Google tests big changes to featured snippets

Google is testing some significant changes to featured snippets. Both will give searchers a more diverse set of sources in the coveted featured snippet position. 

From the web. A typical featured snippet features text from, and a link to, one website. In this From the web test, Google shows brief excerpts from two or three different websites, linking to each source separately. Google also includes the site’s favicon.

Here’s an example screenshot of a search for [expressvpn review] (shared via Twitter by @vladrpt): 

Postscript: Here’s an example of a From the web results on a search for [split finger fastball explained] with five sources, (shared via Twitter by @glenngabe):

Other sites say. There’s also another variation of this featured snippet test where Google groups three sites beneath the typical paragraph-style featured snippet, under a heading of Other sites say.

Here’s a screenshot (shared via Twitter by @SarahBlocksidge): 

Hat tip. Barry Schwartz reported on these changes earlier today at Search Engine Roundtable

Why we care. If you own featured snippets for important keywords, you potentially could see your traffic reduced, as clicks could go to competing pages. Rather than owning the valuable SERP real estate outright, your site might end up sharing a featured snippet with at least one other site, or potentially up to four other sites. (All of this depends on whether this change rolls out permanently and what Google sees in testing its success). On the flip side, if you don’t currently own a featured snippet, this gives you two additional chances to get there and potentially drive some more traffic. Good luck to all the rank tracking tools – as well as their users – figuring this all out.

New on Search Engine Land

About The Author

Danny Goodwin is Senior Editor of Search Engine Land. In addition to writing daily about SEO, PPC, and more for Search Engine Land, Goodwin also manages Search Engine Land’s roster of subject-matter experts. He also helps program our conference series, SMX – Search Marketing Expo. Prior to joining Search Engine Land, Goodwin was Executive Editor at Search Engine Journal, where he led editorial initiatives for the brand. He also was an editor at Search Engine Watch. He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.