Here’s what to know about the possible change to Featured Snippets layout.
Featured Snippets: A Potential New Layout on Google
Digital marketers have been prioritizing Featured Snippets in their SEO work ever since they were introduced back in 2014. The snippets, which give websites the coveted "position zero" spot in organic search results, carry a lot of weight: big-time brand awareness with the potential to drive traffic and conversions.
Now that Google is announcing a potential new Featured Snippets layout, marketers are in a bit of a frenzy. It can take a long time to snag the top spot, especially for competitive search queries.
What's Showing up in Google SERPs
Over the past few months, there has been increased activity in terms of the Featured Snippets layout. Most notably, we have seen Google showing more than one snippet — up to four different answers at a time.
Here are a few of the search results people have been getting recently:
As you can see, Google has been testing a variety of layouts for Featured Snippets in search results. It appears the answers are not all the same either, which begs the questions:
Are they testing to see how people interact when presented with more options?
Will the first answer served inevitably earn the most clicks and traffic?
It’s important to note this is not an official change from Google, but it is interesting to see what they consider to be significant enough to try out with live results.
Another Test: Perspectives
Multiple answers in the Featured Snippets box aren’t the only test happening. There’s another one we will simply call “Perspectives” because, well, that’s what is served:
The title “Perspectives” alludes to less of an official set of answers from Google and more like opinions from various sources. Nonetheless, it remains in the Featured Snippets position at the top of search results, so it gets enough of a vote from Google to place it in a prominent spot.
More Dropdowns in Featured Snippets Layout
Another change spotted in Google search results is an expandable dropdown within the snippet being served:
In addition to the typical answer box for the search query “grinding coffee”, this Featured Snippet also included a dropdown for Tips, Purpose, and — oddly — Vitamix. Once the user clicked on the dropdown arrows, the answer curated from a separate site would appear.
Again, this mirrors the other tests from Google in that it’s showing multiple answers from different sources. In this case, it’s a dropdown instead of separate “cards” like in the first test we mentioned.
While Google clearly has their sights set on expanding the Featured Snippets layout at some point, they haven’t made it official just yet. Digital marketers understand this change would offer more opportunity to appear in position zero, yet also brings with it more competition for clickthroughs, traffic, and conversions.
New layouts in the coveted Featured Snippets section would ultimately change the advantage that marketers now enjoy when that top spot is secured.
To learn more about Featured Snippets, be sure to read: