In a nutshell: Less competition for advertisers and more clarity for searchers with the new featured snippets change.
What: It was announced yesterday that pages that earn a featured snippet will no longer repeat as a regular listing on the first page of Google search. The update came from Google’s public search liaison Danny Sullivan as a response to an advertisers query, and it was confirmed it had rolled out 100% globally.
A featured snippet is a search result that features on top of a Google SERP (search engine results page), above the organic results. The goal of a featured snippet is to answer a user’s query straight away. Due to the amount of space they take up, they can help increase clicks, impressions, and therefore CTR (click-through rate).
Why: According to the initial tweet, the update will “declutter the results and help users locate relevant information more easily.” This will be useful for both searchers and advertisers, as the previous duplication pushed an alternative search result onto the second page, while the repeated featured snippet added little-to-no actual value for searchers.
The result: For featured snippet owners, their URL will only appear once on the first page of search results, instead of twice. For those who don’t own the featured snippet, the competition will be slightly lower with one less search listing to rank against. It’s argued featured snippets will still give advertisers prominent exposure on the search results, although it’s unclear how much of an impact the update will have on click-through rate.
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