Google’s Latest SEO Change – Featured Snippet Rankings
Danny Sullivan, Google’s public search liaison, announced on January 22, 2020 that if your website is listed in the featured snippets that your website will also not be listed on page 1.
This is a huge change from the way search has been handled in the past. Prior to this search change, a website could hold both the top featured snippets result and be listed first, second, or third in the organic rankings.
Featured Snippets in Search
Featured snippets are special boxes where the format of regular listings is reversed, showing the descriptive snippet first. Read more about how Google’s Featured Snippets work.
Both the large box of text and the “People also ask” section are considered featured snippets.
It is still yet to be determined how large of an impact this will have on organic search but Google’s rationale for the change is to increase user experience and declutter the results. This will impact 100% of websites globally and it’s not just going to impact large sites.
Anecdotal reports that Featured Snippets have had their regular organic results pushed back to top of page 2. Can confirm case-by-case, but will dig in deeper.
If a web page listing is elevated into the featured snippet position, we no longer repeat the listing in the search results. This declutters the results & helps users locate relevant information more easily. Featured snippets count as one of the ten web page listings we show.
If you previously held both a featured snippet and the first organic search result, your organic search result will now be placed at the top of page 2.
We are still waiting for confirmation from Google to see if a site loses it’s featured snippet ranking will a site jump back onto page 1 or will it remain on page 2.
The SEO community is not very happy about this but google’s response has been that it is all about deduplication on page 1. But time will surely tell if this impacts negatively large amounts of organic traffic. Some agencies have already come forward and stated that they will block featured snippet generation if it hurts their organic traffic.
In the example I found earlier, both had their organic on page 2. Except neither should have ANY organic in this new scenario.
Nothing I’ve shared says you can’t have duplication happen beyond the first page of results. Deduplication is only about what happens on the first page. As things evolve, the whole “it’s showing up on page two” might not happen. So I wouldn’t say that’s how it works.