More threads by Conor Treacy

Feb 25, 2014
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I noticed this today and haven't seen it before.

When searching, I found one or two of the listings that had tabs under the search result. This gave a short caption of the H2 that was on the page.

This only appears to be triggered if the H2 in question was part of a Table of Contents type list.


The page that it links to has a table of contents and those are linked to the H2's. Here's whats on the linked page:

Pick the Right Google My Business Category [2021 List].jpg

Looks like we'll be adding TOC's to our posts and/or pages for additional space in the SERP.
Well, that was one of my quicker experiments :)

I modified a post on our site (actually ALL posts) to now include a table of contents using the H2 & H3 tags on the page. Added that to the top of the page, resubmitted the page to Google and now I have tabs too :)
(it's showing in some locations, and not in others)

Total time from edit to publish and showing in SERP was less than 4 hours. I added the Table of Contents in a dropdown tab that is collapsed by default. It also sticks to the top as you scroll down the page (sticky only on desktop as I didn't want to take up the room on mobile).

Now if you search google for "5 local SEO mistakes" not only did we move from position #4 in SERPS but we're now #2 and "local SEO mistakes to avoid" moved from #11 to #8. Although Google did rewrite our page description which doesn't look great now :)

Nothing else was changed on the page, just the addition of the TOC
5 local seo mistakes - Google Search.png
I have a client that uses TOC's on some of the informational pages. Checked today and he is getting featured snippets and tabbed results on several of them. Also seeing nice upward movement in the last 7 days. May have to expand the TOC usage to more pages.

Hi @Conor Treacy just stumbled across your post while doing some other research. Very interesting information! Are you still seeing the same tabbed results today as you did back in April 2022 using TOC's? If not, are you still retaining the same SERP increase? Thanks!
@JeffClevelandTN we still have the TOC on each of our posts (and some of our pages) and continue to receive more traffic than without. For this particular post with the search of "5 local SEO mistakes" (without quotes), we're ranking in the #3 spot, but it's not a phrase that gets a ton of traffic. It still does have the tabs.

How much traffic does this post receive? What would normally be 10-15 views per month, is getting 30-45 since the change. No other changes made to the post. No new links generated, and no additional internal links either. Strictly the topic and the tabs.

Is this a more popular search term these days than in the past? Maybe that might have something to do with it, but I doubt it.

Other posts on our site did see an increase in traffic, but not all posts received the same tabs in SERPs.

One that seems to always get traffic is "sudden drop in google reviews" where we rank #1 for that phrase. That has the tabs too. It too is an old post from 2018 that hasn't been touched since 2018 (and really should be updated).

Sadly, our Google Analytics doesn't record if the user clicked the page title or the tabs in search.
Thanks @Conor Treacy for the feedback! We are going to give this a try on some client pages where having a TOC makes sense, which have great content but we've had a difficult time getting above the fold. I'll do my best to remember to post our results. Thanks again!
I think if you combine a TOC with a TLDR or Summary at the top of the page, you'd be one step further along in the "provide useful content" to users. We saw really good results with that format;
I think if you combine a TOC with a TLDR or Summary at the top of the page, you'd be one step further along in the "provide useful content" to users. We saw really good results with that format;

Thanks Conor, we've had already taken a look at that page :) and will be modeling our testing using that format. Will keep you posted on our results.

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