If you are a site with a featured snippet for a search query, you used to get a bit of a bonus – you were shown both as the featured snippet, and then your result was shown a second time as a regular organic listing too. This meant you got top spot showcased as a featured snippet, and then would appear somewhere in the #1 to #10 spot (or occasionally, on the second page) where the page would be shown a second time in the search results. But not anymore.
Google has seemingly dropped the regular organic result from a page that has already been shown as the featured snippet for the query. Now, the featured snippet is the only result for a page for the particular query.
From a user perspective, this does make sense. It was never clear before why Google would double up and show a page twice in the search results, often with the identical snippet, especially when the page was listed above the fold in a top organic spot too.
From a site owner perspective, if you are a site without the featured snippet, it means an extra spot in the top ten results is up for grabs. And it could increase the CTR, especially for those queries where the featured snippet is not a great result. If you do have the featured snippet though, you could definitely see a decrease in CTR, especially for those results where people didn’t gravitate towards the featured snippet result for any reason.
There are also other implications with the change. This does mean it makes it a lot harder for those trying to steal the featured snippet from a competitor, since now you don’t know where exactly in the organic results the page would normally appear.
Google doesn’t seem to have made this change worldwide. For example, the regular organic result is dropped for featured snippet results in Google.com, Google.ca but not Google.co.uk or Google.com.au. Or it could be part of a slow roll out.
It does affect both desktop and mobile results.
I have reached out to Google for comment and will update with any new information.
H/T Ross Hudgens
Added: Not everyone seems to be seeing it, although multiple people ran multiple queries Sunday and reported the regular organic result for the featured snippet was gone. Rechecking this morning, I was only able to get a single browser session via incognito to show the double listings. So it could be a very large scale test or a roll out, so I changed the wording to reflect that. Also for new locations: Some in India are seeing the change while others are not.
Latest posts by Jennifer Slegg (see all)
- Google Quality Rater Guidelines Update: New Introduction, Rater Bias & Political Affiliations - December 6, 2019
- Google Updates Quality Rater Guidelines: Reputation for News Sites; Video Content Updates; Quality for Information Sites - September 13, 2019
- Google Makes Major Changes to NoFollow, Adds Sponsored & UGC Tags - September 10, 2019
- Google Updates Quality Rater Guidelines Targeting E-A-T, Page Quality & Interstitials - May 17, 2019
- Google Local Service Ads Display Pricing Estimates for Specific Locations - August 31, 2018