Position 0: a Guide to Google’s Featured Snippets

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Marketers should know by now that Google is always tweaking its algorithm to deliver better results and enhance the search experience. Apart from organic results and paid ads, Google has made more room for other forms of results over the years. One such addition is the presence of featured snippets.

What are featured snippets?

Also known as “answer blocks” or “rich answers,” snippets started appearing in Google’s search results a few years ago. Featured snippets aim to provide users with instant and concise answers to their search queries without having to click through any link. Users don’t even have to leave the results page to get the information they need.

Featured snippets appear above Google’s organic search results, or in “position 0” as some marketers call it. The content that appears inside of a featured snippet is extracted from relevant web pages included on the first page of search results. Snippets can take the form of paragraphs, tables, lists, and videos.

Rich snippets vs. featured snippets

The terms rich snippets and featured snippets are often used interchangeably, but they are two completely different things.

Featured snippets are always enclosed in a gray square with rounded corners and a white background. Rich snippets are not set in a box. Unlike featured snippets that always appear on top, rich snippets can appear anywhere throughout the results page. They look like regular search listings, except they come with extra details and enhancements.

A regular search result listing consists of a title, a meta description, and a URL. On the other hand, rich snippets can include different types of relevant data, like pricing and product reviews. They can also display structured data, event information, and a lot more.

Why aim for featured snippets?

It’s simple: featured snippets get more traffic, more traffic means more opportunities for conversion. Having your content in “position zero” will place you literally above your competitors.

Not only do you get the best possible spot in the search results, but you also get to grab people’s attention right away. A snippet is larger and more eye-catching than regular search listings. What’s more, it already displays the answer in front of the searcher. This means people are more tempted to click on it than spend more time browsing through the other results.

Getting your content featured in a snippet shows visitors that you’re an authority in the subject. The more trustworthy your content is, the more likely visitors will want to engage with your site. By establishing credibility, you get to turn leads into paying customers faster and easier.

Getting your content featured

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The main objective of snippets is to answer questions. As such, if you want to appear in a snippet, start crafting your content in question and answer format. You could also introduce summary blocks at the top of your page to directly answer a question. Taking advantage of professional content-writing services can help you optimize your pages with fresh content relevant to your industry.

Identify which questions your audience is asking. Make it a habit to check Google’s “People Also Ask” boxes for some ideas. Knowing the issues specific to your target market will help you produce more personalized and useful content.

Even if you don’t land in position 0, optimizing your content will help you know your customers better. After all, paying attention to their needs and problems is the key to long-term success.

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