Google is testing a new mobile SERP feature! Get the first look at this new feature, below.
This expanded, featured content section pulls content from other pages, similar to the usual featured snippet, to answer questions related to the search term. Up to three answers appear at the top of mobile SERPs, creating extra featured snippet-like SEO opportunities.
We noticed this morning that there appear to be two featured snippets on some mobile SERPs, for “account-based marketing.” It looks like Google is pulling both the featured snippet, from desktop, and a runner up:
Confirmation that a longer meta description in organic results (like Marketo has, in the desktop SERP) indicates that Google might be testing that content for a featured snippet.
The mobile snippets, however, add questions to the top of each snippet box. They seem to be People also ask folders that are expanded by default. They are not, however, the same PAA questions that appear on desktop.
But it gets weirder. Mobile SERPs for “agile development,” for example, show three featured pieces of content:
And these results are very dissimilar to the desktop SERP:
Could it be that Google recognizes a different user intent on mobile vs. desktop, and so is delivering different results?
“Log management,” for example, has a strong purchase intent on desktop search (although a decent learn intent is also present, per the featured snippet):
But the mobile SERP features more learn intent content at the top:
Wikipedia falls from 0 to 2 (or -1 … how do we even number these?) from desktop to mobile, and TechTarget jumps from 3 to 0 (or -2 … or whatever).
Google seems to consider them featured snippets. Clicking “About this result” takes the user to the same Search Console Help page about featured snippets as the desktop link.
“CDN” triggers three mobile featured snippets:
And again, they don’t match the desktop SERP at all. The featured snippet on desktop comes from Wikipedia, which doesn’t appear in any of the three mobile featured snippets.
The leading questions appear to be coming straight from the content, and not in flawless English either. (“What does it mean CDN?”) Is Google’s algorithm writing its own content/questions based on the content it finds on-page? (See also, “What is the Facebook?”)
Similar to desktop featured snippets, the mobile features aren’t afraid of structured content. The third mobile featured snippet for “lead management” pulls an ordered list from the featured HupSpot page:
(Talk about SERP real estate – that featured snippet takes up almost my entire screen thanks to those line breaks!)
The third mobile featured snippet for “erp” pulls a bulleted list from Wikipedia:
These mobile featured snippets can be closed if the user chooses. Tapping on those arrows condenses them to the People also ask format we’re used to seeing on desktop:
Unlike the desktop People also ask content, however, these always appear at the very top of the mobile SERP. Wherever we found them, it was never below other organic results.
While many tech and marketing industry queries failed to trigger these color-coded mobile featured snippets, tech and marketing seem to be most likely to trigger these results. We tapped through keywords for a number of other clients — from logistics to HR to health and wellness — and didn’t get any of these results in the mobile SERPs.
We also tried scores of other queries, and got very few mobile featured snippets — but not none. “History of hip hop” triggered three mobile featured snippets:
As did “history of Chicago”:
Lots of other “history of” queries generate these results as well – from Facebook, to Canada, to coffee.
Additionally, only a few team members are seeing these results at all. Google is definitely testing. We’ll keep you posted when we know more.
Want more mobile screenshots? We have a folder of ‘em.
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