Google’s Featured Snippet Update

As reported in 9 to 5 Google, this week Google rolled out an important featured snippet update.
Google’s public search liaison Danny Sullivan announced on Wednesday that pages that earn a featured snippet will no longer be listed on page one of the SERPs.

Previously, pages that earned featured snippets would be featured on the first page along with 10 other pages making 11 in total.
Now though Google will likely show these sites at the top of the second page, although that isn’t guaranteed

The stated aim is to declutter the SERPs by reducing duplicates.
Sullivan noted that:

“There’s no change to the overall set of web results we are showing. There are still ten unique listings, as before. Deduplicating simply means we’re no longer showing any of those unique listings twice”

It’s worth noting that this means that now pages that aren’t on the first page can now earn featured snippets, whereas before they could not.
Featured snippets are a way for Google to answer questions quickly, and although some SEOs complain that they negatively impact CTR Sullivan maintained that:

“Featured snippets drive a lot of traffic. That’s why people often optimize for them. They also often tend to elevate pages that were further down the page to top position”

To provide further clarification on the matter, SearchLiason published seven facts on “deduplication”:

  1. Featured Snippets duplicate URL change is being called deduplication
  2. Deduplication is global
  3. The change does not affect video featured snippets
  4. Deduplication does not affects a featured snippets variant that resembles a knowledge panel. But it will affect it later this week.
  5. Deduplication does not affect:– Top Stories– Interesting Finds
  6. Duplicated URL moving to page two of the SERPs appears to be a bug of deduplication and is not a feature or by design. URLs in featured snippets that are also ranking on page two of the search engine results pages (SERPs) may have that listing removed.
  7. There will be no change in Google Search Console (GSC) performance reports.
    Google is making a lot of changes recently,

This latest featured snippet update is just one of many interesting announcements this month.
They are starting the new decade with a bang. Keep a steady eye on your rankings.

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