featured snippets

Timo Gierse

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Featured snippets are formats designed to give users a direct and meaningful answer to their search query. The Featured Snippet is displayed directly in the search results and is designed to help the user in a targeted and time-saving manner without having to click through the search results. Usually, the featured snippet is generated from the most relevant search result according to the search engine’s specifications.

What are the different types of featured snippets?

Featured snippets come in three different types, and they really only differ in how they are displayed:

  • Text Snippet: is already described above. A text from the linked page is displayed in the search results. Below the text are the URL and the title of the page. Often a matching image is also displayed.
  • Tables and lists: Lists are often used when looking for a specific action or instruction. A distinction is made here between numeric and non-numeric lists. Tables appear for search queries that contain “comparison” or “list”.
  • Video Snippets: show a video thumbnail. When you click on it, it takes you to the landing page. As a rule, YouTube videos are displayed like this.

Example of a text snippet:

featured snippets

How is a Featured Snippet created?

Google creates the Featured Snippets on its own and therefore decides which website it uses for them. Answers that get to the heart of the topic in 1-2 sentences and fit on a mobile phone screen are suitable for a featured snippet.

You can only ask Google not to use your page as a snippet. There is no way that Google forces you to create a featured snippet from your own domain. You can also disable featured snippets altogether by integrating the meta tag “<meta name=”googlebot” content=”nosnippet”>.

How do I get into the featured snippets?

To be used as a featured snippet, the website must be in the top 10 in the SERPs. So, first of all, a ranking analysis of your own website must be done. If one is among the top 10, the content of the website must be optimized. A distinction must be made between the different types:

  • Optimization on Text Snippet: A short and comprehensive answer is sought. So 1-2 simple sentences that get to the heart of the issue. It can be helpful to use a question as a heading for the paragraph.
  • Optimization from Lists Snippet: While the web page content doesn’t necessarily have to be in list format, HTML list elements increase the chances of being used as a snippet. It’s different with table snippets. Here the web page content must be available as a table.

Note: The top block of text in this post was also made for the snippet.

Relationship to voice search

Just the featured text snippets are used in Google voice search. With a spoken search query, you get a spoken response rather than the first ten results. So there is a chance with voice controlled devices to be the only answer that is displayed.

Difference between Featured Video Snippet and Onebox

Featured video snippets need to be distinguished from the onebox first and foremost. They look very similar, but the onebox also gives other information about the video (lyrics, album, release date, etc.).

This information is not on the linked page itself. That’s why the onebox is not a featured snippet. The onebox has only moved from the position to the right of the results to the top above the results.

Relevance for SEO & Conclusion

Featured snippets offer new opportunities for search engine optimization. The visibility of the website can be raised to a new level for a search query. Care must be taken at the content creation stage to present the information in a concise manner.

Optimizing content for featured snippet can thus also be a part of a goal-oriented content marketing strategy.

Google wants to provide an answer directly to its users, so webmasters should create the texts accordingly.

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