Google improving ‘featured snippets’ with new features 

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Google is testing several new features to improve its featured snippets, addressing a number of issues related to inaccurate and offensive results.

Featured snippet is the descriptive box Google shows at the top of all results, when a search is done. Google displays the featured snippets to help people more easily find what they’re searching.  

The new features in Google’s featured snippet will help people who use voice-activated digital assistants for any query.

Today, mobile search traffic has exceeded the global desktop traffic. The traditional ’10 blue links’ format doesn’t work well for mobile users.

Along with the featured snippet for content, Google has now added the same feature for video as well. This will help users to jump directly to the right place in a video.  

Earlier, the featured snippet would show all the required content, and the user didn’t have to click the link. This was a concern for publishers because they were losing traffic. Google has fixed this to work in a way that will help the publishers as well, since they are the ones which ultimately make featured content possible.   

Google was criticized for featured snippets because it displayed things like “women are evil”, or “former US President Barack Obama was planning a coup”. The search-engine giant has improved it with Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which will help the systems identify the results which are prone to low quality.

Another update that Google has considered is to better communicate when it provides snippet that is not exactly what the user has searched for, but close enough.

For example, if someone searches “how did Romans tell time at night,” the snippet earlier used to show a result which explained they used a sundial. However, this result was of no use since sundial couldn’t be used at night.

With updated featured snippet, Google will show the “near-matches”, like “how did Romans tell time,” which might lead the users to explore the source, and find exactly what they’re looking for. 

Also read: Google launches Cloud AutoML to make AI increasingly accessible 

Last, but not the least, Google will display multiple results for some queries like “how to setup call forwarding”, since such a query varies by the carrier. The new feature will show multiple options as per the specific situation.  

Google is currently testing out these results, and will made them available soon.

Images source: Google

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