Related video: Josh Frydenberg answers the plan to force Facebook and Google to pay for local news
Related video: Josh Frydenberg answers the plan to force Facebook and Google to pay for local news

Google Search adds automatic highlights and scrolling to articles

The update will make it easier for users to find relevant information from their searches but could have a negative effect on the advertising market

Adam Smith
Thursday 04 June 2020 15:16
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Google has updated how its search results work by highlighting its Featured Snippets in articles when they’re shared.

Google’s “Featured Snippets” are the small boxes of information, a few sentences long, that come up when you Google a question with a link to the full article underneath. Now, when you click that article, your browser will automatically scroll to where the highlighted area ends.

The search giant’s Danny Sullivan, who works on Search, said the feature has been done regularly with AMP pages since December 2018, with testing on HTML pages starting last year. It is only over the last week, however, that Google has been using it consistently on HTML pages.

Although it should work on most popular browsers, Google said it may vary based on what your browser can or cannot support.

“There's no markup needed by webmasters to enable a featured snippet [but if] a browser doesn't support the underlying technology needed, or if our systems can't confidently determine exactly where within a page to direct a click, clicking a featured snippet will take a user to the top of the source web page” a Google support page said.

Google also confirmed the update in a tweet.

While this feature update will be useful for those who want to access the news rapidly, it has been suggested that it could have a negative effect on the advertising market.

Brands with adverts near the top of the page might find users’ browsers automatically scrolling past them to get to the highlighted content.

This is not the only update that Google has rolled out recently. The company has also updated its Tabs in Google Chrome in order to facilitate grouping by name, colour, and emoji as well as killing bad adverts which take up too much processing power.

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