Well, this doesn’t mean all featured snippets need to be fresh and new, it only means when the answers require fresh content—Google will automatically find fresh results. Google’s Vice President of Search, Pandu Nayak recently announced the company has launched an update to their search algorithms that keep snippets fresh, timely and relevant when the query demands it.
This new update aims at ensuring that the answers Google gives to its users for some questions are not just accurate but also time-bound. Google confirmed that this algorithm update aims at understanding timely and useful information in an efficient manner.
Here is what Google announced:
As part of our ongoing efforts to make search work even better for users, a new algorithm update has been launched. This update improves our systems’ understanding of what information remains useful over a period of time and what become out-of-date quickly. This is particularly helpful for featured snippets, a feature in search that highlights the pages that our system determine are most likely to have relevant and fresh information you are looking for. Our systems will try to find the most useful and latest featured snippets.
Example of freshness in featured snippets
Google gave a few examples of featured snippets that need to be fresh at all times. For example, when searching for upcoming holidays, you don’t want to see the list of 2017 holidays, you will obviously want to see the upcoming holidays of coming year.
Or more accurate information
Or when more accurate information is available for a topic, Google will show the latest and accurate information. This can come up with events that might have only shared the time and date of the event, but has yet to release the agenda or speakers.
But it is not perfect!
Google admits that it is always working and improving on its system. There are times when Google can show old and out of date information. Below is an example provided by Google last month for a search on best smartphone for product photography and Google still shows the iPhone 7, from an old story of 2015. Clearly, there are much better quality smartphones available nowadays for photography.
To sum up
The featured snippets and Google’s overall search results keep changing. Google is always looking to make improvements because it still doesn’t always provide the best results. It aims to provide the best content for the query and hopefully, Google’s algorithm will recognize the best content and showcase it at the top.