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Google Search update: Changes made to featured snippets and more

Google Search is getting a few feature updates that are aimed to make it easier for users to find relevant information while making changes to the Featured snippets, Knowledge graph, Predictive features and Organic results in search.

One of the major updates comes for Featured snippets on Google Search. Websites that are more authoritative and have content backed by facts have more chances to show up in the featured snippet.

“Because these features are highlighted in a unique way on the page, or may show up when you haven’t explicitly asked for them, we have policies around what should and should not appear in those spaces. This means that in some cases, we may correct the information or remove those features from a page,” Danny Sullivan, Public Liaison for Search, wrote in a blog post.

Existing featured snippets that are sexually explicit, hateful, violent, harmful in any other way and lack consensus on public interest topics will be removed and demoted to the search listing below the snippet.

Note that this change only affects snippets and won’t affect the rank of pages otherwise in web listings.

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“Google processes billions of searches per day. Our systems automatically strive not to show featured snippets that would violate our policies. However, the scale of search is so large that no system can be perfect. This is why we provide a public reporting system,” reads Google’s support page.

Google Search update: Changes made to featured snippets and more
(L-R): Featured snippet, Knowledge Panel and Autocomplete prediction

Just below the featured snippets on Search, people will be able to see ‘About this result’ and ‘Feedback’. If you feel that the result in the featured snippet isn’t accurate, you can provide feedback to Google.

Knowledge graphs on Google Search will also be subject to user feedback, self-correction by Google’s algorithm and manual correction if the algorithm fails to provide accurate results. People and organisations can claim their Knowledge Panels and provide feedback to Google about the search results, including images.

Autocomplete and related searches are two of the most used features on Google Search and with this update, Google will make sure that no autocomplete or related searches (‘People also search for’) suggestion that violate Google’s policy appear while searching. Users can also report a prediction that they think might violate Google’s policies.

Google doesn’t review search results manually, but they’re constantly working to update their algorithm to keep up with changing search trends as well as policies, with 3200 changes to their search systems last year. Google also works to protect users from spam in search results.

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