Featured Snippets in Google Search are a great way to get quick answers to your queries, but sometimes one answer isn’t enough. Now, Google Search is testing out a new design for Featured Snippets that shows more websites.
What are Featured Snippets in Google Search?
First of all, what are Featured Snippets? If you’ve ever searched for a question in Google Search, you’ve probably seen a result where the first thing on the page is a quote from an article linked directly below, highlighting the answer in bold text.
Snippets are also used to feed data into Google Assistant. If you ask a question and Assistant answers directly, it’s probably pulling that information from a Featured Snippet. Google explains:
Google’s search results sometimes show listings where the snippet describing a page comes before a link to a page, not after as with our standard format. Results displayed this way are called “featured snippets.” You might find featured snippets on their own within overall search results, within the “People also ask” section, or along with Knowledge Graph information.
Google shows more answers with new Feature Snippets
Highlighted by the folks over at SearchEngineLand, Google is testing out a new look for Featured Snippets. Instead of a single card, up to four cards show up with quoted answers to a user’s query. Like typical Snippets, these are focused in on answering a user’s question quickly.
But unlike the usual Featured Snippet look, this provides more information, with slightly less context. Existing Snippets show the paragraph surrounding the answer, while this new design appears mostly limited to just a single sentence, or even less.
Brodie Clark on Twitter saw the new design when searching “what is the recovery for wisdom teeth removal” while William Álvarez saw it when searching “can you give allegra to dogs.”
So far, we’re not seeing this new design on our devices, so it appears to still be in a limited test at this point. Drop a comment below if you’re seeing the updated design.
There’s both good and bad to this new look. On one hand, Google is surfacing answers from a wider range of sources. This means users are more likely to do further research on the topic, rather than running with the first answer they see which, in some cases, doesn’t tell the whole story.
But on the other hand, the fact that these new Snippets show less information is concerning. If Google does get it wrong, this means there’s less of a chance for context to better inform the answer that’s being shown.
There’s a lot of good that could come from this look, but it’s a balance Google will have to absolutely nail.
More on Google Search:
- Google Discover is getting video ads as new formats come to Search, YouTube Shorts
- Google easter egg celebrates the 2022 Westminster Dog Show
- Google Discover is facing a major issue: Web Stories plagiarism
Author: Ben Schoon