Featured Snippet – Short Conceptual Explanation

A featured snippet is a piece of content that is listed at the top of Google’s search results. It answers a question or provides information to a query directly on the results page without the need for the user to visit the website directly. It is also the snippet of information that Google will answer in a voice search. Snippets represent the highest ranking Google can give to a web page.

Featured Snippet

What is a featured snippet?

A featured snippet always shows up at the very top of the Google results page. However, it will appear below any ads. Its purpose is to answer a user’s query directly in Google. A brief piece of information is provided so there is no need for the user to click on the link. However, the link is provided if the users want to obtain more detailed information about their query.

Not all queries feature a snippet answer. Only the most common queries receive a featured snippet. Because they are proving to be helpful for users and they are beneficial to websites, more queries will contain a snippet in the future.

In addition to the primary snippet, there are additional snippets that are included for related, but different, queries. For example, if a user asks “How to braid hair,” Google will make other suggestions such as “How do you do different types of braids?” and “Can curly hair be braided?”

Not only is this featured snippet provided to users who search by typing their query, it is also available when using voice search. The results will be read to the person searching if a snippet is available.

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Featured Snippet

Different kinds of featured snippets

Snippets can appear differently on the Google results page depending on how the content is presented on the original website. Different kinds of featured snippets include:

  • A short paragraph of text that provides a dictionary-like answer to a query.
  • A list, if multiple items are included in the response.
  • Text with an explanatory picture, if it adds something useful to the query.
  • A table, which is especially common when it comes to comparisons and/or financial questions.
  • A video, which can play directly on Google, or it may be clicked on if a picture of the video is included.

With the ability to accommodate a wide variety of content, a snippet can be provided for nearly any topic. However, there are some kinds of topics and content that are more likely to have snippets than others. They include:

  • DIY projects, like the braided hair example above
  • Health, like how to lose weight
  • Financial advice, like how to save more money
  • Mathematical instructions, like how to divide fractions

There are some queries that almost never feature a snippet of content. Searching for a specific video or image usually will not result in a featured snippet. Most local searches or shopping searches will return a traditional search results page as well.

Pros of having a featured snippet

Having a featured snippet on Google comes with multiple benefits.

First, it provides the content with maximum authority. A snippet that is featured by Google demonstrates the fact that Google considers this result as the most useful to those who are searching for that particular keyword or phrase.

Second, it is a great way to beat the competition. It is always displayed above the other organic results on the page, which includes another site that may rank number one.

A featured snippet may give content creators the impression that users will be less likely to click through to the website, since their answer is displayed directly on Google. However, studies show that the click-through rate for a featured page increased from two- to eight-percent, while organic traffic increased by a whopping 677-percent.

Featured Snippet

The importance of SEO

Creating content that is used as a featured snippet by Google is a coveted goal of many businesses and organizations. In order to reach that goal, content must utilize search engine optimization (SEO).

Tips including knowing and using the most common words used in queries. They include words like:

  • Recipe
  • Best
  • Definition
  • Make

Create strategic content with snippets in mind. Think about common queries that relate to the business or operation. Then, create useful content that targets that query.

Pay attention to the extra details that make it easier for Google to use the information on the page in a featured snippet. Use a question-and-answer format and incorporate FAQ information on the page. Subheadings, lists, tables, and other visual ways to represent information can enhance the possibility of content being listed as a snippet on Google.