Bill Slawski at Seobythesea has written an interesting article where he looks at the continuation patent for universal search Google has been granted, which could give us hints about how technology and processes behind search engines are changing. It moreover gives insights on how Google through patents protects their search technology. I highly recommend reading it, as it takes a great look at how search works and has more importantly how it has changed in the last dozen years.
The impressive continued growth of DuckDuckGo cannot be ignored. I admire their marketing techniques with a focus on privacy, which, in a world post-GDPR, has worked very well and gained them a bigger market share and growth than expected. As the popularity grows and more and more searchers take notice, SEO marketing specialists should consider how to optimize their content towards the platform. However, for now, their market share is still too small for most, but I would keep an open eye on them
Ann Smarty from Moz has written a great article on how to optimize content for questions related searches. The article goes through the steps from researching and uncovering the right questions, using a range of different tools, and how to add this to your marketing strategy. It's a great read and I highly recommend it. There is no doubt that question-related searches will become more and more important as voice search grows. The change in search behavior is likely to be fundamentally as shorter unique question-based queries are expected to grow dramatically throughout 2019.
Google can now link users directly to the exact spot, of the content they are seeing in the search results snippet for featured AMP. Thus, when users click on this special AMP featured snippet, google will jump to that exact content on the landing page skipping content before this. Furthermore the content used in the search result will be highlighted when displayed on the website making it even easier to find.
This new feature is currenly only being tested on AMP (Accelerated mobile pages). This means that valuable content (and ads) might be skipped in this jump. It moreover highlights the importance of creating great concrete content, as it could end up as featured snippet and be the only content the users sees.