Google have added a new featured snippet variant to Google Search. This new variant adds 3 question and answer style drop down boxes within the main featured snippet.

This snippet also has a row of 4 thumbnails at the top, which link to that image on Google Images. Let’s take a look at an example below.

As you can see, similar to the normal featured snippets, this provides an answer directly from a website – and when clicked, scrolls to and highlights the content. But this time, we see 3 questions in drop downs, connected to the snippet.

I have found a few examples, and each of the 3 questions seem to follow the same path. The first 2 questions provide specific details about the search, and the last question appears to be a ‘how to’ question.

You can also see the related search queries when you open a drop down box. Clicking the related search does show the featured website in the search results, but not always in position 1, or as a featured snippet.

I have 2 examples below. One is a search for ‘heated windscreens’ and the other is a search for the ‘tennant t20’ – both are completely different sectors, and different types of content.

Snippet Comparisons

Working in the same way as the ‘people also ask’ box, these drop down questions on the featured snippet do link to other websites. They are not all from the original website featured. The example of the ‘tennant t20’ does show what seems to be the same site, but it is a website link from the US regional website for the manufacturer.

However, all 3 questions for the ‘heated windscreens’ featured snippet are to different websites, not linked to the original.

Also, the ‘How to’ question showed a YouTube video for the ‘tennant t20’ result.

To note: This might be dependent on the content of the featured website, but for the ‘heated windscreens’ featured snippet, the ‘people also box’ showed – whereas for the ‘tennant t20’ search, it showed the video carousel.

I would say this is one of the first clear examples of content Google is looking for, or at least what it deems important. If these new snippets do follow the same 3 questions (first 2 specific details, last ‘how to’) – we can now see exactly what we need to optimise for to increase the chance of appearing as a featured snippet.

The related search query in these new drop down questions give you a direct search term to optimise for.

I like this new variant of the featured snippet, as it does seem to give more clarity on the type of content that ranks in featured snippets. But then again, it even further takes clicks and visits away from websites.

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