What’s this about Google Testing Featured Snippets?

This is an extract from The Week In Search SEO Update for w/e 19th May 2017.

Google has been playing with Featured Snippets and whether the Featured Snippet site also benefits from its “normal” listing in the Organic SERPs.

#SEO #OrganicSERPs #FeaturedSnippets

Google Testing Dropping Web Listing for Featured Snippets

Featured Snippets Summary:

  • Google has been running a test or two, focusing on Featured Snippets.
  • If a website is granted a Featured Snippet, its URL or web listing is being dropped from the main results.
  • Google has confirmed it is testing but hasn’t revealed if this will go into full production.

TWIS 19 May 2017 Featured Snippets Dropping

Actions to take:

  1. If you have a Featured Snippet, check SERPs to see if you are part of this test.
  2. If your web listing is being dropped, monitor traffic from that keyword as far as you’re able. There may be no net effect on traffic.
  3. If traffic is significantly reduced, consider using the “nosnippetmeta tag, although note this will prevent this URL from appearing for any snippet.
  4. Contact me to discuss this or for help with implementation.

Featured Snippets Discussion:

In some instances, Featured Snippets are useful. In several cases, however, they can be a blatant traffic grab by Google, looking to present the answer to the user instead of sending the user to a web page to get the answer. When Google hasn’t created, checked, or published the information, this is more than a bit cheeky and takes away the incentive for a webmaster to publish information. This has a chilling effect on the wonderful information resource that is the web.

Removing the standard link in the pack of Blue Links does kind of make sense for Featured Snippets, although webmasters may have gotten used to the double-dip effect of snippet + link. The equitable solution would be to provide an expanded meta-description with part of the answer rather than the entire answer which is the current attempted state of affairs.

It should also be noted that for some snippets, it is only possible to give a partial answer, so in those cases, it is likely that the snippet drives a significant uplift in traffic over a standard blue link.

More info:

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