Google is always looking to improve their algorithms and give a better experience to their users. Google has one agenda and that is answer’s user’s queries in the fastest and best way possible.
They keep updating and upgrading their algorithms to improve this experience and one of the popular additions has been Google Featured Snippet.
In this article, we cover Google Featured Snippets and how you can benefit from it.
What are featured snippets?
Before we delve into the why and the how. What are Google Snippets?
Google Snippets are pieces of information extracted from a site and already displayed for the users to read.
Google Snippets are basically a sneak peek into a particular content piece for a set of keywords.
In the above example, for the keyword ‘best phone cover brands’, Google showcases the snippet from an article by Lifewire.
Here is a blueprint of a Snippet in most cases
- A bullet point list or a paragraph with basic information regarding the search query
- A link to the website
- A small image in some cases
Why is Google Snippets important?
Be on top: The obvious reason is, you’ll get to be on top of the Google search results. This is also called ‘Position Zero’ in the SEO community.
Anybody can rank: Another very important aspect of Google Snippets is, any content in the top ten results can be selected to be featured in the snippets section. This is a superpower because as most of you would know, the top three results get most of the action.
According to a study conducted by Ahrefs, it was estimated that 8.6% of the clicks are on the Google Snippets. So if you have content that is ranking in the seventh or eighth position, you can skyrocket to Position Zero and steal your competitor’s traffic.
One content, many snippets: The best part about Google Snippets is the fact that one piece of content can rank in multiple snippets. This means, if you have a long-form article that covers a lot of bases, your odds of being in multiple snippets are way higher. According to Ahrefs data, the content with the most featured snippets has been recorded to be featured 4000+ times for one article.
Information around Google Snippets
- 53% of the times, the featured snippet wasn’t changed and 28% of the time, the featured snippet was changed once. This means, getting featured as a Snippet can benefit your long-term SEO. As its very unlikely that you will lose a snippet if you do the right things.
- Featured snippets are most likely triggered by long-tail keywords. The search volume isn’t a factor.
- Getting featured on snippets isn’t dependent on Domain Rating or URL Rating. This means the content that is in the right format will be chosen over a stronger domain.
- 13% of all Google searches have a snippet.
How to get your content featured as a Snippet
- Four types of snippets and how to rank for them
A list snippet is basically a list of items that act as a summary in an article. For example, for the query “best places to visit in New York”, if your article has a list of items at the beginning of the article that acts a summary, it’s highly likely you’ll be featured in the snippet.
For queries that expect multiple recommendations, adding a list will increase your odds of being featured in the snippet.
Make sure to add 10 to 12 items, as Google displays 8 and the rest are displayed with the message ‘More items…’ which increase the odds of getting a click through.
This is one of the popular snippet types. For example a query such as “Is honey good for health” is a perfect keyword for a featured paragraph snippet. Generally speaking, most featured snippets have 40 to 60 words and if you want to increase your odds of being featured, add a small summary at the beginning of your content that caters to the question.
This might come as a surprise to many, but video snippets are being showcased as well. In most cases, they are Youtube links. The content that is very likely to be picked for a video snippet is something along the lines of a tutorial or step by step process. In the example below, a common mac problem issue gets a video snippet
The final Google snippet is a table. A perfect example that would be suitable for a table snippet is a cost list of services or products. In the example below, the cost list and servicing price of Mercedes Benz cars have been featured as a snippet.
- People also ask feature
The underrated aspect of featured snippets is the ‘People Also Ask’ feature. This is a set of questions for common queries that are displayed by Google. Google decides these questions based on their algorithm as a followup to the main keyword. In the example below, for the keyword “How can I get fit”, the follow up questions are as follows.
So how do you rank for this?
You can create a FAQ section in your article with the exact same questions and answer them appropriately or you can take each question and make it a headline and write summarized answers underneath.
The impact of images does not have to be stated, but with snippets, it’s even more important. Based on statistics, images with appropriate alt text were highly likely to be picked as a snippet. Content with 12 or more images had the highest odds of getting picked.
4. Mobile Support
Google has been pushing the agenda for mobile-friendly websites and they have been pushing down websites that are not responsive. Back in 2015, Google announced that their majority searches are from mobile devices. In 2019, these numbers are only favouring mobile searches.
It doesn’t cost much to make your site responsive. There are freelancers on Fiverr and Freelancer who will do it for under a hundred dollars.
5. Basic SEO
No matter what you do, you will never be featured in the snippet section if you aren’t following basic SEO principles. A few of them are listed below.
- Make sure to have outbound links to authority sites
- Have a clear and structured process for your content by breaking it down by headings and paragraphs
- Make sure to add content tags to each of your article with important search keywords
- Make sure to add rich alt text to your images
- Focus on your social shares and comments
- Keep improving your domain rating by getting high-quality backlinks
Final words on Google Featured Snippets
To be good at SEO is to be updated and focused on execution. Google snippets are just one of those things that are done by Google to improve their relevance and quality of the search engine. By following these simple steps, you can improve your odds of being features and driving more traffic to your website.