Small businesses that compete for ‘featured snippets’ as part of their SEO marketing strategy will have to adjust to an algorithm change from Google.
Google has changed its algorithm so that its systems better differentiate between information that quickly becomes stale and information that has a longer shelf life.
For example, if you search for “Australian income brackets”, you probably want this year’s tax information, not last year’s – which means a newer page would probably be more relevant than an older page.
However, if you search for “What is content marketing?”, you want the most helpful page, no matter when it was published.
Google’s algorithm change is designed to improve the relevance of information it includes in featured snippets, as well as the way it ranks search results.
How Google looks at time
Does your small business compete for time-sensitive featured snippets?
If so, Google has provided some examples where fresh featured snippets are especially helpful.
“You might be looking for information that is updated on a regular basis, like the next full moon, the winner of a reality TV show or upcoming holidays,” according to Google.
“Other information gets more accurate over time. For example, as an event approaches, we learn more specific details. A fresher page about an upcoming TV premiere might have more specific information and other useful content, like trailers, that you can click through to view.
“Sometimes, a query is related to current events, so fresh sources are particularly important. If you’re searching for a food recall, for example, you probably want to find the most recent information with guidance for that specific issue.”