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 smoother and simpler experience.
Reminder: what are snippets in Google search results?
The name may not speak to you, but you must 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 highlight an answer in the form of a list at the top of the search results when it deems it to be interesting.
It must be taken into account that there is 2 Types of Snippets on Google. We find the Featured Snippetswhich are automatically generated by Googleand the Rich Snippetsthat 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 tests from the leading search engine in the sector.
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’snippets 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 positioned above position 1 by Google. On these different tests, we can observe that several contents are highlighted by Google. In 2018, we had already observed a few tests of “multifaceted featured 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 possible user experience. If there is not enough quality content on a query, it will not show more than one. Also, from the tests, this format seems to focus more on informative queries.
Visually, these possible new 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 is trying to improve its featured snippets, particularly in terms of the knowledge panels that appear on a personality name, for example.
First of all, it is on the images that Google wanted to work. The principle is to bring out a selection of relevant images in position 0. To take the example of a celebrity, this makes it possible to preview portraits of the latter. By clicking on it, we would obtain 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 different tabs to choose 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.