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Google featured snippets are snapshots from specific pages on a website that provide comprehensive and concise information related to the search of a keyword phrase.
Google featured snippets are called Position zero, the natural habitat of featured snippets.
Google featured snippets, How to Rank in Position zero?
What are Google featured snippets? It is what SEO Gurus refer to as position zero (0). It is the natural position of featured snippets
If we go back in time just, It will not be difficult to realize that the Google search results looked sort of the uniform. For every position, there is a headline followed by breadcrumbs and meta description. Today, because of Schema markup, we are able to see a lot more information directly from the search engine results pages or SERPs. We still get the results of the top 10 positions. Nevertheless, we also see a sacred place, the so called “position zero” which any website can get.
Let us focus for a moment on the Google featured snippets.
Position zero is the position that is on top of all the regular search results. Position zero normally holds a featured snippet, or rich answer, with the intent to respond specifically to the user’s keyword query completely in the most succinct way. In addition, if you are lucky enough for your website to get a featured snippet, you will also realize that the snippet always shows up twice in the SERPs. As of today Oct 12, 2017, it is known that Google featured snippets are represented in 12.65 % of all search queries, based on data provided by RankRanger.
This is not the first time Google introduced the answer box. Google introduced the Knowledge Graph in 2012 and Answer Box in 2013. The difference is that the information came from Google’s own database. For featured snippets, however, the results come from third party sources such as your own website. It is practically a good way to provide rapid and reliable answers to a user’s query.
Google Featured snippets were introduced in 2014, since that time their use had increased 4 times in 2016; that is according to the SEMrush research:
As shown in the screenshot, snippets consist of “what” and “how” questions, tables, images, and even charts. An important thing to keep in mind is that Featured snippets positions are quite transitory. If Google chooses your website for a featured snippet this hour, it may disappear from position zero the next hour. The interesting thing is that during that hour of glory for your own website, you will see a traffic surge for sure. In most cases, featured snippets are chosen from highly ranked websites, and other cases may include sites that are not in the first page and may be as far as page 7 or more. One thing to understand is that Google relies on snippable fragments on a page that is highly ranked (compared to other pages) on your website. Once Google finds that snippet, it will not keep looking to other pages on your site.
So what are the pros and cons of featured snippets?
You may already ask yourself how can we talk about cons in featured snippets. Well, let us talk about the advantages first. The most obvious one is increased quality traffic to your website. Along with that comes an increased sense of authority. You can imagine that if you search for information and see those snippets, you may automatically think that this website has credibility. However, it may not be all great. People who are looking for quick answers may find your featured snippets quite satisfactory and refrain from looking further. As a result, the click-through-rate or CTR is lower. On the other hand, those looking for more detailed answered would most likely click through to your website. At the end of the day, you would be lucky to be at position zero. The fact that a user looks at your snippet with your site domain name is a big plus even though the first page of Google is the visitor’s last stop. They may actually remember your site the next time they think of related topics.
The quality of featured snippets is best represented in mobile devices. They practically occupy the whole screen of your phone and make it easier to not pay attention to your website. It is like placing a whole-page ad for free!