Featured Snippets Appearing in Fewer Google Searches

Google appears to be showing Featured Snippets (the answer box at the top of search results) in fewer and fewer searches starting on October 27th, 2017. MozCast, a service that tracks 10,000 search queries and shows the 30-day trend of SERP features, began tracking a reduction in Featured Snippets dropping 12.3% from being included in around 16.2% of SERPs to 14.2% of as of writing.

mozcast november 2017 google featured snippets drop graph

During that same time frame other SERP Features increased their visibility in Google searches indicating a possible test by Google or a change in how they might display certain queries. Knowledge Panels, Local Packs, and Related Questions are all SERP Features that have gained visibility during the time that Featured Snippets has dropped.

Knowledge Panels saw the biggest jump in SERPs going from about 45.2% to 60.1%, a jump of 32.96%. Related Questions moved up 21.37% from 27.6% to 33.5%. Local Packs made the smallest adjustment going up only 6.33% from 22.1% to 23.5% visibility.

google knowledge panel serp feature graph
In November of 2017 Knowledge Panels saw a big jump in Google search results.
google related questions serp feature graph
In November of 2017 the Google SERP Feature Related Questions saw an increase of about 21.37% in search results.
google local pack serp feature graph
In November of 2017 Google showed Local Packs (i.e. Local Business results) in 6.33% more search results than previously recorded.

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN GOOGLE?

It would appear that Google is either running a test or simply reducing the amount of Featured Snippets shown to users. Either way it’s an interesting change to keep an eye on due to the large increase of Knowledge Panels versus the drop in Featured Snippets. If you’re currently working toward featured snippets based on older research you might want to check those SERPs again just in case things have shifted.

Here’s the full MozCast SERP Features as seen at the time of writing (November 20th, 2017)
mozcast serp feature graph november 2017

Joe Youngblood

Joe Youngblood

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Joe Youngblood is a top Dallas SEO, Digital Marketer, and Marketing Theorist. When he's not working with clients or writing about marketing he spends time supporting local non-profits and taking his dogs to various parks.

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