To significantly increase the visibility of a website, the best option is to appear in the first positions of the Google results pages, as they are the ones that receive the most visits. Getting a page to be in the top positions of the SERPs, unfortunately, is a complicated task that requires the use of different SEO techniques for web optimization.
An interesting option for Google to place a page in the first position in its ranking is to show it as a featured snippet. It is a system that Google uses to directly show the user the best direct answer to the query or question they make in the search engine.
What is a Featured Snippet?
Inverted formatting of featured snippets
Featured snippet are the results that are shown in some searches in the first position, highlighted in a box and using an inverted format . With these featured snippets, Google seeks to improve the user experience, providing a quick and concise response to the user for their searches.
How does Google choose featured snippets?
Google’s automated systems are responsible for analyzing the content of websites to choose which is the most appropriate to show the user for their search intention. A website cannot indicate which fragment Google should use as a featured snippet, but it can facilitate the work of bots in their selection process.
Can featured snippet be blocked?
If for any reason you do not want Google content to be able to show it as a featured fragment, you can add an HTML tag to the HEAD of the page for this:
What is the Importance of featured snippets
Featured snippets improve the user experience. When a user performs a search on Google, with the highlighted fragment in the first position, they can directly access the best answer about their query (at Google’s discretion). If the user finds it relevant or good, he can later say access the URL in search of more extensive and complete information.
For a web page, blog or eCommerce, appearing as a featured snippet in Google results allows you to significantly increase your visibility. The pages that are shown as featured fragments receive a large number of visits because they are located in the first position of the ranking, and also, in a prominent way over the rest of the options presented.
Does my CTR increase by appearing in featured snippets?
The number of clicks received by a page that appears in featured snippets is estimated to be about 10% of the total, according to some studies. This means that showing yourself as a featured snippet significantly increases web traffic.
Types of featured snippets
We can differentiate between three different types of featured snippets:
Featured text snippets
The text snippets show the highlighted snippet in text format. It is important to know that Google shows 40 to 50 words in featured snippets.
In this type of featured snippets they can be shown only with text, or accompanied by an image:
- Text snippet without image. They are the most basic type, following the reverse format mentioned above, first the text, then the URL and finally the title.
- Text snippet without image. The result adds an image related to the content, in addition to the text itself in inverted format.
Featured video snippets
In some types of searches (such as songs, movies, video games and artists, among others) Google shows what are known as video snippets , which are previews of a video related to the user’s search intention .
When the video is clicked, the linked page is accessed where it can be played to view and listen to its content.
Fragmentos destacados de listas y tablas
Son resultados que se muestran destacados en primera posición, presentados en formato de listas o tablas. Cuando Google cree que la respuesta a la intención de búsqueda se representa mejor con un formato estructurado, utiliza este tipo de featured snippets.
La información presentada en este formato es muy llamativa y consigue que muchos usuarios hagan clic en el enlace en busca de más datos o información relacionada.
How can I appear in a featured snippet?
You can’t tell Google what to show in a featured snippet, nor is there an exact formula that will guarantee to appear as a featured snippet. However, it is possible to perform a series of actions to make it easier for Google to display the content provided as a featured snippet.
Some of the techniques you can use to appear as featured snippets are:
Use the question/answer format
You must bet on this type of format to ensure that Google can show your content as a featured fragment. It consists of asking questions in the content and providing answers to them.
The usual practice is to pose the questions as H2 or H3 headings, and then present the answer to them. Google bots find it easier to work with this format, increasing the chances that they will show the page as a featured fragment.
Pay attention to Google policies
Although it seems obvious, it is important to note that Google will not show as a featured snippet any page that does not comply with its policies for featured snippets or its general search policies.
Concrete and concise texts
Google only shows 40 or 50 words in featured snippets, so in order to appear in them, the most important ideas have to be condensed into that word limit.
To have a better chance of appearing as featured fragments, one must always start the content by giving a direct and concrete answer to the topic or question being posed. Although it does not have to be in the first paragraph, it does specify this answer at the beginning of the text (in the first paragraphs), since it is more likely that Google will use it to extract the featured snippet.
Use tables and lists
As long as the content is appropriate for it, using tables and lists will increase the chances that Google will show them as featured snippets. These elements make it easier for users to read and understand certain content, also helping Google to classify it appropriately.
It is important to not force the use of lists and tables when the content does not lend itself to it, since it can create confusion for users and Google will never show them as highlighted in its results pages.
This type of search is becoming more and more popular, especially thanks to smartphones and other smart devices that use Alexa or Siri, for example. Featured snippets and voice searches are related items, as they are based on short and concise answers to questions or posed searches.
Optimizing a website to have the possibility of appearing as a featured snippet on Google results pages is a good practice to increase web traffic considerably.
Although you cannot control the appearance in these featured snippets, you can make Google’s job easier to select them.