What are the Featured Snippets and Why Should It Matter?

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For years, the world of SEO has been haunted by the same question: ” How to achieve the No. 1 position in the search results? “.

Achieving the top position in a competitive and valuable search became the obsession of SEO professionals. The first page simply no longer enough.

This phenomenon has good reason to be. Some studies have shown that about 30% of clicks on search results occur on the first position and more than 50% in total are attributed to the first three positions.

What does this mean? In simple language, be in the position number 10 could be considered similar to being in position number 100. Very few users (or none) visit your page.

There are many possible theories to explain these results, 3 of which seem most likely:

  • The emergence of advertising (AdWords) at the top of the results has significantly reduced the visibility of the organic results in space above-the-fold . This situation has become even more critical in the past 12 months since Google’s decision to withdraw the ads in the sidebar for the benefit of a greater amount of payments results in the body of the page.
  • The growth of mobile search further limits the visibility of search results due to the small size of smartphones (although it seems that technology companies seem to focus on larger mobile launch every time).
  • The change in the behavior of Google users who expect high quality results for all your searches , and when not get them at first, prefer to perform a different search rather than explore your initial search results. This phenomenon is known as “refine search”.

Now, why is it important to know all this before even touching the main topic of this post?

Because snippets featured have the ability to dramatically change the world of SEO.

What are featured snippets?

The results are featured snippets “rich data” that are generated by Google from the content of the pages present the results of a specific search. Also known in Spanish as prominent fragments, as well as its English name suggests, these results are featured at the top of the page, occupying what in the SEO industry, has begun to be known as “zero position” .

This definition may seem complicated, but surely you’ve seen a snippet featured. Here’s an example:

Example featured snippet

Let us pause to analyze this outcome for a moment. At first glance, I is evident why many SEO professionals have turned their attention to the No. 1 spot featured snippets:

  • It occupies an upper position to the first organic result, guaranteeing maximum visibility .
  • The space occupied by featured snippets is considerably higher than the organic results .
  • Often , as in the example above, include multimedia results rather than just text .
  • They have highly relevant information to the user , rather than simply display only the metadata of the page (title, URL and meta description).
  • You do not need to be in the number 1 position to get a snippet featured . The image shows that in this example, is the result in the second position which achieved the outstanding position.
  • Related to the previous point, the featured snippets allow effectively get twice the space visible on the first page of results.

All these factors combined have an important result: a greater number of clicks will get the result to the snippet featured .

A study by Hubspot found that featured snippets produced an increase in clickthrough rate (CTR) up to 114%.

If this is not enough to convince you of the importance of featured snippets, I doubt anything will. On the other hand, if you are interested in understanding how they work featured snippets, this guide is essential for you .

What are the types of featured snippets?

There are 3 basic types of snippets featured: paragraph, list, and table.

There may be slight variations in the composition of each, because Google is experiencing increasingly frequent with these, but they tend to be classifiable under these 3 types.

Let’s examine each briefly:

  • Featured snippet paragraph . They are those who usually include the definition of a term, but may also appear in other types of searches. For example:

Featured snippet paragraph

 

  • Featured snippet list . It is commonly those listed items from a list or procedural steps. Here ‘s an example:

Featured snippet List

 

  • Featured snippet table . In most cases, such snippet featured is used to present data sets. For example:

Featured table snippet

I invite you to perform some searches and analyze the results. Understanding the behavior of featured snippets will be very useful for the next section of this guide.

3 Tips and one condition for featured snippets

Condition to obtain a snippet featured

As I said in this post, it is not necessary to be the holder of the first position of a search for the snippet featured. This generates many opportunities for new and less authority pages.

However, they are always featured snippets generated with the content of the pages in the top 10 search positions.

This means that if you want to win the zero position, you first need to position your content on the first page of results.

Once you have achieved this, you can move to implement improvements in your content to increase your chance of winning the coveted featured snippet.

Tip # 1: Use a traditional question-answer structure

As you probably have noticed you to see the examples in this post, the vast majority of searches that generate featured snippets are formulated as questions.

Google will try to get within your content, an appropriate response to the user’s query. However, remember that Google uses computers to analyze the content of your page and how advanced it its algorithm, it will be difficult to understand answers that are hidden in metaphors or mixed with humor.

It is advisable to present an answer to the user question in the traditional way ; similar to what you would find in a dictionary or Wikipedia.

Tip # 2: Includes search terms subtitles

Although it can not have complete certainty of results, a lot of SEO experts agree that use tags <h2>, <h3> <h4> and <h5> to include the keywords used by the user to perform searches can significantly increase the chances of getting a snippet featured.

If we combine the tips 1 and 2, you will realize that to optimize your content featured snippets, we recommend that:

  1. Your captions include questions that people search for on Google.
  2. The text immediately next to the caption includes the answer to the question.

Tip # 3: Organize your content in lists and tables.

This tip also has to do with the HTML format your content. In this case, if your content lists, procedure or set of data, we recommend that you use the appropriate format to organize the text of your page:

  • <Ul> for item lists no specific order. For example, a list of ingredients.
  • <Ol> for lists that follow a certain order. For example, the steps to cook a dessert.
  • <Table> to sort your data in rows and columns. For example, to list a list of products and their prices.

1 curious and controversial Data on snippets featured

At the time of this writing (May 2017) there is a group of SEO professionals who have criticized Google for the use of content from various sources for the composition of featured snippets:

As can be seen in the capture, text snippet featured belongs to a completely different image source domain.

Result featured snippets position

This is extremely interesting.

Concern is generated due to practices such as these can result in Google simply build complex responses to the content on the results page, eliminating the need for the user to visit a page to find the information you need.

By actions such as these by Google, SEO experts see the future of the profession to be able to create and position content that addresses complex searches, which Google will have more difficulty in understanding and responding.

Your turn

After reading this guide you should have a functional knowledge base to adapt your SEO strategy and take the opportunity that lies in the featured snippets (and win the zero position).

Note : If you analyze the structure and composition of this article you will realize that follows many of the practices that I recommend to optimize your content for featured snippets😉

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About the Author

Eduardo YiEduardo Yi is an engineer turned professional digital marketing. His experience includes work in startups in Boston, San Francisco and New York.
Currently, Eduardo works in a company ed-tech and professional runs a project called productop10 .

Twitter handle: @eduardoyi

categories Featured-Snippets-and-Why-What-You-Should-Import