Google begins experimenting with featured snippets
in 2014, Google started answering complex questions at the top of its search results with detailed responses (or answers) taken from websites.
Does that sound like featured snippets? It should. Because it was.
We know from Google that featured snippets were introduced in January 2014. We don’t know the official date Google began testing it, but this was the day Search Engine Land first reported on the new search feature.
We didn’t yet know these answers were called “featured snippets” – Google’s Gary Illyes revealed the name in June 2015 – but clearly that’s what we were seeing. All Google would say at the time was: “we’re always experimenting with different types of answers, but we don’t have more details to share at this point.”
Read our coverage of what was then an experimental feature: Google Search OneBox Answers Are Getting More Detailed
Also on this day
2022: Google’s Danny Sullivan said it was “something our systems normally would typically catch, so we’re checking on it to improve.”
2021: Those who knew him, admired him, learned from him and loved him, were left reeling from the loss.
2020: The tool temporarily blocked URLs from showing in Google and showed outdated content and content filtered by SafeSearch.
2020: A look back at how Google had treated ads in search results, from blue shading to the latest version of today.
2020: Immediate indexing and more control over content were the benefits for publishers and site owners.
2020: The changes included more search engine options and an introductory screen aimed at reducing bias.
2019: This was a Google issue and would be resolved.
2019: The search engine’s share was small but some of its metrics were better than Bing’s, according to a third-party analysis.
2016: It expanded on examples about how to help Google find your webpages, how to give them better ideas on what those pages were about and how to make webpages that are good for visitors.
2016: You could check AdWords campaign performance, change bids and adjust budgets from your phone.
2016: They added little value in return for Google giving up its valuable search results space.
2016: With its nearly infinite news stream, Yahoo users no longer needed to open news articles in multiple browser tabs.
2015: Google added support for webpages that dynamically changed their content based on IP origin or language settings.
2015: The updates involved new satellite and ground-level imagery, and a detailed seat map of the stadium itself.
2014: The warning was mostly directed at affiliate sites in the “adult” industry.
2014: 68.8% of participants planned to focus on conversion rates and performance metrics in response to Google’s elimination of keyword data.
2014: You could click on the start and/or end date and a calendar pop up would show up to change your check in and check out dates.
2014: The report showed paid search spend rose 37.4% year-over-year.
2014: “It’s not hard to imagine that machine learning and AI would have broad application across Google, from search and mobile … to advertising, robots, autonomous cars, security and the connected home.”
2014: Five trends from the Super Bowl advertiser ads that ran on Google and the Yahoo Bing Network.
2013: Governments routinely ask search engines like Google for access to user data for various reasons. Google said they take each request incredibly seriously.
2013: Google was apparently trying to cross-promote AdWords Express and Google+.
2013: Over the previous 18 months, ChaCha had seen 2 billion questions and organized 129 million Q&A pairs.
2012: Amit Singhal told Search Engine Land: “… People are judging a product and an overall direction that we have in the first two weeks of a launch … We’re clearly not done. The product is not complete. It will improve.”
2012: It happened 125 years earlier, in Fort Keogh, Montana.
2011: The change to their algorithm was to prevent low quality scraper content in Google’s index. It impacted slightly over 2% of queries.
Microsoft Q2 Revs Almost $20 Billion, “Bing Division” Still Losing Money Despite Search Revenue Increase
2011: Online Services, which houses all Microsoft’s online operations including MSN and Bing, posted a $543 million loss. That was up from $463 million in 2010.
2011: Google redesigned the homepage for its AdWords advertiser interface in an effort to bring more relevant, customized information up front for marketers.
2011: Bing’s destination pages let searchers compare several destinations at once in a side-by-side layout.
2011: Did scandals or an antitrust investigation make people less trusting of Google or tarnish its brand? Not at all.
2011: Google and the Connecticut-led coalition of 40 US states would begin negotiations aimed at settling issues related to Google’s collection of personal data over unsecured WiFi networks.
