SEO News: Google Featured Snippet Changes

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Discover the latest SEO news, including deduplication changes to featured snippets and Search Console’s new tool.


SEO Updates: Google’s Deduplication Changes to Featured Snippets

Did you notice this change to Google featured snippets? Since Google made the update and didn’t announce it, Danny Sullivan has been providing confused webmasters with answers to all their questions.

In his article on SERoundtable, Barry Schwartz lists the features of this update:

  • Featured snippets are now part of the main organic search results

  • Featured snippets are counted as the first position

  • Google removes that URL from showing elsewhere in the core search results when it is displayed in the featured snippets

  • Images in featured snippets are not deduplicated if that URL is different from the text version of the featured snippet

  • Refined featured snippets, the ones that let you filter down more with bubbles, people also ask or other refinements are not deduplicated

  • Top stories, image carousels, local listings, and other vertical search integrations are not deduplicated either because they are not featured snippets

  • Normal knowledge panels, direct answers and so on are also not deduplicated

  • Right side featured snippets were deduplicated, now they are not

  • Right side featured snippets will eventually move to the top left position

  • To opt out of featured snippets try using the max-snippet control and reduce the size of your snippet so Google cannot show it anymore. If you use the nosnippet tag, you won't have a snippet in the core web results, so use max-snippet.

  • This does not impact your Search Console performance reports

  • This deduplication change rolled out on Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Let us know how this may have affected you >>

Right-Side Featured Snippets Get Top Spot

We’ve heard the news about deduplication changes to Google featured snippets. This will continue until the latest update: moving any right side featured snippet into the top position of the SERP.

This update should be rolling out as we speak.

Google’s SearchLiaison tweeted the following:

Deduplication does not happen for video featured snippets. It does for a featured snippet-variant that may resemble a Knowledge Panel on desktop, to the right side of results. This will likely stop later this week and resume when those move in line with main results....”

And further clarity from Danny Sullivan:

“I think the main point is that we're going to stop deduplicating there shortly. The move will take longer. After the move, we'll deduplicate again. It looks like deduplication will stop on Tue or Weds of this week.”

Let’s monitor how this update affects us. Or have you seen any changes yet?

Google Search Console’s New Tool

Search Console’s removals tool will allow you to block URLs from showing in Google temporarily. It can also:

  • Show you which content has been removed from Google for being out of date
  • Show you which of your URLs have been filtered out by Google’s SafeSearch filter

So how do you access this tool? Go into Google Search Console and navigate to the “Index” menu and selected “Removals”.

There are two types of removals available:

  1. Temporaryremoval URLs temporarily from the SERP, clearing the cached copies
  2. Clear Cachethis clears the cached page and removes its page description snippet in the SERP. This is only until the page is crawled again


Check out Barry Schwartz’s article for screenshots and more information on SafeSearch filtering. In the meantime, it’ll be interesting to see the feedback from webmasters on how this tools fits into their strategies.

If you’d like to discuss how the latest SEO news and updates could affect your performance, get in touch with our SEO experts today.

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