Site icon Bill Hartzer

Not All Google Featured Snippets are Informational

Ever since Google started introducing Featured Snippets into their search results, I always thought of Google Featured Snippets as being informational and helpful. And, non-commercial. Well, today my opinion of featured snippets quickly changed when I saw the Google showing a featured snippet for this search query: banking equipment.

For that search query, Google displays this featured snippet:

That “featured snippet” certainly reads more like an ad for SEICO’s banking equipment products than something I would expect: a history of banking equipment, a list of various banking equipment machines (coin sorters, paper currency sorters, ATMs, etc.). But no, somehow Google thinks that it’s more appropriate to show ad-like text than anything informational.

Take a look at what I’m seeing in the search results for “banking equipment”:

I see:
– Google AdWords Ad
– Google AdWords Ad
– Google AdWords Ad
– Google AdWords Ad
– Google Featured Snippet (ad)
– Google Organic Search Result (URL same as featured snippet)
– Wikipedia page

I don’t know if an SEO is behind this particular featured snippet (yes, it’s possible to get Google to show your page as a featured snippet) by optimizing the content on the page. But seriously, Google? The Google Featured Snippets is far from informational and a good example of Google Featured Snippets gone bad.

Maybe my mistake here is that I assume that Google Featured Snippets should be informational and non-commercial?

Google says this about featured snippets: “What’s different with a featured snippet is that it is enhanced to draw user attention on the results page. When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question, and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.”

In this case, the search query does not ask a question. My question is, though, should we assume that Google featured snippets are non-commercial in nature and answer a question in a certain way, without promoting a certain company and their products or services?

In this particular case, Google has no question answered for the search query (the search query is not a question), and Google promotes one particular company in the featured snippet.

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