Are featured snippets based on the search or the entity?

Until recently, I thought that featured snippets were generated when a search was conducted and that this snippet was specific to the search conducted (ie, How much is delivery might return a snippet from our “About Delivery FAQ” to say it’s £100).

Recently our Dev Team have been using the API and have come to believe that each Entity has a snippet assigned to it. (Ie. everything that points to About Delivery FAQ would have the same snippet).

Does anyone know which of the above is correct please?

Hi Andy - the content in featured snippets come from text within a specific entity that is surfaced in a search. Here’s how this is explained in the Core Configuration: Verticals unit in the Search track:

Featured Snippets extract answers to users’ questions from any fields for which Document Search (which you learned about in Unit 6: Document Search ) is activated. These Direct Answers come from unstructured data such as blogs, help articles, or people bios.

So, the answer is sort of both. The search query dictates what the featured snippet might be (e.g. a query for “how much is delivery” would be far more likely to return a snippet from your Delivery FAQ rather than, say, your menu items), but the actual content of a featured snippet will come from an entity itself - specifically, any field on an entity where Document Search is turned on in the search experience.

Is there anything specific that your dev team found that led them to believe that each entity has a specific assigned snippet?

Sorry for slow reply.

We’ve just realised something which makes more sense in conjunction with your answer above - when we are using the API, the snippet being returned isn’t the approved featured snippet (it’s a longer form of the snippet).

Example - How much is delivery
Approved Snippet - £149
Returned - We charge £149 to deliver your car to your home address.

Is there a way to see the approved snippet in the API?

Hi Andy,

Just to clarify, are you having issues seeing approved snippets in your search results when building Search using the API? Or are you having issues seeing approved snippets in the API response?

You should be able to see the approved featured snippet for a query in the API response under the directAnswer object as snippet:

We are having issues seeing the approved snippets in the API response. Having shared your screenshot with one of our Engineers, he advised me that we aren’t receiving the direct reply you can see, only (s_snippet),

We’re doing the above API call as a vertical search but have also tested as an universal search which no different results.