right sidebar of SERPs on desktop, adopting a similar look to Knowledge Panels.

+ TargetText functionality is applied to Featured Snippets: Again, a new development for Chrome in which a selected fragment of text on the page is highlighted with a yellow background.

The SEO community later discovered that Google’s TargetText functionality was also being applied to Featured Snippets, and that this feature works even for content hidden behind tabs.

+ The January 2020 Featured Snippet update: On Jan 23, 2020, Google announced de-duplication of search results, meaning that for any given query, a URL would appear either as the Featured Snippet or in the organic results, but not in both places.

This update made SEOs question whether targeting Featured Snippets is still a good strategy, or if they should stick to the traditional organic #1 spot.

There are also quite a few scenarios where you might want to opt out of Featured Snippets, and Google provides three options to do just that.

Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-featured-snippets-guide/351272/