The Featured Snippet Banner Image

The Featured Snippet: April 2020

The Featured Snippet is the official SEO newsletter of Performics and is dedicated to keeping you update-to-date with the latest SEO industry news, trends, and eventsā€”all in an easy-to-read, summed-up format. See below for the latest version of The Featured Snippet:

In the April 2020 issue of The Featured Snippet: 

  • Google Shopping Goes Organic
  • Google Outlines its Search Efforts for COVID-19Ā 
  • White House Encourages the Use of SpecialAnnouncement Structured DataĀ 
  • Google Search Console UpdatesĀ 
    • New Copy URL Feature
    • Some Reports Now Tracking Fewer Pages
  • Google Delays Dropping Support for Data Vocabulary Structured DataĀ 

Google Shopping Goes Organic

Google announced that its Shopping search results will now be unpaid organic listings. Google said the Google Shopping tab results ā€œwill consist primarily of free product listingsā€ starting in April 2020. This change will be permanent and is not a reaction to COVID-19ā€”the crisis did advance their plans to make Google Shopping free for merchants.

Some highlights from this announcement: 

  • The main Google Search page will not changeā€”product listings ads will continue to be ads. 
  • Google Shopping is powered by product data feeds uploaded to Google Merchant Center.
  • To get started, youā€™ll need to open a Google Merchant Center account and upload a product feed. This Google support article goes into detail on how to create an account. 
  • This will take full effect in the U.S. before the end of April and will expand globally by the end of the year. 


Google Outlines its Search Efforts for COVID-19

Google created a lengthy thread on Twitter outlining its various efforts it has made for COVID-19. Below shows the beginning of the Twitter thread: 

Some of the highlights of the thread include: 

White House Encourages the Use of SpecialAnnouncement Structured Data

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a statement promoting the use of SpecialAnnouncement structured data to highlight important COVID-related information. This schema type allows organizations to mark up important COVID-19 updates, such as shelter-in-place directives, closure notices, and quarantine guidelines. When implemented, Google may choose to display these updates as rich snippets in SERPs. An example of what these rich snippets could look like is below:


Google Search Console Updates 

Some Reports Now Tracking Fewer Pages

Google announced that Google Search Console will now have a few reports show fewer URLs. These reports include the AMP, Mobile Usability, Speed, and Rich Results reports. Google said that these changes will help provide better performance within Google Search Console. 

New Copy URL Feature 

Google added a small but useful feature to Google Search Console that allows users to easily copy URLs from the user interface. Within a report that displays a URL, users can hover over the URL and select the icon with two squares to copy, as shown below: 


Google Delays Dropping Support for Data Vocabulary Structured DataĀ 

Earlier this year, Google announced it will no longer be supporting the markup. This announcement specified that websites using this version of structured data are no longer eligible for Google rich results features, such as articles, reviews, recipes, and more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this change has been delayed until June 2020. In order to prepare for this change, Google Search Console will still be sending out notices to sites that use this markup, urging them to make the switch to acceptable forms of structured data on

To learn more about how to properly implement structured data, check out Google Developersā€™ guide to structured data.