Knowledge

Does Google’s update mean featured snippets are no longer worth owning?

2-MINUTE READ - 23rd January 2020

Rachel Handley
Rachel HandleyHead of Content

The URL occupying the featured snippet will no longer get an additional standard listing on the same search engine results page, Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan announced on Twitter last night.

Featured snippets appeared on 10.71% of Google UK desktop results pages on 22 January 2020, according to Advanced Web Ranking.

UPDATE:

What does this mean for my rankings?

The update rolled out globally on 22 January 2020 and means that earning the featured snippet no longer gives you double exposure on the first page of Google.

On the other hand, on search engine results pages where you don’t own the featured snippet, you now have one less search listing to compete against.

Rank-tracking software may struggle to showcase the impact on rankings — RankRanger is currently showing that featured snippets have disappeared, seemingly due to difficulty tracking the change.

RankRanger - featured snippet update 22 Jan 2020

UPDATE:

Are featured snippets still worth it?

Owning the featured snippet will still give you prominent exposure on a search engine results page. However, Ahrefs data shows that the featured snippet only attracts 8.6% of clicks, whereas the standard listing below receives 19.6% of clicks. And last night’s update means that the same page can no longer occupy both positions.

So, earning the featured snippet may no longer be in publishers’ best interests.

Ahrefs - average click through of featured snippets

This led some search marketers to consider “de-optimising” for the featured snippet but, as Moz’s Dr Pete Meyers rightly pointed out, this risks your chance of earning any kind of ranking.

Instead, I expect to see more publishers opting out of featured snippets using the nosnippet tag. And that could eventually hinder Google’s ability to deliver high-quality featured snippets.

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