Tackling the new Featured Snippet change head on

Google+ is changing the way to put your content in front of more people. In a recent update, Google made it so that all snippets are now featured snippets and this means that even less organic traffic from search engines will show up on social media sites. How can marketers avoid being caught off guard by these changes? Is there anything they should be doing to prepare for the change ahead?

Google announced a change to the “Featured Snippet” section on Google Search. The change will affect all websites, and is going to be released in early 2018. This article provides insight into when you should optimize for rich snippets. Read more in detail here: when should you optimize for rich snippets?.

Tackling the new Featured Snippet change head on

Google stated yesterday that sites that rank on the first page and also grab the Featured Snippet would no longer have two organic listings in search results. This is a significant shift in Google’s approach to Featured Snippets, and it’s something that everyone in the search business should be aware of.

More significantly, you must be informed of emerging snippet methods in order to guarantee that they are delivering as much traffic as possible to your site. We can examine how this adjustment is affecting the quantity of organic traffic to your site since we know precisely when it was made.

On a related point, I recently published a blog post regarding on-page SEO for articles in which I discussed the advantages of snippets. I think I’ll have to rewrite it now; thanks, Google? I’m assuming a lot of us will have to alter our postings. 

What were the advantages of Featured Snippets in the past?

  • You may get to the top of a search result from your current position (sometimes called position 0). There was an apparent advantage to ranking at position 2 up because you could “jump the line,” so to speak, and move ahead of position 1.
  • You got to show up twice at the very top of the SERP if you were in position 1 in the traditional 10 blue links. Because a site was taking up a bigger section of the SERP, this often resulted in a higher CTR (click-through rate).

What is the current impact?

If you previously ranked in position 1 and captured the snippet, but now you’re just left with the highlighted snippet, logic implies you should anticipate a decline in click-through rate for that term.

Although it’s too early to say for sure, based on current data and some early expert opinions, you can generally expect a significant drop in traffic to your sites.  

@beanstalkim @bhartzer Yes, and they’ve said that the highlighted snippet is still a first page listing, so siteowners won’t be hurt by the organic listing’s removal. That does not sit well with me.

 

On Twitter, Danny Sullivan noted that desktop Featured Snippets that appear in the right-hand column rather than the main column would be shifted inline shortly, which should result in a lower reduction in CTR in this scenario:

We are grateful for your concern. This should hopefully help. Within a month, this style will most likely appear in the main column with regular features snippets. And until that occurs, we’re likely to cease deduplication inside it, maybe later this week.

January 23, 2020 — Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan)

Keep in mind that none of this is guaranteed, and you’ll have to sort it out for yourself based on your personal facts.

Even if they are receiving a lower CTR in their organic position than they would if they were in the snippet, people in position 2 and above who desire to push forward in the search result may profit from the snippet.

In this quick article, I’ll show you how to determine if obtaining a Featured Snippet is still advantageous to you and what to do if it isn’t.

Actions to Take

The techniques for determining if a snippet is valuable to your website are straightforward. Unfortunately, Google does not provide any indication if you rank in a snippet through Search Console, so you’ll have to depend on a manual procedure or a tool like SEMrush to find out.

1) In the ‘Organic Research’ Report, look for your domain.

The first step is to go to SEMrush’s ‘Organic Research’ report and input your domain name.

2) Go over all of your keywords.

You’ll next need to scroll down the page a little to where it reads ‘Top Organic Keywords.’ Click the blue ‘View all x organic keywords’ button once you’ve arrived.

Tackling-the-new-Featured-Snippet-change-head-on

3) Only show Featured Snippets in the filter.

After that, utilize SEMrush’s advanced filtering to only see keywords with highlighted snippets.

1636677157_935_Tackling-the-new-Featured-Snippet-change-head-on

4) Double-check your keyword list

As a SERP feature, SEMrush will now display you a list of all your keywords that have a highlighted snippet. When reviewing this list, pay special attention to any keywords that rank first organically; these are the ones that are most likely to witness a decrease in CTR.1636677162_427_Tackling-the-new-Featured-Snippet-change-head-on

If you’ve grabbed the snippet, you won’t be able to see your typical organic position in the future when tools like SEMrush update their rankings. Whether you want to see if you’re in first place, add the argument ‘&num=9’ to your query (credit to Kevin Richard on Twitter).

However, since you can’t see your typical rank at scale, it’s a little more difficult to locate a term where you may possibly enhance CTR by not being in the snippet. As a result, now is the perfect time to begin doing these tests.

5) Verify data using GSC (Google Search Console).

Then, using the GSC ‘Search Results’ performance report, filter for the query and URL you just discovered from SEMrush.

Tackling-the-new-Featured-Snippet-change-head-on

You may not want to use the complete query in certain circumstances. For instance, if SEMrush returned the URL /blog/best-built-in-microwaves/ and the snippet’s query was ‘best microwaves,’ There will most certainly be numerous permutations of that query that display the excerpt, such as:

  • uk’s finest microwave
  • 2020’s greatest microwaves
  • finest microwave in the UK in 2020
  • microwave oven with the greatest built-in features

These will almost certainly yield a snippet, and since they are long-tail, they may or may not appear in SEMrush or other tools. In this scenario, you could want to look at your clicks for any searches that include the word ‘best.’

6) Look to see whether there has been a noticeable change in CTR or clicks.

What you can do right now is check to see whether there has been any noteworthy difference in clicks and CTR since January 22nd (when Google announced the change). It’s still early in the game, so you may want to wait a few days before diving further.

7) What if there’s a drop in traffic?

The max-snippet tag, which Google revealed in September 2019, is the answer for not showing up for snippets on a page. This tag may be used to restrict the amount of characters that appear in Featured Snippets and regular Snippets.

The nosnippet tag is an option, however it will also remove your regular snippets in addition to the highlighted ones.

Meta descriptions are typically approximately 155 characters, whereas paragraph-style Featured Snippets are closer to 300 characters. By establishing a character restriction between 155 and 300 characters, we could keep our regular snippets while eliminating Featured Snippets. Set this to roughly 200 characters to be on the safe side.

It’s as easy as putting the snippet tag in a meta tag like the one below:

<meta name=”robot” content=”max-snippet:200″>

In their documentation on Featured Snippets, Google advises utilizing this tag. They do say that if the Featured Snippet is shorter than your character limit, this isn’t a definite technique to get rid of it. However, in the vast majority of circumstances, this should work.

Final Thoughts

You should now have a clear notion of how to determine if this change is having an effect on your traffic and, more crucially, how to make adjustments to your website to reclaim lost visitors.

In the future, I propose experimenting adding the max-snippet tag to sites that catch a lot of snippets and then evaluating how that affects your traffic shortly after.

Take a look at what Bill Slawski has tweeted and see whether term cannibalization is something you want to try!

If having a featured snippet implies that Google will push the result from which the Featured Snippet is taken to the top of Page 2, then keyword cannibalism makes sense! For a Reasonable Surfer Model, see the sample FS attached. pic.twitter.com/15GrUOuDQL

January 23, 2020 — Bill Slawski (@bill slawski)

Please comment here or tweet me @SamUnderwoodUK if you have any instances of this change adversely harming your traffic. I’m also considering combining the SEMrush and GSC APIs to attempt to automate some of the research I’ll be blogging about in the future. As a result, please sure to check out my website as well.

Watch This Video-

The “google search console featured snippets” is a change that Google has made. It’s meant to help users find information faster, but it doesn’t always work. This article will show you some of the fixes for this new change.

Related Tags

  • featured snippets
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