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Google’s Featured Snippet Changes & Impact on Organic Traffic [STUDY]

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Google’s Featured Snippet Changes & Impact on Organic Traffic [STUDY]

A new study from seoClarity examines the changes to organic traffic following Google’s featured snippet update on January 22.

Earlier this week, Google rolled out a significant update to the first page of search results. Web pages in a featured snippet position will no longer be repeated in regular organic listings.

Previously, it was not uncommon for web pages to appear twice on the first page of search results if they achieved a featured snippet position. Many web pages even appeared in the first and second positions of search results.

Data from seoClarity indicates that 28% of duplicate listings appeared in the second position of search results prior to Google’s recent update (the featured snippet being counted as position 1).

The following graphic shows the ranking position of the duplicate listing for ~250,000 keywords that showed a Featured Snippet on January 22 (based on information from the seoClarity tracking database).

Google’s Featured Snippet Changes & Impact on Organic Traffic [STUDY]

Now that Google has deduplicated the first page of search results, SEOs and site owners want to know whether organic traffic will go down as a result.

To address those concerns, seoClarity conducted a study of traffic to URLs that have consistently been in a Featured Snippet for the last 14 days – January 10 to January 23. Here are the results.

Organic Traffic to Pages After Featured Snippet Update

SEOs and site owners can rest easy knowing there’s no significant change in organic search traffic following Google’s featured snippet update.

Mark Traphagen, VP of Product Marketing and Training for seoClarity, tells Search Engine Journal:

“There was no statistically significant difference in organic Google traffic sent to these pages after they lost the duplicate listing on page one, based on an analysis of real traffic data for featured snippet listings across multiple industries.”

It’s worth noting there were some minor traffic fluctuations detected in specific industries but these were very similar to day-over-day fluctuation (Wednesday to Thursday) from the prior week.:

  • Auto industry (searches with informational intent): A 10% increase in traffic was observed between January 22 – January 23.
  • Auto industry (searches with transactional intent): A 15% decrease in traffic was observed from January 22 – January 23.
  • Finance industry (searches with informational intent): A 4% increase in traffic was observed from January 22 to January 23.

Again, these are considered to be insignificant changes based on very early data. This is a good sign for site owners thus far, and it will be interesting to see if changes remain insignificant over the coming months.

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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