Google’s featured snippets? More from desktop than mobile

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We have often talked about featured snippet, a.k.a the fragment that Google highlights inside specific queries’ SERPs (also called position zero precisely because it is displayed right before the first blue link), but thanks to a Rank Ranger ‘s research we can discover something more on the very frequency with which the search engine provides these results and, moreover, through which kind of channels.

A featured snippets’ analysis both from desktop and mobile

The study took 30 days straight and examined 265 keywords that generates featured snippets when searched from desktop, comparing URLs to the mobile version; specifically, Rank Ranger (that also sourced this article’s images) monitored a number of URLs with a featured snippet for about a month and recorded the actuale percentage of the days in which position zero was consistent for all devices.

The identified elements are:

  • The keywords’ dataset showed a top placed snippet the 86.5% of the times from desktop, but only for the 73.3% on mobile devices.
  • On the 70.3% of the cases featured snippets are equally displayed both from desktop and mobile, while for the remaining 30% it only happens on one kind of device.
  • Ignoring those times a single keyword generated a desktop fragment but not a mobile one, the URL percentage matching both devices throughout the month goes up to 90%

Quando compaiono i featured snippet

Far more frequent featured snippets from desktop

So, the first aspect to focus on is that there are more chances to get a top placed snippet from desktop rather than on any mobile devices, given the fact that Google itself generates them far more frequently for desktop researches.

Differenze tra snippet mobile e desktop

The discrepancy of display depends on Google’s evaluations

Anyway, whenever it shows a position zero for a keyword on both devices, Google will use the same URL 9 times out of 10; according to Mordy Oberstein, Rank Ranger’s CMO, “this means that the real gap between featured snippets’ scores on the two devices has less to do with the actual URLs and more with” Google’s evaluations. In other words, with the way “Google considers the top snippet relevant on each device”.

9 volte su 10 compare lo stesso featured snippet

Why these differences inside the SERPs?

It still is peculiar that there are so many differences between desktop and mobile navigation, but “that surely are cases in which the mobile intention and mobile usage differ from desktop’s ones”, says further Oberstein, especially inside the purchase market. Generally, though, featured snippets are entirely informational and simply used to digest quick info without having to open the site’s page, so “I don’t really get how the user intent for a how to could be this different on each device”, he ends.

SEO suggestions to enhance the featured snippet’s strategy

Trying to draw some working indications, these info can be useful to try and improve our strategy and eventually gain featured snippets by analyzing our navigation device as well. Briefly speaking, the study suggests to analyze keywords even from the “device consistency” perspective, or – in other words – to monitor the keyword we are currently working on to know if it would generate a fragment and when/from which device: this activity will allow us to work more efficiently and to guide our on-page content accordingly, also matching the ideal kind of user experience to provide.