Google Delivers On Promise To Serve 'Multifaceted' Snippets

Google has rolled out a new snippet search experience that provides multiple answers to questions based on the query. The company announced the change in late January.

The initial reason to provide more than one snippet in a query was to allow publishers to provide diverse perspectives, remove bias from answers, and remove incorrect information from the web.

Google basically apologized for failing to provide the "authoritativeness of results strongly enough" for rare and fringe queries. It also often served near-matches in snippets when it didn’t have enough information. It made the snippets appear incorrect.

Now the company says the change aims to cover "a broader set of nuanced questions beyond just "multi-intent" queries -- specifically those queries that seek guidance in doing something like planting flowers or fixing a leaky faucet.

Some questions and words can be interpreted in a variety of ways. For example, the search query "garden needs full sun?" could mean that the person searching asked "what garden plants need full sun?"

"Multifaceted featured snippets," as Google calls this new feature, will answer both questions with one snippet placed above the other, at the top of the page above the search results for the query.

As the product rolls out, the feature will focus only on search queries that could be interpreted in a variety of ways. The query “tooth pain after a filling,” could be interpreted as “why does my tooth still hurt after a filling?” or “how long should a tooth hurt after a filling?,” for example.


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