Google has updated its policy when it comes to rankings for sites with Featured Snippets, after confirming that sites will no longer hold both a snippet and a page one ranking.
The announcement was confirmed by Google’s public search liaison, Danny Sullivan on Twitter on Wednesday. Sullivan confirmed a tweet containing a rumour that Google had made a change to the way snippets affect rankings.
If a web page listing is elevated into the featured snippet position, we no longer repeat the listing in the search results. This declutters the results & helps users locate relevant information more easily. Featured snippets count as one of the ten web page listings we show.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 22, 2020
The change has immediately gone into effect and will affect all listings across the world.
Prior to this update, it was not unusual to see the search results page show a website in a Featured Snippet position at the top of the page and then have the site appear for a second time on page one as an organic search result. Moving forwards, Google has confirmed that this will no longer be the case, meaning that a website only has one chance to appear on page one.
Until now, Featured Snippets were seen as an extra opportunity for a site to appear on the first page, with snippets being given a position zero result and appearing at the top of the results page. However, Sullivan stated that the Featured Snippets will now count as one of the 10 listings shown on page one of the search results.
Pete Meyers, of Moz, stated that websites that appear in the Featured Snippet position will have their regular organic ranking pushed back to appear at number 11, which is the top of page two. However, this was also dispelled by Sullivan, who explained that the site is not guaranteed to be at the top of page two. Sullivan also stated that he expected a site to return to page one organically should it lose its Featured Snippet.
What effect this will have on sites and their rankings will only become clear in time. As this is a brand new update, little is known about what will happen.
If you’re looking to improve your website’s ranking, get in touch with Engage Web.