One SEO professional was concerned about Featured Snippets. More specifically: in the context of different countries that use the same language. In their case – Switzerland vs. Germany.
On their platform, they have B2B pricing benchmarks for different products and services that show pricing specifically for Switzerland.
They have noticed that if a user is searching for “What is the cost for cashier system in Switzerland,” they have no issues appearing in the Featured Snippets.
However, if a user in Switzerland is searching for “What are the costs of a cashier system” and the context is within Switzerland, they have found that these Featured Snippets are always in euros and that they come from platforms in Germany. They target the German market and not the Swiss market.
They wanted to know if there is anything they can do to influence what is shown in the Featured Snippet.
John explained that from their perspective, the Featured Snippet is a normal search result. He said not to focus too much on whether a piece of content is shown in the Featured Snippet or not.
Essentially, it’s a normal search result and it has a bigger snippet with more information.
The snippets are highly localized, meaning that Google tries to recognize when a user wants to find something local. They will use the geo-targeting information that they have from the websites in order to determine exactly what would be a more local result for that user.
This happens at approximately the 16:36 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
Yes. Good morning. My name is Gabi from a Swiss platform. My question is concerning featured snippets in the context of different countries with the same language in our case, especially Switzerland and Germany. So, on our platform, we have kind of B2B pricing benchmarks for various products and services that show pricing, especially for Switzerland.
What we found now is that if the user is searching for, for example, what is the price for or what is the cost for cashier system in Switzerland, we have no problem appearing in the Featured Snippets. But if the user in Switzerland is searching for what are the cost of a cashier system, and I mean, his context is in Switzerland, he is searching for Switzerland.
But then we found that featured snippets are always in euro and come from platforms in Germany, that target the German market, but not the Swiss market. So my question is, is there something we can do from our side to take more influence to be shown, in this context of Switzerland, even if he does not type in Switzerland, but he is coming from Switzerland?
Or why is Google showing the search results then, or the snippet previews from German countries?
Yeah. So in general, the featured snippet is from our point of view, kind of a normal search result. So I wouldn’t focus too much on whether it’s shown in the Featured Snippet or not. But it’s essentially a normal search result, and it has a little bit of a bigger snippet with a little bit more information there. But otherwise, it’s a normal search result.
And from our point of view, we try to do two things when it comes to searches. On the one hand, we try to recognize when a user wants to find something local. And when we recognize that the user wants to find something local, we’ll use the geo targeting information that we have from the websites to figure out which are likely the more local results that would be relevant for the user.
SEO Professional 5 19:16
And with local, you mean the country? Because I’m talking about the whole country, which is, of course, a little bit small compared to Germany.
Sure. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that that local aspect is something that helps to promote local websites. But it doesn’t mean that they will always replace anything that is global. So probably what we’re seeing are these bigger websites from Germany? Right, I assume they’re bigger websites, I don’t know. Like sometimes they’re smaller too. But these are essentially global websites that we’re seeing. And on the other hand, we have kind of the local business from the same country, and depending on how we understand the query, then we might show more local results, we might show fewer local results, I mean, not fewer, but more, essentially more the global search results.
And probably what is happening when someone is searching for something in Switzerland, then, of course, we recognize, oh, they want something from Switzerland. And then we can really strongly promote the local results from Switzerland. But without that addition, sometimes it’s hard for us to determine if the local context is really critical here or not.
And sometimes we’ll just take global results in a case like that. And that’s not really something that you as a site owner can influence. It’s more, this is what we’ve learned from users over, I don’t know, billions of searches that they’ve done. And it can change over time to where if we recognize that, I don’t know, users in Switzerland, tend to go more to Swiss websites for this kind of query, then maybe we should kind of adjust our systems to learn that as well. But it’s not something that you can force.
The only thing you could do there is essentially use the feedback link on the bottom of the search results and say, Oh, I, I was looking for something in Switzerland, and you showed me German stuff.
SEO Professional 5 21:28
Now, because we found that in about 50 to 60 percent, it’s German results, even if there is a service connected, and it’s clearly products or services that you would not buy from Germany, because you do not have the local support.
No, I Okay. I mean, sometimes it’s then. Yeah, I think it’s super tricky sometimes, especially with Switzerland and Germany, because the language is the same. But it’s also something where, I think from a practical point of view, sometimes people just buy things in Germany because they’re cheaper.
And then you kind of have this skew of, well, I was looking for something. I don’t care if it’s from Germany, and I don’t have good support, but it’s cheaper. But I imagine you fight with that all the time.
SEO Professional 5 22:24
Yeah, exactly. Okay. Thank you.