It’s about to get a lot easier to find the information you’re searching for on Google. As reported on The Verge, Search Engine Land reveals that clicking on the featured snippet at the top of a search — that is, the standalone box that aims to give you a direct answer to our query — will take you to that exact section of text on the website itself. It will be highlighted in yellow, and your browser will automatically scroll to its placement on the page. Here’s what it looks like.
According to Google’s Danny Sullivan, the feature has been in place for AMP pages since 2018 and has been in testing for HTML pages since last year. Now, it’s live on most featured snippets and browsers, although Google says functionality will depend on what individual browsers support. It also says that while there’s no markup needed by webmasters to enable a featured snippet, if a browser doesn’t support the underlying technology required, or if the system can’t confidently determine where to direct a click on a page, users will simply be taken to the top of the source page as normal.
It’s a useful feature for finding relevant information quickly — particularly for those seeking context around the info presented in the original featured snippet. However, it could have an impact on SEO and advertising, as users will be more likely to skip past ads and calls to action by jumping straight to the relevant content. As such, websites may end up having to change the location of their ads to make sure they’re still being seen by visitors.