And how this mobile-friendly “position zero” works!
Updated December 2022
Welcome back to our blog, where we give you a little look beanhind the scenes of our world of online marketing. We’re sure you have seen Featured Snippets in Google before, where you ask the search engine a question and it answers without you having to click to open a webpage.
And those snippets probably got you wondering – Well, how does this work? Do I want my content there? Let’s put a pin in that first question for now and look at the second. Yes, you absolutely want to have your content in those featured snippets! In SEO terms, that featured snippet is position zero – the best spot on the SERP, displaying above any related ads or other content. Gaining that position should increase your website traffic as people see you’ve adequately answered their questions and they look for more content. Plus, you can show up twice on the top of the first page for one keyword!
Featured Snippets are definitely more for mobile users – on desktops or laptops like PCs and Macs, they still show up but not to the same degree. If you have both the featured snippet and then show up again in one of the top spots on the first page? Your content will own most of the clicks. Not only will people click through to your site on the snippet looking for even more content (if they answered this question that easily, what other answers for my questions do they have?), but they’ll also click your link that appears again if you’re in that top cluster.
Get back to the first question; How do featured snippets work?
According to Google, ”Google’s search results sometimes show listings where the snippet describing a page comes before a link to a page, not after as with our standard format. Results displayed this way are called “featured snippets.” You might find featured snippets on their own within overall search results, within the “People also ask” section, or along with Knowledge Graph information.”
Snippets are chosen by an automated Google Bot crawling a page and determining if there’s a block of content that answers whichever query best. There are some types of content that will not be chosen for these snippets. That probably has you asking;
What content will Google not allow on their featured snippets?
- Dangerous content
- Deceptive practices
- Harassing content
- Hateful content
- Manipulated media
- Medical content
- Sexually explicit content
- Terrorist content
- Violence and gore
- Vulgar language and profanity
And, fair enough. Google doesn’t want to be looking like they’re endorsing that content or promoting medical advice.
How Do I Get My Content on Featured Snippets?
Featured snippets are mostly question-and-answer format. However, sometimes they’re lists or other forms of content. We’ll start with the question-and-answer example as it’s the most prevalent.
Is your content already formatted in a way that asks and answers a question? If not, go through and reformat what you can after finding a keyword to target. FAQs are a perfect example and something we utilize where possible with our clients. Also, make sure your answers are clear and succinct and actually able to be formatted in a way that Google can use for the snippet.
This all sounds like a lot!
That is the point, Google wants to make sure the most relevant content is in that box above every other link. This is why sites like YouTube, Wikipedia, IMDb, and similar sites come up in those boxes so often.
Formatting is Important!
Formatting your content in a way that Google wants to use is vital to getting that Featured Snippet spot. If you’re aiming for a spot that already has a featured snippet, you know exactly which type of content Google is looking for. Is Google displaying a table? Now you know that’s what they’re looking for. If you see a list, either ordered or unordered, then you need to make your content a list.
Keep in mind that how your website is coded will determine how easily the search crawlers can “read” your table.
Getting a Featured Snippet spot from Google is not typically easy, but these tips will help get you to that goal. If nothing else, your page will be optimized better for the keyword(s) that you are targeting and will help with your rankings.
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