Something is brewing in the ScrollToText department at Google. Previously, ScrollToText fragments were really just a function of Featured Snippets when it came to Google Search.
This is where the lines start to blur, because there is some nuance involved. I’m now seeing the Chrome highlight functionality being added to URLs within Knowledge Panels. But only for certain Knowledge Panels.
More recently, I’ve started to notice Google broadening their Knowledge Panel sources. The result is that business websites now seem to have a greater ability to be referenced in Knowledge Panels. Often because Wikipedia is absent.
Earlier this week, we started to see signs of Featured Snippet insights appearing in Google Search Console. This data was proving to be imperfect, with some confusion around exactly what was happening and if on purpose.
Not necessarily a cause for the imperfect data, but the timing of Knowledge Panels with ScrollToText fragments is certainly consistent with the data beginning to show within Google Search Console. I was able to track down other examples of this. Here’s another:
The example above is really something to behold. While we already know that Featured Snippets can repeat in search results, this is a whole nother level when it comes to Knowledge Panels. URL duplication has always been possible here, but is still quite rare for websites (that aren’t Wikipedia).
This example again shows that the website being pulled into the Knowledge Panel (Crunchbase in this case) has ScrollToText fragments attached to the URL. Theoretically, Crunchbase then might be able to distinguish Knowledge Panel vs. organic listing clicks for [crmfusion] in Google Search Console.
Something else that’s worth mentioning here is the timing. While some examples of the highlight/scroll function were more recent (last 24 hours), I’m seeing others match up almost exactly with the insights we’re not seeing in Google Search Console.
Here’s what the first example looked like on August 19th (without ScrollToText fragments added to the URL):
And here’s what it looked like on August 20th (with ScrollToText):
Interesting, very interesting indeed… This may also potentially explain why we are seeing the Featured Snippet ScrollToText data in Google Search Console for some sites and not others. One thing is for sure, the ScrollToText dials are being turned.
As always, let me know if you’re seeing anything out of the ordinary in your WWW travels. Tag me on twitter with any thoughts, theories or findings.
Update August 29th:
It looks like ScrollToText showing for Knowledge Panels could also have some form of impact with images. This post was focused on a particular type of KP showing fragments, but Glenn’s example here is focused just on the image preview (with a standard KP format).
Here's a good ex of ScrollToText fragments showing up in GSC for *Web Search* due to images. For a query leading to my site with ScrollToText fragments, it's where my *image* ranks in the Knowledge Panel. Right side for dtop (#11 or #12), but #1 for mobile (KP at the top). pic.twitter.com/8vEPyX7Xm8— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) August 29, 2020