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Image credit: DAMIEN MEYER via Getty Images

Google's featured snippets now take you straight to the info you want

Text from the featured snippet will be highlighted within the web page.
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This picture taken on May 13, 2013 in the French western city of Rennes shows a woman choosing Google Search (or Google Web Search) web search engine front page on her tablet. A report by a French expert panel published on May 13, 2013 recommended imposing taxes on smartphones and tablets but rejected a call for search engine Google to be charged for linking to media content. The nine-member panel, headed by respected journalist and businessman Pierre Lescure, said in the keenly awaited report that the revenue gained from the proposed new taxes could help fund artistic and creative ventures. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER        (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)
DAMIEN MEYER via Getty Images

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.

Google featured snippet highlight
Google / Wikipedia

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.

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