A new type of Featured Snippet on Google?

By Brodie Clark

January 30, 2019
Meta Description Snippet with bolding of answer
Screenshot taken from Google’s search results for a client of mine

I’ve come across a new type of result on Google which I’ve never seen before – although it’s quite subtle.

The query used above was “how long does [client name] [product name] last”. The results of this search were surprising, because Google wouldn’t normally deliver an answer in this way.

Mordy Oberstein suggested that this looks like the process Google uses with Featured Snippets and I would have to agree with this.

Previously, Google has used bolding within the snippet area to represent a keyword used in the query. In this case, it is the answer to the query that is bolded.

Here’s what this normally looks like:

Google bolds components of the search query within the snippet

Featured Snippets can be seen as a paragraph of text, bulleted/numbered lists and also tables. The result we are seeing is more closely aligned with the paragraph format, although less “featured” in terms of prominence in the results page.

The result is interesting because Google is using a short sentence from the landing page in the snippet and bolding the answer to the query, instead of the keyword(s). I’ve never seen the ‘description’ section of a normal Organic listing function in this way.

How does this impact how we do SEO?

It doesn’t impact much. I believe Google is just taking a concise sentence from the page (the answer) and placing it in the snippet.

When Google made Meta Descriptions shorter and dynamic, there was clearly some changes in the works, which then made it trickier to have control over snippets.

This update looks like it could be a continuation of that, although that is just speculation. Have you seen a result like this on Google before?

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