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Google Adds Expanded Features Snippets, Knowledge Panel Updates and Suggested Content

     
5:17 pm on Dec 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Google has made a number of updates to Featured Snippets, and has updated the Knowledge Panel, along with suggested content on search topics.

Google's aim with this is to make content discovery easier.

Today, we've added more images and related searches inside select Featured Snippets to help you learn even more about your topic, or to discover new things related to your interest.

https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/featured_snippet.width-1000.png

The Knowledge Panels will show related content, and Google gives an example of a search for skiing will now show related searches, for example, snow boarding.
https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/original_images/alpine_ski.gif

while you’re researching a particular topic on Google—like soccer players for next year’s World Cup—and you search for Neymar followed by a search for Messi, you’ll see suggestions for related topics in the same vein at the top of the search results page so you can continue to discover other athletes during your search session.


https://storage.googleapis.com/gweb-uniblog-publish-prod/images/SessionMania_Neymar_and_Messi_dmfwsuM.width-1000.png

[blog.google...]
4:14 pm on Dec 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Search is not just about answering your questions—it’s also about discovery.

discovery... of the extent/bounds of the Google search results filter bubble.
Note: once beyond the event horizon the relative restricted smallness of the offering is hidden and all is awesome.

It's all about giving searchers enough cribbed appies to satisfy most cravings and keep them within the Google ad environment. Have a taste, have another and another.
What you insist on a full meal?
Well, these sites (from whom we borrowed our appetizing answers) are popular choices, BUT we also have these other possibilities that require us to show you another of our menus that distract you with more cribbed appies...
It was nice seeing you, do please come back

Yes, I knock Google's behaviour. I also am fascinated.
However, I remain extremely careful not to get sucked in; neither as a searcher nor as a webdev.
4:51 pm on Dec 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Google: Powered by Wikipedia.

Do you realize by donating (supporting) Wikipedia, you are in fact negatively affecting your chances of "discovery" in Google search itself? I mean think about it. These expanded whatevers are not written by Google. It's not their content. It's everyones contribution, which is being used to populate products of Bing and Google. It's getting to the point where you might as well just write and send your article directly to Google for consideration. Hopefully after giving the content people searched for, they still yearn to click your ad even though they just had the appetizer, main course and dessert. Do they have room for another chicken wing at the end of the meal?

All that hard work and time to create useful, excellent content for what purpose? You can't SEO your way or "write your way" or "link your way" above any of this that's mentioned.

I would be quite surprised to hear anyone setting out on a venture that somehow requires a partnership with Google to ensure survival. They control the "discovery" of what's out there and these advancements shown by the OP have zilch to do with discovery. Discovery means going places. Can we discover new lands from our couch? I know I can't discover new sources in the way Google is running it's website. Yes, website, not search. I'll said many times the only hope is that a new player, big brand steps up and provides links to sources and does not host the world's information for their own gains.
5:12 pm on Dec 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Stand out points:
- The concept of ranking #1 position is now rendered utterly useless.
- This is how Google search now looks on mobile so there is no point in hoping that things will revert back (Make Search Great Again!). Adapt or die, that is what evolution is.
- It is amazing how they were able to squeeze so much into such small screen while keeping things somewhat intuitive and usable.

I tried a few searches for the terms shown, here are some things that stand out:
- There was Wikipedia result that had site links, but the site links were carouseled buttons
- The knowledge graph not only had photo's from a different source then the content. The content was taken from two sources.
- The 1st organic result appeared at the bottom of the second screen (360x640 screen size = about 1000px down)
- When clicking on images on Image search, brings up the image with a prominent link to the website, that I find far more clear than typical desktop image search.
- With Images and Video and everything else on the screen, there must be at least 50 search results on the first "page" that is without clicking the next button all the way at the bottom.

I tried a few searches for some typical terms related to my sites, so no knowledge graph.
- The results look pretty standard
- The site links mentioned above appear, and may provide a benefit

One thing is clear is that Google dominates mobile search. In my stats for the month of November Organic Mobile Sessions from sources other than Google (bing/yahoo) accounted for 0.01%. So unless you are able to attract traffic from sources other than Google, these changes are the new reality.

Yes, I knock Google's behaviour. I also am fascinated.

One may not agree or like the change but there is a lot to be fascinated about and I think there are some interesting design/UI elements that can be used on our own sites. Google has certainly spent a lot of money and effort to optimize this layout, I see no reason why we can't drawn some benefit from it.
8:57 pm on Dec 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As of today I am seeing changes to "Site-Links" on desktop too. Here is an example.
[imgur.com...]
3:58 pm on Dec 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I assume you've all seen the message, somewhat confusing, where the snippet length has expanded to almost 230 characters. Danny Sullivan doesn't want everyone to go and extend their met description tags, either. [twitter.com...]
4:40 pm on Dec 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I can get even more of an answer from the increased size snippet. Just amazing there is no thread or discussion regarding this, as I noticed a while ago that the "info" in the SERPS expanded. So, ultimately, more info (greater chance of showing the answer people wanted) and less results showing on the page as these extra snippets mean they take more pixels on the page. So, I'm curious if Google expanded what's showing on Google News or not. Perhaps the previous fights with the news industry means those snippets will remain minimal as to ensure people actually visit the news source websites. The lack of observation regarding snippet size affirms what I've thought. A lot of experts don't use Google enough to notice anything on their own.
9:46 am on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's not going to end here, Google will eventually return the entire question. The search results will be full of Walmarts and Starbucks and the majority of smaller sites will be gone.

I gave up all hope and got a 'real' job 3 weeks ago. My site, which supported me for many years, continues to drop. It is https, have implemented schema, and is responsive, and my main competitor who rank no. 1 for almost all keywords is m.dot, http and hasn't implemented schema, but they are a big brand. Instead of whinging about it (not saying anybody here is), I admitted defeat and got out of the ring.

Maybe the site will give me some pocket money, but the days of earning a living from it are now gone. Brands trump quality, it's as simple as that.
 

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