The tool providers are noticing a decline in the number of featured snippets showing up in the Google search results.
Starting around February 18, 2021, Google seems to be showing fewer featured snippet results in the search results page. Most, if not all, of the tools that track the Google search results, are showing significant declines in featured snippets showing up.
What the tools show. All of the tools that track featured snippets in Google’s search results showed a decline in how often they show up starting after February 18tth.
Moz is showing a decline: 7.5% to 4.5%
RankRanger is showing a decline:
9.5% to 8.5%
SEMRush is showing a decline:
6.9% to 5.1%
SEOClarity is showing a decline:
Each of these tools track different sets of keywords and featured snippets but they are all showing declines.
Why it matters. If your site gets a lot of traffic from featured snippets in Google Search, this may impact your traffic. Keep an eye on your analytics, check to see if your top performing featured snippets are still showing up. If Google is not showing any featured snippet and you still rank number one for the query, you are probably okay. But if you rank lower, you might want to make sure to add appropriate and relevant structured data so Google richens up your result and you can get more clicks.
This may be a bug and Google may start showing these featured snippets again or this may be an intentional change on Google’s end. We do not know but we do know there was a change to how often certain categories of search results in Google will show featured snippets.
Postscript. The day later, RankRanger is now showing a return of featured snippets to a normal level. The other tools do not show it yet so maybe it is a bit too early to say that this is now resolved? We will keep an eye on this change:
Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.