What you need to know
- Webpages that Google believes provide the best answer to a question are often highlighted at the top of the page.
- Google will no longer repeat these "Featured Snippets" down the page.
- The company is aiming to declutter search results.
If you've ever asked Google a question, you may have seen the search engine try and answer it for you by showing you an excerpt from what it believes is the webpage most relevant to your query. For example, while researching a story I was writing about early, I asked Google the following query about the Snapdragon 845:
The above is what the search giant refers to as "Featured Snippets." And it's making a slight change to how they're displayed on the first page of search results. Previously, if you scrolled down the page, the same page that was highlighted in the Featured Snippet would be listed again — often the second or third result on the page — which I've always thought was a bit redundant.
If a web page listing is elevated into the featured snippet position, we no longer repeat it in the first page of 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....— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 23, 2020
It seems Google's engineers also agree, with the Google Search Liaison Twitter account announcing this week that webpages highlighted this way will no longer be duplicated further down the page. They'll also count among the ten results Google shows per page.
The account goes on to list further information that may be of interest to SEO specialists in the Twitter thread, which you may read here. For example, this process, termed deduplication by Google, does not occur for videos or for other types of content like Top Stories and seems to focus exclusively on instances where Google is trying to give you a textual answer to your question.
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