2011: Demos of several tablets were expected
2011: The latest images showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more.
2010: Google tarted personalizing search suggestions that appeared on Google Maps.
2010: That was slightly higher than the 36% of UK consumers who had done so, but far less than in Germany (59%) and France (56%).
2010: Less than 24 hours after Apple announced the Apple iPad, Google announced improvements to the Google Books home page.
2010: It was a call for the price of a click on mobile handsets.
2010: Bing’s “Stocks and Funds page” offered in-depth information for users following or doing research related to stocks and finances.
2010: “We have done business in China for more than 20 years and we intend to stay engaged, which means our business must respect the laws of China.”
2009: Click Forensics estimated the overall average click fraud rate for Q4 2008 at 17.1%, the highest level since they began tracking it in 2006.
2009: The purpose: to help small- and mid-sized advertisers suffering from “performance issues.”
2009: Search was almost equally used by all groups across the board.
2008: Users could get directions or locations of businesses without inputting a destination address.
2008: Google added map view and a new info view that allows you to show different results on the page.
2008: “It’s like dealing with the CIA.”
2008: Google added a new video to its existing series of privacy videos, plus it developed a privacy booklet (PDF) to educate consumers and parents about online data privacy.
2008: DotHomes sought to become “the Google of property search” and was crawling for listings.
2008: The Google logo was made up of legos.
2007: This would give original video creators the ability to earn revenue each time their videos were watched on YouTube.
Past contributions from Search Engine Land’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.
- 2022: Messy SEO Part 6: Pillar pages and topic clusters by Corey Patterson
- 2019: Amazon advertising attribution: Here’s how it works by Trevor George
- 2019: Learn how to build an online to offline attribution model for local businesses by Brian Smith
- 2019: Google My Business messaging via SMS to end, but where is the alternative? by Joy Hawkins
- 2016: 7 Traits That Will Make You A Great SEO by Will Scott
- 2016: When You Rank High Organically But Not Locally (Case Study) by Joy Hawkins
- 2016: PPC Geo-Bidding, Simplified by Andrew Goodman
- 2015: 7 Essential Quality Metrics For Evaluating Publishers For Guest Blogging by Jayson DeMers
- 2015: 3 Steps To Optimizing Local Paid Search by Benjamin Vigneron
- 2015: Quality Content Factors: A List That’s Actually Helpful by Nate Dame
- 2014: Secure Search & SEO Methodology: Key Strategies & Enablers by Jim Yu
- 2014: How To Analyze A Link: Link Building Basics by Jon Ball
- 2013: How Google’s Lack Of (Re-)Consideration For Local Businesses Makes Life & Listings Difficult by Chris Silver Smith
- 2013: Why Enterprises Cannot Ignore Deep Link Building by Eric Enge
- 2013: Comparing Mobile Blog Designs: What Works Best? by Sherwood Stranieri
- 2011: Interview With TAT’s Hampus Jakobsson On Digital Natives & Digital Immigrants by Gord Hotchkiss
- 2011: Applying Customer Life time Value To Paid Search by Siddharth Shah
- 2010: A Paid Search Glossary by Josh Dreller
- 2010: 7 Do’s & Don’ts For Working With A Technical SEO During A Redesign by Jill Whalen
- 2010: 8 Opportunities To Optimize Content Beyond Local Listings by David Mihm
- 2010: Google May Be Crawling AJAX Now – How To Best Take Advantage Of It by Vanessa Fox
- 2009: Change (& In-House SEO) by Andrea Harris
- 2009: Your 2009 Marketing Budget: Why It’s Worth Revisiting by Andrew Wheeler
- 2009: Content: The Once, Current & Future King Of Big Site SEO by Jonathan Ashton
- 2008: Why Local Businesses Should Be Like The Jerk by Chris Linnett
- 2008: Spying On Your Paid Search Competitors by Mona Elesseily