Featured Snippets are a more visual format of providing users with a brief, to-the-point answer for their questions and search queries. The answers are displayed at the top of the search results page just below the paid Google Ads.
Over the years Google has been introducing new ways in which it can improve the overall experience for their users. Not only does this mean constant algorithm updates to return the best results but also from a visual perspective too.
Recently Google emphasised the importance of featured snippets and voice-enabled technology such as voice-activated digital assistants. In reference to this new technology Google said in a recent blog post:
…in these cases, the traditional “10 blue links” format doesn’t work as well, making featured snippets an especially useful format.
What Types Of Featured Snippets Are There?
Featured Snippets come in different formats depending on the type of content on the webpage the answer is taken from and also on the type of search query the user is performing.
Featured Snippet Examples
The paragraph snippet can be displayed with or without an image. Snippets of this type are taken from all types of websites including authoritative sites like Wikipedia. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t stand a chance at claiming it that position.
Paragraph snippets usually appear for questions like “Who is…?”, “Why is…?”, “What is…?” and “How to do/get…”
Search Term Trigger: ‘who is roald dahl?’
Featured Snippet Result:
The list featured snippets are usually displayed when your webpage content is structured in a list format. Sometimes Google will create it’s own list from content on a page even if there wasn’t a list structure originally present.
Numbered list snippets are usually triggered by “How to…?” questions.
Search Term Trigger: ‘how do you write a novel?’
Bulleted list snippets are usually displayed when a webpage contains ranked items or a list. These types of snippet are great for listicle type blog posts and articles.
Search Term Trigger: ‘top 5 harry potter spells’
The following types of content tend to show bulleted lists; best of lists, featured lists, ranked items and unranked items.
The table featured snippets usually derive from a table that is already present on the destination webpage. However, sometimes Google may gather the required information from a webpage that isn’t contained within a table and display it in its own table in a featured snippet.
Search Term Trigger: ‘how many pages are there in the harry potter series?’
Featured Snippet Result:
Source content used to create the table featured snippet above:
YouTube Video Snippets display a large video that the top of the search results page. The video is readied to start playing at the point in the video that answers the users’ question.
Search Term Trigger: ‘how to download a book onto nook?’
With the video being pulled through from YouTube, it means that you’ll need to optimise your videos and channel on YouTube rather than on your website.
What are the benefits of featured snippets?
Some of the benefits of featured snippets include:
- Prime position – Your content is displayed in a prominent position in search results above position 1. It also has higher visibility over other authoritative brands.
- Increased click-through rates (CTR) – There will be an increase in traffic to your website which will increase the likelihood of generating more revenue or other goal conversions
- Position 0 rankings – You don’t need to be ranking in position one to claim a featured snippet. Experience has shown snippets usually come from webpages ranking between positions 4 – 6. However, this is not set in stone.
- A boost in credibility – Users who see your snippet will see your information as trustworthy.
- Prominence on mobile devices – They take up more space on mobile devices making them more prominent to the user.