If you haven’t heard of Google’s featured snippets yet, then you’ve likely seen them while conducting a routine search. In today’s guide, we’re going to explore what featured snippets are and we’ll also take a look at why they’re important and the various types of snippets that you may come across.
Google is known for always innovating on its results pages, and the SERPs that we see today are ages beyond the results pages that you would have seen a decade ago. Google has tried hard to ensure that all of the information you need is available to you as soon as you conduct a search instead of having to wade through pages of info to find it.
Featured snippets are a part of ensuring that searchers can find the things they need without having to search too far and wide. Featured snippets were first implemented way back in 2014, and since then, they’ve been here to stay, and many site owners decried their presence since they figured that people wouldn’t come to their sites after seeing a snippet.
However, over time, this hasn’t necessarily proven to be the case, and those who were at first pessimistic about the appearance of featured snippets have now changed their tune. In fact, many of those very same site runners are now scrambling to ensure that their site is the one that has that featured snippet at the top of the search results.
Featured snippets are not as huge of a part of your typical SERP as many people may think. In fact, research suggests that only 6% of results pages even have a featured snippet, so why does it seem like every time we make a search, we’ll find a featured snippet at the very top of the results page?
The simple truth is that there are just so many results pages to go through, and many of them may not be something that we’ll search for over the course of a typical day. However, for more relevant searches, you’ll find plenty of sites vying for the privilege of having their content in that featured snippet.
As more and more SEO experts catch on to the importance of having a featured snippet for their web pages, then we’re also seeing the number of featured snippets growing over time. One of the most interesting things about getting a featured snippet is that your site doesn’t necessarily have to be top-ranking.
Instead, the content on the page that addresses the featured snippet that you’re trying to get needs to be accurate and relevant. If Google deems your answer to fit the search query, then you’ll be boosted to the top in the prized position of the featured snippet, which also leads to the page that has the info on it.
Some featured snippets may be direct answers to a question that was typed into the search box while others may be a mere summary if the answer is too long. Either one is likely to lead the searcher to your site so they can see some related info about their query or anything else that your site has to say.
One of the best things about featured snippets is that they allow you to establish a rapport with the person conducting the search. Most searchers aren’t aware of which sites they should trust when they conduct a search, but having a featured snippet, and an accurate one at that, will quickly build that trust.
This means that having a featured snippet is typically more valuable than having a top search result because it further increases the likelihood of someone visiting your site. When people see that you have a featured snippet, they feel like your content is endorsed by Google, and what’s better than that?
There are several types of featured snippets that you can use to your advantage, and they’ll depend on the kind of content you’re producing and the search query that someone enters into Google. Some of the most common types of snippets are definitions, lists, and steps.
You’ve likely seen a list as a featured snippet before, and they can consist of both ordered and unordered lists depending on the content that they contain. For example, if someone were to simply search for a variety of french cheeses, then they’d likely see them in an unordered list.
However, if someone were to conduct a search looking for the most successful F1 drivers in history, then they’d probably see an ordered list based on the number of Driver’s Championships they’ve won. Many lists won’t be complete, and you’ll have to head to the source page to see them in their entirety due to the limited amount of space for the featured snippet.
If you’ve only seen one type of featured snippet, then it’s pretty likely that you’ve seen a definition. These are relatively simple featured snippets that are about a paragraph long and they contain a simple explanation or a small block of text, as the name would suggest.
All definitions are drawn from the content on a particular page, and these snippets mostly pop up when someone types in a search query in the form of a question. Most of these snippets rarely contain the full answer, though they try to be as direct as possible with the small amount of space that they have.
Yet another type of featured snippet is the kind that consists of steps, and these are typically presented to the searcher after looking for a way to accomplish a particular task. In most cases, these guides are sourced from authoritative sources like manufacturers or other businesses that work in the industry that’s relevant to the step-by-step guide.
For example, if you search for how to fix a weed wacker that won’t start, you’ll likely get a snippet from the manufacturer or from a gardening tools vendor.
Tables are used where Google pulls data from page table. It perfectly fits for any kind of tabular data: marketing, sales, usage, etc.
One of our favourite featured snippets is YouTube video. Google pulls videos from YouTube and shows these as featured snippet. It is commonly used for "how to" search phrases.
Give it a try and search for "How to Tie A Tie"!