Recently, during your usual searches, you may have encountered Google’s new featured snippet update, whereby users are sent to the relevant text highlighted on the linked webpage.
This change was implemented on the 3rd June, confirmed by Google SearchLiason via Twitter. It was announced that Google has implemented a Featured Snippet update. Now, clicking on certain featured snippets will take a user directly to the text that is relevant.
Google also divulged that this update would not affect all featured snippets, only those that Google has high confidence of sending users to the correct text on a webpage.
As we have done with AMP pages since December 2018, clicking on a featured snippet now takes users to the exact text highlighted for HTML pages, when we can confidently determine where the text is, for browsers that support the underlying technology….— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) June 3, 2020
What may come as a relief to some, is that Google also confirmed that no additional website-markup is required to take advantage of this additional feature. Google has the ability to carry out the task of sending users to your content on its own.
What wasn’t included in Google’s announcement on Twitter, was their intention to highlight the relevant text on the website.
Here is an example of that for the search “Why should I want rich snippets in SERPs?”:
Originally for AMP
This feature was previously exclusive to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) from 2018. AMP is a HTML framework that displays mobile content in a form that is quicker to download, providing a better user experience to mobile devices.
However, according to Google’s Danny Sullivan, the company has been working on bringing this functionality to HTML pages since last year.
Now, as we know, this functionality is available for HTML pages.
It’s not the most exciting update, but we do think it will benefit both users and publishers.
However, some SEO’s have voiced their concerns, expressing how this update may impact the way they wish visitors to interact with their website content.
The UX of this is a bit odd, getting anchored halfway down a page unexpectedly - will take some adjusting.— Scott Mathson (@scottmathson) June 3, 2020
So we are going to lose control of how users should browse our sites. Great— Umer Idrisi (@umeridrisi) June 5, 2020
Others have voiced their concerns around the impact it may have on their website adverts, as website visitors are likely to be automatically scrolled past them. For this reason, ad placements may have to be adjusted in accordance with rich snippet placements.
Overall, it’s a new feature and likely one that will see updates thick and fast in the coming days, weeks and months. It’s hard to judge the benefit of this update fully at this current time, considering some browsers are still not supported.