What you need to know
- Google may add multiple Featured Snippets to your Google Search questions in the future.
- Some Search users have spotted more than one highlighted answer to their questions, displayed in different formats.
- This would allow users to see more data at once, but could also make it confusing which featured answer to believe.
Google Search results often show a “Featured Snippet” on the top of the page, highlighting an answer Google’s algorithms have deemed most helpful or instructive to readers. But Google may soon add multiple Snippets to Search results, which you may see as either more helpful or more confusing.
SEO consultant William Álvarez tweeted (opens in new tab) on June 15 that he had seen multiple “info-cards” in Search results when checking whether to give a dog allergy medicine. Google highlighted different results, some recommending checking with a doctor while others said it was safe and prescribing a dosage.
I like these info-cards in mobile results. pic.twitter.com/hGWsAQBN4dJune 16, 2022
Search Engine Land (opens in new tab) first highlighted these results, which we were unable to replicate on our own Android phones. This suggests Google may be testing Featured Snippets in specific regions, and we don’t know when they’ll become widely available.
Another SEO consultant, Brodie Clark, responded that he had seen this in the wild as well, except in multiple formats. Some show square or full-width bubbles highlighting key text from the article, while others look like regular search results but show Google’s emphasis text instead of the usual summary.
Clark also suggested Google has tested these multi-snippet results on desktop as well as on Android phones.
Yep, Google is doing more testing with showing multiple answers within Featured Snippets. We saw it back in April on desktop, now there’s three new variations on mobile. All spotted by @williamalvarez via @rustybrick. Thoughts on this test? More info: https://t.co/j6IUtkB6Zz pic.twitter.com/GufAr00gtrJune 16, 2022
Websites (like ours) covet the Featured Snippet position because people are most likely to trust and click on that result. Adding three extra Snippets will allow more sites to share that “approved by Google” slot, but could also complicate things for readers.
In theory, if you ask a question like “what is the recovery time for wisdom teeth,” you’ll see similar results in all four boxes and know your answer without having to click through. Or, if the results vary, you’ll have more options in case some of the results aren’t fully relevant or accurate.
On the other hand, multiple Snippets could make results too complicated for users hoping to find one answer; it could end up with users clicking whichever result comes closest to their presumptions rather than the “best” or “right” one.
We don’t know when, or if, Google will implement this feature. In the meantime, Google Search has also tested new Discover widgets on desktop and promised to improve its product review results in 2022.