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The Featured Snippet: January 2021

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

In the January 2021 issue of The Featured Snippet: 

  • Google Rolls Out New Mobile SERP Design 
  • Google Questions Hub Launches in the US
  • Google Confirms Subtopics Rollout (November 2020)
  • Google Search Console Updates
    • Google News Filter
    • Index Coverage Report Updates
  • Bing Webmaster Tools Updates
    • New Performance Report Features
  • DuckDuckGo Hits 100M Searches a Day

Google Rolls Out New Mobile SERP Design 

Google announced that it rolled out a new mobile SERP design, aiming to make the search mobile interface easier to read while providing a cleaner, more modern experience. The new design features updated fonts, shapes, and colors. The screenshots below show the new mobile SERP design: 

Knowledge Panel: 

Search Results: 


Google Launches Google Question Hub in the U.S.

After testing in several different markets, Google Question Hub officially launched in the U.S. Google Question Hub is a tool that collects unanswered questions from users within Google Search results. How this works: Some SERPs may populate a feature that prompts users to submit questions that weren’t answered by search results, and those questions populate in Google Question Hub. Users of Question Hub can submit URLs that help answer these questions. The screenshot below shows questions about “Search Engine Optimization”:

Google Confirms Subtopics Rollout (November 2020)

Google confirmed that they launched subtopics ranking in mid-November 2020 after announcing it at the Search On Event last year. This update helps Google better understand subtopics around an interest. The example Google uses is with a search for “home exercise equipment.” With this subtopics update, Google can now understand relevant subtopics for this query, such as budget equipment, premium picks, or small space ideas, and show a wider range of content on SERPs. This GIF shows how subtopics ranking works.


Google Search Console Updates

Google News Filter

On January 12, Google released the Google News performance report within Google Search Console. This new report will help publishers and webmasters understand how users are engaging with their content within the Google News apps (Android and iOS) and This report includes clicks, impressions, and CTR alongside article-specific data.


Index Coverage Report Updates

On January 11, Google rolled out a new and improved version of the Index Coverage Report. The new version of this report seeks to remove vague and confusing notices and errors for more actionable insights. According to the official announcement, the following changes were made:

  1. Removal of the generic “crawl anomaly” issue type. All crawl errors should now be mapped to an issue with a finer resolution.
  2. Pages that were submitted but blocked by robots.txt and got indexed are now reported as “indexed but blocked” (warning) instead of “submitted but blocked” (error).
  3. Addition of a new issue: “indexed without content” (warning).
  4. Soft 404 reporting is now more accurate.


Bing Webmaster Tools Updates

New Performance Report Features

During the first week in January, Microsoft Bing added new metrics to the Search Performance Report within Bing Webmaster tools. The new metrics include: crawl requests, crawl errors, and indexed pages. These new metrics allow webmasters to track indexation numbers over time and overlay this information with Bing organic traffic data.


DuckDuckGo Hits 100M Searches a Day

On January 11, 2021, the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo officially hit 100 million searches per day for the first time. Furthermore, this relatively new search engine will soon average around 90 million searches a day and has surpassed both Bing and Yahoo as the top mobile traffic driver for organic search. Currently, DuckDuckGo has a 2.25% market share when it comes to mobile search, beating out Yahoo (1.94%) and Bing (1.13%). For context, Google still controls the vast majority of this market, with a share of 94.48%.