The latest of many updates to the search engine results pages, Google claim that multifaceted featured snippets will provide “more actionable results to nuanced queries”.
Searches can often be interpreted in different ways. With multifaceted featured snippets, Google will present the searcher with the answer to each.
In the example given, if someone searches for “garden needs full sun” they might now be presented with featured snippet answers to both “what garden plants need full sun” and “what counts as full sun”. This is followed by an additional module offering them answers to related questions.
This move has several implications for search marketing.
When a query returns more than one featured snippet, the “standard” results are pushed further down the page. On mobile devices, this may result in them appearing below the fold.
The change will also encourage a wider shift in how people search. The better Google becomes at interpreting the intent behind broad searches, the more broad searches will become.
Currently multifaceted featured snippets will only appear for multi-intent queries on mobile devices. We can expect to see the change roll out to desktop devices in the near future.
Google have also indicated that they plan to provide similar results for other types of searches including guidance-seeking queries.