Commexis Cast Daily – Mar. 01, 2018: Google Expands Featured Snippets, Makes Them Multifaceted

Today’s Commexis Cast discusses Google’s latest announcement expanding feature snippets in SERPs to “multifaceted feature snippets” which aim to tackle certain search queries with multiple answers based on algorithmic interpretation. Google made the announcement on their blog, where they revealed the thought process behind the expansion of features snippets. Simply, some searches are so broad that definitive answers can’t be provided. Now, Google’s algorithm will take that query and interpret it into different potential questions, as you can see below.

Michelle Robbins on Search Engine Land compares this new feature to Bing’s multi-perspective answers that rolled out in December 2017. Bing’s search uses neural networks to show two differing viewpoints with more definitive answers. Whether Google will go this route in the future with featured snippets is unknown, but multifaceted featured snippets certainly feel like a step in that direction. Google’s post goes into detail on some ways that the new snippets may be improved:

“As we shared before, we aim to expand multifaceted featured snippets to cover a broader set of nuanced queries beyond just “multi-intent” queries. For example, guidance-seeking queries like “is it worth fixing my foundation?” have several components that could be important, such as cost, duration, methods and financing. We’ll continue to experiment with multifaceted featured snippets over this year to expand coverage. “

We’ve talked before on the show about what featured snippets are, how they help, and what you can do to try and place as one on a search result. With the expansion of featured snippets, it seems like they’re also be an increase in the ability to have your site rank as one. Here are a couple tips to help you do just that:

  • Think of questions your audience wants answered.
  • Create high-quality answers to those questions. Don’t be afraid to create a blog post with a brief answer first (which may help it appear in the search) followed by a more in-depth answers.
  • Answer questions your competitors aren’t answering.
  • It never hurts to have a Frequently Asked Questions page.

Finally, Amy gives her opinion on whether SERPs are becoming too overcrowded. She makes an excellent point that most search results that will be showcasing multifaceted featured snippets probably aren’t going to be showing as many ads, so the “clout” may be significantly decreased. However, that won’t stop some search results from becoming cluttered, especially on mobile search results.

Multifaceted Feature Snippets are now available on Google’s mobile search with desktop use coming in the future.

Today’s cast: Amy Leach (Commexis SEO Project Manager) and Matthew McGrorty (Commexis Videographer/Podcaster).

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