Google Tests Dynamic Featured Snippets with Refinement Filters
Google has done it again. In yet another attempt to keep people on their site, Google has made their featured snippets dynamic by incorporating search refinement modifiers. For right now, this may just be a test considering not everyone is seeing this new answer box feature.
After testing a few different queries, this dynamic featured snippet seems to occur more frequently for “how-to” searches when compared to other informational searches. Searches using the word “best” also appears to surface the refinement filters.
So how does it work? Click on one of the refinement filters to update the content in the featured snippet without changing the traditional results (the Google search URL remains the same). You can continue to click on different filters to change the featured snippet or exit back to the original answer box.
At the bottom of the refined featured snippet on mobile, there is a “more results” button. Clicking this will update the search results (including the URL). The same is possible on desktop but instead of seeing “more results”, it will say “Search For: [Query + Modifier]”.
This is just another step on Google’s part to help the searcher find exactly what they are looking for and better understand the context of the search. Consider the search for “how to change a flat tire”– the answer to that question depends on the type of tire. Adding these refinement filters allows Google to deliver a more precise answer to the user’s search.
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The good news for SEOs and digital marketers is that you may start seeing your site rank for much broader terms assuming your site is optimized for featured snippets. For example, an article titled “How to Unclog a Sink with Baking Soda” may be able to rank for a more general term like ‘how to unclog a sink” if the article is already appearing in answer boxes.