Snippets are elements that enrich search results. When a user types a query in the search bar, there is a chance that a snippet will appear in the SERPs to enrich his result. The goal is to provide the best possible response to the user’s request and therefore to offer him a more fluid and simple experience.
Reminder: what are snippets in Google search results?
The name may not speak to you, but you have already come across Snippets by doing a search on Google. As we said, these are elements that are added to the classic results in the search results, to improve relevance.
For example, if you search for the name of a personality, there is a good chance that a biography column with a summary of information to know about this person will appear. Google can also show a list answer at the top of search results when it thinks it’s interesting.
It must be taken into account that there is 2 Types of Snippets on Google. We find the Featured excerptswhich are automatically generated by Googleand the Rich extractsthat you’ll add manually to your pages. Appearing in Featured Snippets is a real sign of trust from Google, which chooses to highlight your content as the best answer to a particular query. It is these Featured Snippets that will interest us here, in the context of testing part of the industry-leading search engine.
Extracts from articles in the form of cards, blocks or lists
Google is therefore running tests to further enrich its search results. They are not testing just one new format, but several.
This is’excerpts that emerged from different content directly in the SERPs.
Usually, Google only highlights one page in Featured Snippets. We then speak of position 0, that is to say that our page is established above position 1 by Google. On these different tests, it can be observed that several contents are highlighted by Google. In 2018, we had already observed a few tests of “multifaceted feature snippets“, which highlighted several types of snippets on nuanced queries.
In other words, we can imagine that in the future, on certain requests, it will be necessary to share position 0 with other competitors. There is still a good chance that this format will remain limited. Indeed, Google seeks to offer the best user experience possible. If there is not enough quality content on a query, it will not show more than one. Also, based on testing, this format seems to focus more on informative queries.
Visually, these new possible snippets are rather simple. To highlight the extracts of content, Google lets us project ourselves on 3 different formats :
- The “card” format
- The “block” format
- The “list” format
New image preview in SERPs
Next, Google tries to improve its featured snippets, especially in the knowledge panels that display on a personality name for example.
First of all, it is on the images that Google wanted to work. The principle is to display a selection of relevant images in position 0. To take the example of a celebrity, this allows you to preview their portraits. By clicking on it, we would get a larger preview and the “similar images” on the right side of the SERPs, like what we already know on Google Images.
Currently, we can also see a selection of images appear at the top of the biography snippets on the right column. But, when you click on one of them, you are redirected to Google Images, which is not the case on this test.
Beyond the images, we can see that Google seeks to enrich the snippets by offering the choice to the users. On the test of the request “Albert Einstein”, we see that it is possible to select the different tabs to choose the information to display. We observe “overview”, “education”, “books” or even “videos”. Instead of trying to guess the search intent, Google offers the user to filter information he wants to see. The goal is, as usual, to retain Internet users in these search results, by offering them everything they are looking for.
A priori, this functionality would not be limited to informative requests and could have a transactional utility. Indeed, on this side navigation column, we could see articles appear, or at least, links to purchases.