What are context links in SEO

Google tests several context links in the featured snippet

Barry Schwartz was able to reproduce the test and found a featured snippet with links that create a text overlay on individual elements from the snippet.

The fact that these links point to other pages than the source of the snippet is an advantage for searchers. In the SERPs, you will receive comprehensive information on your request and further, related aspects. However, this feature is problematic for publishers. Your authority on the topic will be somewhat undermined when some third party sources add additional content to the clippings. In addition, the click through rate from the snippet is likely to decrease even further. Because Google provides more contextual understanding - on technical topics or jargon, for example - with this option directly in the SERPs. However, Google also stated to Barry Schwartz that the test is still at an early stage and the integration of the links in the example is not ideal. There should still be a revision.

Problematic: Google's AI creates its own web stories that become the source for featured snippets

The example given by Barry Schwartz highlights yet another potential problem for publishers. It is an excerpt from a web story that Google's AI created from data that it has aggregated from various sources. In this featured snippet, Google therefore refers to itself as the source and not to another suitable source such as a publisher who could have provided this information. Even if a content element originally came from a publisher but was included in Google's Web Story, this publisher is not mentioned in the Featued Snippet. The clicks could decrease further if Google created several featured snippets from Google Web Stories.

And the user experience on the desktop is also not ideal in this case, as the user is redirected to a mobile interface when clicking on the source. While the feature with several additional links in the featured snippet is still a limited test, featured snippets with Google itself as the source are already a common pattern in the SERPs. Publishers therefore have to be prepared for the fact that organic traffic via these snippets on Google could decrease in the future. But if you want to get more attention from Google, you can also try the Google Web Stories yourself; for these, the company recently introduced a relevant carousel view in Google Discover.