What Are Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are small excerpts that give a quick answer to a question. The featured snippet is chosen by Google automatically from an indexed webpage.
Featured snippets can be images, tables, lists, and more.
About featured snippets. How does a featured snippet work?
When featured snippets first appeared in Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) in 2014 they created a degree of panic in SEO professionals.
People feared that users would get all their information from Google and not visit the actual webpage where the snippet originated. Generally, this is not the case, although if a search is for a simple question such as ‘What is the Temperature in Memphis?’ then users may not need o visit the webpage.
Googles systems decide whether parts of a webpage are suitable for a featured snippet. You can optimize a webpage for featured snippets but you cannot mark parts of a page for snippet use.
What is the difference between rich snippets and featured snippets?
Both rich snippets and featured snippets appear on search engine results pages.
The advantage of featured snippets over rich snippets is they are shown before organic search results. Rich snippets are an extra data part shown in ordinary search results.
Note : To implement rich snippets you will need to add additional data to your webpage either manually or through a plugin.
Featured Snippets are automatically chosen but appear before organic search results (position zero).
Why Are Featured Snippets Important for SEO?
Why Position Zero Is Important
Position zero is the first organic result shown on a search engine results page that is not a paid ad. It should be the most relevant, short answer for a searched question.
Getting to the top of a search engines results page makes a massive difference to the amount of search traffic you can expect to see. Winning a featured snippet will allow you to jump the front of the queue of SERP results.
What Are the Different Types of Featured Snippets?
Featured Snippets can be divided into four types: paragraph – answer type snippets, tables, list and videos (typically youtube).
Which Type of Featured Snippet Is Most Common in SERPS
The most common type of featured snippet is the paragraph snippet. Paragraph snippets are the ones you are most likely to rank for in most situations.
You are most likely to get a snippet when searches are a who, what, where type search.
Well over 50% in 2022 featured snippets are paragraph snippets.
Featured snippet examples
The Paragraph Snippet – Text Snippets
Paragraph snippets will generally answer a direct question.
If you target a paragraph featured snippet you need to be aware that you need to have a reason for your audience to click through to your site.
Generally paragraph snippets will appear in searches that feature the following:
The Table Featured Snippet
Google has an affinity for a table snippet, probably as it is an efficient way to show large amounts of data in a small area. Just under 30% of featured snippets are table snippets.
Google can change the information in a table and recreate it in their SERP results.
Table snippets will generally only show the first four rows from any table. Making a table with more than four rows increases the opportunity for click-throughs to your site for more info.
The List Featured Snippet
The list featured snippets are either numbered lists or bulleted lists.
Numbered List Snippet
Perfect for step-by-step guides, recipes, or articles with items ranked in order.
Bullet List Snippet
A bulleted snippet works best for unranked items, long lists of features, or best of style lists.
The Video Featured Snippet
Youtube is another massive search engine, so it makes sense that Google would use this to pull in results for SERP results.
If you already have youtube videos on your webpage this is another area that you could target for exposure.
The video snippets chosen by Google are generally of the How-to variety.
Google may even choose just a single clip from a video for its featured video snippet.
How to get a featured snippet
- Answer a question quickly and directly in a single sentence if possible.
Featured snippets are all about answering questions. If your content does not answer a question it will not appear as a featured snippet. You can then expand on your answers, this will help with ranking your article.
- Research what people are searching.
There is no point in answering questions that no one is asking. Find questions asked from a seed keyword using tools like askthepublic.com. Google SERP pages also have the ‘People also ask’ section, selecting these suggestions will open up other questions.
- Create quality content related to your snippets.
You can not win featured in isolation. Google uses its ranking system for a page as a factor when choosing which featured snippet to show.
- Provide an answer in the appropriate form, whether a list, table, paragraph, or video.
An ordered or numbered list may be the most appropriate featured snippet for search terms.
Videos will feature in many snippets for many how-to guides.
See what type of featured snippet a particular search term has and provide something similar..
Winning a featured snippet will give any piece of content a significant boost. It should be easy to tailor your content to target featured snippets.