February 28th, 2018
Many of us come to Search with questions about intricate topics. When we ask about “heat from the center of the earth,” for example, we could be asking about what causes it or how hot it is. And if we ask about “ears popping on a plane,” we might be looking for the cause or for remedies. To provide more actionable results to nuanced queries like these, today we’re starting to roll out multifaceted featured snippets.
Sometimes the words we use to ask a question are broad and there could be several different interpretations of the question. With multifaceted featured snippets, we’re able to better understand your query and recognize when there could be multiple interpretations of that query. In the example below with the query “garden needs full sun?” we’re able to recognize that it could be interpreted as “what garden plants need full sun?” or “what counts as full sun?” and offer featured snippets for both.
There are several types of nuanced queries where showing more comprehensive results could be helpful. We’re starting first with “multi-intent” queries, which are queries that have several potential intentions or purposes associated. The query “tooth pain after a filling,” for example, could be interpreted as “why does my tooth still hurt after a filling?” or “how long should a tooth hurt after a filling?”
As we shared before, we aim to expand multifaceted featured snippets to cover a broader set of nuanced queries beyond just “multi-intent” queries. For example, guidance-seeking queries like “is it worth fixing my foundation?” have several components that could be important, such as cost, duration, methods and financing. We’ll continue to experiment with multifaceted featured snippets over this year to expand coverage.
With any new feature we introduce in Search, we work to ensure that we’re providing a helpful experience. In addition to extensive testing to determine whether a change has a positive effect on search quality, we also take into account feedback from you. If you see a result that you have feedback on, we encourage you to submit your thoughts through the feedback link on the search results page.