Google Getting Creative with SERP Feature Combos

11 Jul 2019

SEO Team Director

Google Getting Creative with SERP Feature Combos

Over the past month or so, ourselves and others in the industry have seen more and more SERP features appearing. So much so, that we decided to create a glossary of all SERP features to keep track. As if tracking these wasn’t difficult already, we’re now seeing more and more hybrid combinations – and a lot of the time extra Knowledge Graph elements are slipping themselves in without an identifying header. In some cases they make themselves look like they are attributed to a site when they’re not:

 

Unlabelled Related Searches / Knowledge Graph Entity links

 

(mobile)

(desktop)

In this example the links to those locations go to new SERPs for ‘X location offshore banking’. The snippet owner gets credited at the top, but isn’t anywhere above the fold in the new SERPs:

(desktop)

 

These new SERP links look like they would be sitelinks for that website, and have likely reduced the CTR on that snippet considerably.

In this example we can see brand entities being pulled in based on the content of the snippet:

 

(desktop)

 

What’s more interesting about this snippet for a query explicitly asking about ‘apps’ is that these new links are completely unsuitable for this query on mobile as they are desktop software rather than mobile apps:

(mobile)

And the actual apps feature is pushed down the page:

(mobile)

I get what Google is trying to do here, but shoehorning entity links into other people’s snippets is not cool or useful. We’ll keep watching to see how this one changes.

 

Explore Panels

 

Although these are starting to get more visibility lately, these have apparently been around a long time. Mordy Oberstein from RankRanger told Search Engine Land that “they look like a hybrid of Google’s knowledge panels and featured snippets. They often are displayed in the knowledge panel location but appear to look like featured snippets.”

(desktop)

(mobile)

(desktop)

(mobile)

 

Un-Paid Product Listings (Maybe US only)

 

Again courtesy of Mr Oberstein we’re seeing this ‘Popular Products’ element being fed into a Branded Knowledge Panel:

(desktop)

A similar feature was flagged to me by Danielle Rohe who is also US based:

(unknown)

Though we’re not seeing these not-shopping links in the SERPs now, they’re definitely one to look out for. Though I would be surprised to see Google offering these instead of paid shopping ads – Google gotta get paid y’all.

 

Pronunciations – Advanced Knowledge Cards

Although not exactly a new SERP feature per se this fun addition to Knowledge Cards means you can hear the right and wrong way of pronouncing Aluminium in both an American & English accent. Really useful (not). This is a really good example of Google’s confirmation bias, where it only repeats what you want to hear, see “are reptiles good pets”/”are reptiles bad pets” –  a classic example from Emily Potter‘s Featured Snippets presentation at BrightonSEO & Search Leeds.

 

 

 

If you see anything weird in the SERPs – particularly in the UK; get in touch!

 

SEO Team Director

As Team Director of the SEO department at ROAST, Paige plays a crucial role in the development and expansion of the ever-growing SEO team.