Google appears to have expanded its Featured Snippets to include Google Suggest navigational buttons. This function was previously announced in January. When a user enters a vague search query for which there are more nuanced variations, the featured snippets will now show navigational “chiclets” style buttons that help users navigate to a more specific response. This kind of featured snippets appears to be appearing in more searches.
Featured Snippets with Google Suggest Buttons
The navigational buttons appear to be an extension of the Google Suggest feature. It’s like having search suggestions in a navigational element.
Take a look this search result for the phrase, how to zip a file
As you can see, there are Google Suggest buttons that clarify the search for how to zip a file on a Mac, in Linux, on Windows and so on.
Here is another example, How to Catch Trout
When searching on Google for How to Catch Trout, you’ll get the traditional Google Suggest drop down menu:
But if search for how to catch trout, without engaging the suggestions in the drop down, Google provides the featured snippets with the Google Suggest navigational buttons.
Here is a screenshot of the new style of featured snippets:
As of this writing there is no official announcement. However this change appears to be live on many searches, tested across multiple browsers. You can test it for yourself with the above queries or try your own queries that initially spawn a Google Suggest drop down.
Takeaway: Positive Impact on Search Traffic
The above search result did not previously feature navigational elements. With this update to the featured snippets, Google can now send traffic to sites that offer more precise information. That’s a win-win for users and websites with less generic content.