What Is a Featured Snippet?
In organic search, Google’s featured snippets occupy one of the most prominent places in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Also referred to as the “answer box,” the featured snippet is chosen by Google’s algorithms as they work to find the best-suited answer to fulfill a searcher’s query.
Google will take content from a site that would otherwise rank on page one, and provide searchers with an answer to their question and a link to that website directly in the SERP. Google’s goal with featured snippets is to answer the question within the search results, thereby potentially improving searcher customer experience as well as keeping searchers on Google longer.
The featured snippet most often appears at the top of the organic search results, beneath any ads, and is typically triggered by lower-volume, long-tail search queries. It is possible, though, for featured snippets to be found in the “People also ask” sections on Google or along with the knowledge graph information on the right side of the SERP.
While Google introduced featured snippets back in 2014, a lot has changed since then. For one, as of this writing, the answer box is the first search result of the 10 blue links displayed on page one of Google’s SERP. Up until 2020, if a business won the featured snippet, they would still be featured in one of the organic search results below as well. This is not the case today, as the featured snippet replaces that listing.
So, as a business, you’ll want to have content that answers the searcher’s question but also entices them to click through to your website for more information. In fact, a recent study featured in SparkToro found that nearly 65% of searches resulted in zero clicks, pointing to featured snippets as one possible reason for this phenomenon.
In this roundup of featured snippets, we’ll highlight the four types, the best ways to win the snippets, and why they are important for your business.
4 Types of Featured Snippets
Using the example of a new home buyer or someone interested in the housing market, we’ve compiled a few examples of each of the four types of featured snippets below.
In the example below, a potential home buyer would search “how much is the average cost of housing in the us” and be shown a result similar to this:
In the example below, a person interested in types of housing might search “what are the types of housing” and be shown a list featured snippet:
As an example, someone looking to compare home prices in the midwest might type in a phrase like “average u.s. home price 2022 midwest” and be shown a table featured snippet like the one below:
If someone is interested in a home renovation project, specifically a bathroom remodel, they may search for something along the lines of “how to renovate a bathroom.” In this case, a video featured snippet may be shown, as in the example below:
How To Win the Coveted Featured Snippet
Optimizing for the featured snippet includes, but is not limited to, keyword research, creating excellent content, and tagging the content with HTML tags.
Benefits of Featured Snippets
If you haven’t realized the importance of featured snippets, here’s what they can do for you. The main benefits of winning featured snippets include:
If your brand is appearing in many featured snippets, it can send a signal to searchers that you are a leader in your industry. This is especially true on mobile devices, where the featured snippet is what the user will primarily see in response to a query due to the smaller size of the screen. Now, it’s more important than ever to have well-optimized content that has the potential to win the featured snippet in order to take up that prime real estate in organic search results.
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