As of January 22, 2020, Google changed how they display featured snippets in search results.
If you’re not familiar with featured snippets, chances are you’ve seen them in search results but just didn’t know what they were called.
Featured snippets are prominently placed organic search results loaded with additional details foreign to typical organic search listings. Featured snippets are usually placed below Google Ads and above all other search results.
Here’s an example of a featured snippet for the search query “wordpress site maintenance services”:
As you can see from the above image, WPSitePlan.com & WinningWP.com both have a featured snippet proudly displayed at the top of search results and both are loaded with a ton of information you don’t see in standard search results.
Historically, Google had always shown featured snippets at the top, but also had the same URL appear a second time on page one of search results. With Google’s latest update, the days of the same page being shown twice in the top 10 are no more. Google now only shows the featured snippet with the standard search result of the same URL.
Websites that appear as featured snippets can have a profound effect on impressions and click-through rates to the page based on Google Search Console and Google Analytics statistics. However, our own placements as featured snippets and research has shown that depending on the information appearing in the snippet such as a phone number, email address, etc., will greatly determine how users will interact with it. Some users may click on the listing to find out more while others may not click on it at all and just call or email if the snippet shows a phone number or email address.
This recent Google change makes a lot of sense to us. We’re big fans of the featured snippet change since it frees up the top 10 search results for an additional URL which will give users another option other than duplicating a URL twice in search results. I think we can all agree that’s a good thing and we’re eager to keep an eye on our own placements and associated stats in the future!