The new featured snippet variant was seen on 1% of all results pages containing featured snippets, said Olga Andrienko on Live with Search Engine Land.
Sidebar featured snippets news is here! “That’s an [algorithm] update: they didn’t start moving from position one to four because of COVID, [Google is] experimenting with something there,” said Dr. Pete Meyers, marketing scientist at Moz, during our search disruption session of Live with Search Engine Land.
“One percent of all SERPs containing featured snippets now have featured snippets not in the top position,” said Olga Andrienko, head of global marketing at SEMrush, adding, “It’s tiny, but we considered it as an update, and it was interesting because we’ve seen it for branded queries and also for informational ones as well.”
“This [new featured snippet variant] has primarily impacted featured snippets that previously appeared on the right-hand side of the results page on desktop,” wrote Australian SEO consultant Brodie Clark in his deep dive on the new search result type.
Initially, right-sidebar featured snippets were not part of Google’s effort to “declutter” the search results by deduplicating featured snippets that appeared in the main results column alongside the corresponding regular organic listing with the same URL. However, the company did eventually move right-sidebar featured snippets into the main results column.
The search results for “someone with bipolar disorder,” in which the featured snippet appears in the seventh organic position.
Unlike the more common featured snippets that you may be used to, these can appear in positions 2-3 or as low as position 7, have characteristics similar to knowledge panels and are typically not triggered when the search term is a question, Clark wrote.
Why we care. While these new featured snippet variants are still distinguished by a box and may contain images and the like, they don’t offer top-of-page-level visibility.
Knowing whether a query you’re looking to rank for contains a “regular” featured snippet or one further down the page can inform whether or not to pursue that particular featured snippet. It can also provide context for the traffic you’re getting from that query if you already own the featured snippet.
Want more Live with Search Engine Land? Get it here:
- Click here for the full session.
- What SEOs can learn from COVID rankings volatility [Video]
- 4 takeaways for content marketers in the time of COVID-19
- How SEOs are approaching traffic and budget disruptions [Video]
- You can also find a full list of all our Live with Search Engine Land sessions on YouTube.
More about marketing in the time of the coronavirus
- Marketers say COVID vaccines create hope for quick return of in-person events
- Is Amazon about to eat Google’s lunch?
- See how visits to retail, grocery, workplaces are trending with Google Mobility Reports
- Replay: Live with Search Engine Land season wrap-up—COVID and marketing disruption
George Nguyen is an editor for Search Engine Land, covering organic search, podcasting and e-commerce. His background is in journalism and content marketing. Prior to entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, writer, podcast host and public school teacher.