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We already heard a bit about the differences between featured snippets and passage indexing from Google. But in a video interview with Martin Splitt of Google, Martin went a lot deeper into the differences. Again, for more details on passage indexing, see our stories here.
At the 6:34 mark into that video, Martin is asked about the differences between passage indexing and featured snippets.
Martin explained that internally featured snippets are a completely different system from passage indexing, something we covered already. With featured snippets Google finds a self contained piece of information on a page and Google might pull that out into a featured snippet. This featured snippet is pulled out as like an “instant answer” to a question. Passage indexing is not about answering a specific question like that he said, or even having a self contained bit of information.
He then gives an example of a featured snippet query vs passage indexing. The query might be [what is the legal age to rent a car in Germany?]. If Google finds an answer for this question, Google might show that page as a featured snippet for the query. But for passage indexing, Google might not do passages for it because Google might have enough pages that have good content on that topic. More so, if there is a query on [calories in a cupcake] and if there is a page that had a long history of cupcakes around the world, and estimates the calories between A and B without a concise answer that you’d see in a featured snippet. So that history of cupcakes page has a lot going on in it but there is a part of that page that that is a potential blue links result that you might be interested in. That is what you’d expect between passage indexing and featured snippets.
Here is the video embed when they talk about this:
It goes on and I feel Martin answers a lot of these questions in a confident, direct and clear way.
Forum discussion at Twitter.