Google is testing some significant changes to featured snippets. Both will give searchers a more diverse set of sources in the coveted featured snippet position.
From the web. A typical featured snippet features text from, and a link to, one website. In this From the web test, Google shows brief excerpts from two or three different websites, linking to each source separately. Google also includes the site’s favicon.
Here’s an example screenshot (shared via Twitter by @vladrpt):
Other sites say. There’s also another variation of this featured snippet test where Google groups three sites beneath the typical paragraph-style featured snippet, under a heading of Other sites say.
Here’s a screenshot (shared via Twitter by @SarahBlocksidge):
Hat tip. Barry Schwartz reported on these changes earlier today at Search Engine Roundtable.
Why we care. If you own featured snippets for important keywords, you potentially could see your traffic reduced, as clicks could go to competing pages. Rather than owning the valuable SERP real estate outright, your site might end up sharing a featured snippet with at least one or two other sites (the number of sources could even be higher in the future, depending on whether this change rolls out permanently and how Google judges the success of the feature). On the flip side, if you don’t currently own a featured snippet, this gives you two additional chances to get there and potentially drive some more traffic.