With Featured Snippets, Google Search immediately highlights the information you’re looking for. The company today detailed a new algorithm update that will make these answers more useful by keeping them fresh and up-to-date.
With this algorithm update — which rolled out in late Q1 of this year, Google’s Search systems have a better “understanding of what information remains useful over time and what becomes out-of-date more quickly.” One example touted by the company is how a search for “income brackets” should surface results about the current tax year and not the previous one.
However, other information is more evergreen where the “underlying explanation doesn’t change over time.” In this case, the “clearest description is often found on an older page.”
Prioritizing fresh content wouldn’t necessarily yield better results.
Work to make sure Google’s algorithms can understand language on the same level as humans — especially when useful context is implied by the query — particularly benefits Featured Snippets. Due to the update, Google Search will now find the most useful and up-to-date pages to highlight.
Here are some examples where fresh featured snippets are especially helpful. You might be looking for information that is updated on a regular basis, like the next full moon, the winner of a reality TV show, or upcoming holidays.
Meanwhile, Google will get better at updating Featured Snippets as more information becomes available rather than remaining static.
For example, as an event approaches, we learn more specific details. A fresher page about an upcoming TV premiere might have more specific information and other useful content, like trailers, that you can click through to view.
Another example that Google touted is pulling the latest data for current events: “If you’re searching for a food recall, for example, you probably want to find the most recent information with guidance for that specific issue.”
More about Featured Snippets:
- Google Search Featured Snippets highlighting answers on linked AMP articles
- Google search can now show multiple quick answers to your questions w/ multifaceted featured snippets
- Featured Snippets, Knowledge Panels in Google Search updated w/ more images, suggestions
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