Google SERP

6 Common Google SERP Feature Misconceptions in SEO

Google is regularly upgrading its algorithm, which affects its search engine results page (SERP) features. Brands must follow these frequent updates closely to get the most out of their digital marketing strategy, and SEO specialists must stay on their toes.

However, the ever-changing Google platform has led to several misconceptions. For instance, if you missed any trends in digital marketing, it can negatively impact your existing SEO plans and reach.

Let’s look at some common problem areas and misconceptions that you should know about.

FAQs and How-to schema results

FAQs and How-to schema results

When you search for a topic, the first page of the SERPs has a few questions related to your query. Have you ever noticed that there are always three to 4 questions on that page? That is the limit of these FAQ and How-to schema-rich results.

These results are standard across all mobile and desktop devices, but there is a chance that filtering may occur if less than three rich results are eligible. Filtering is one of the top reasons for results rich in How-To answers and FAQs not appearing on search results. When you are aware of these limitations, it can save you a lot of time during troubleshooting.

Yellow text highlight and scroll-to functionality triggers

Yellow text highlight and scroll-to functionality triggers

With the current version, scroll-to-text gets triggered for Google Featured Snippets only in two situations:

  • When Chrome is being used (both on mobile and desktop)
  • When a URL is created with AMP on mobile devices using any browser, not limited to Chrome

Most people only know about the first scenario, that too partially. Hence, it is a common misconception among businesses and marketers.

Structured data markup

Structured data markup

There is no limit for structured data on a page. However, just because there are no repercussions for excessive usage of data, it is wise to spend your time better in perfecting other areas of your digital marketing strategy.

At the end of the day, you need to focus on what brings value to your website and raise the website’s ranking on Google. Hence, even though structured data is crucial, you do not need to invest a significant amount of time in perfecting it.

Structured data for featured snippets

Structured data for featured snippets

Google systems are responsible for determining whether the content you have on your website is suitable to be included in featured snippets.

There is a misconception that structured data influences featured snippets, when in fact, it does not. Featured snippets don’t work on structured data. Instead, it depends on how organic your content is.

Product feed submission via Merchant Center with unpaid shopping listings

Unpaid listings within the shopping tab on Google are added solely based on the data submissions through product feeds within the Merchant Center. When Google’s documentation got updated in May 2020, this change was introduced.

Before that, inputs supported product feeds as well as Structured Data. Most people think that both are still used for inputs, but SEO specialists know that it has been about a year since it was changed.

Web Stories and Rich Results on desktop and mobiles

Google Web Stories is a feature that ranks on mobile as well as desktop search results. However, rich results only work on mobile devices. You can easily preview what the rich results of your Web Story could look like on mobile with the help of AMP Tests.

Many users and marketers are still unaware of this. Such a misconception can potentially hamper the campaigns that are not meant to show up on a desktop and aren’t mobile optimised.

When desktop users see a Web Story on their Google search results, it can often be a jarring experience. When they select a result and get thrown into a full-screen experience without any prompt, they are thrown off. This spoils the user experience and is one of the issues Google is still trying to fix.

Final thoughts

Featured snippets, web stories, product listings, and structured data are the areas where most SEO professionals get their facts wrong. If you’re working in digital marketing in Adelaide, it is best to be aware of the changes in Google SERP features.

Such an approach will help you tackle both the local and the national market. Still, no one can keep track of every single upgrade at every point. Hence, it can be helpful to partner with the digital marketing agency aware of contemporary SEO practices.

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