Google Learn More About Differences Between Conversion Indexing and Featured Snippets

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Google employee Martin Splitt elaborated on the differences between Passage Indexing and Featured Snippets in search.

Martin explained that within Google, Featured Snippets are a completely different system from Passage Indexing, which is expected to launch later this year.

In the case of Featured Snippets, Google finds a self-contained piece of information on the page that it can display as a highlighted description (the name Featured Snippets in Google's Russian documentation) above the search results. This featured snippet is displayed as an "instant answer" to the question.

As for Passage Indexing (or indexing of fragments, although in fact we are talking about ranking), it is not related to the answers to specific questions or the presence of autonomous pieces of information.

Splitt went on to explain the differences between featured snippets and snippet indexing using an example query (legal age for car rental in Germany).

So, if Google finds a direct answer to this question, then it can show this page as a featured snippet for this request.

But if we talk about Passage Indexing, then Google may not do fragments for this query, since there may be enough pages with good content on this topic in its index.

Or, there is a query [number of calories in a cupcake], and there is a page that details the history of cupcakes around the world, and you can also estimate the number of calories in different types of cupcakes, but without the short answer that could be seen in the selected snippets ...

So there is a lot of information on this page, but there is a part that represents a potential blue link result that a user might be interested in. Then Google can display this snippet in the main search results.

You can listen to Mueller's question and answer by starting at 6:34 in the video below:


The fact that Passage Indexing and Featured Snippets are different things was announced by Google shortly after the announcement of the new functionality.