Featured Snippets

Featured Snippets are answers that Google offers the user after a search performed in the search engine. The response summary is displayed in a special block located at the top of the SERP and is extracted from a specific web page.

What are Google featured snippets

It is also known as “Position 0”, as it is a result that appears above the conventional organic results. Although it usually occurs to a lesser extent, it is also sometimes possible to find the featured snippets below a paid result.

What are Google Featured Snippets

Following the user’s query, Google automatically extracts and generates the text fragment it considers relevant to the query made.

Typically, these result formats, based on normal snippets, usually appear after an informative search: “How to prepare chicken with almonds?”, “What is meta robots?”,What is the canonical link element?”, etc.

The answer the user receives after his query is usually brief and direct. There will be queries for which the user does not need further information. For example, if we want to know the date of the death of Philip V, the information provided by the search engine will probably suffice and we will not need to extend it beyond the information already presented in the highlighted result.

Search result displayed as Featured Snippet

However, there are other informative searches that do require expanding the information displayed in the Featured Snippet. For example, if we are looking for“How to prepare a vegetable risotto”, we will need to access the web page to complete our query.

Search result displayed as featured snippet

Featured Snippets Opportunities

The featured snippets are placed in a very privileged position on Google.com, which allows us to gain visibility against the rest. In addition, as they are “featured” results, they have a larger number of characters, may contain images… so they take up much more space than a normal result. All these elements make the result much richer and more attractive and make it stand out from the competition. Therefore, this result will have a much higher probability of receiving a click than a conventional organic result.

In addition, this type of response that is displayed in a prominent block of the SERP, presents highly relevant information to the user.

Where does the text that Google displays as a response come from?

Google extracts the summary of the web page that it considers relevant and that it believes effectively answers the question posed by the user. Although all the information presented in this highlighted block of the SERP is also accessible from the web page that contains such content, in this case the result is displayed in a much more attractive and prominent way, highlighting the aspects that really interest the user.

Google is able to identify when a search requests an answer, and then provides a result in a prominent format that responds to the user’s informational need.

Are Featured Snippets static or do they change over time?

The results that Google highlights at the top of the search results change over time, i.e. it does not always show the same piece of text extracted from the same page. It often happens that after doing the same information search for several days in a row, the search engine does not always return the same answer. This is because Google is continuously working to improve its Featured Snippets. The main objective is to be able to detect the snippets that can be more valuable and useful for users.

What types of Featured Snippets are there?

We can find three types of outstanding fragments:

Text Snippets

The highlighted text fragments may or may not contain images.

With images

This type of results is composed of a text fragment with the answer to the question asked, an image representative of the content, a title and the URL address from which the information has been extracted. The image contains a link and does not have to match the URL from which Google extracts the information it develops in writing and displays prominently in the result.

Highlighted text excerpts with image

No images

Text highlights without images have the same properties as the previous ones, but in this case they do not contain any image to illustrate the content.

Featured Text snippets without image

Video Snippets

This type of video result usually presents a preview of the video and a link to it. If the user clicks on the “Play” button, the browser will direct the user to the linked page.

Snippets with lists and tables

When Google considers that a text cannot effectively answer the user’s search, it displays a table or list. It is not necessary for the content of our site to be presented in lists or tables to achieve a result of this nature. Google will be in charge of processing the information and transforming it automatically, so that it will be shown prominently in the SERP with this result format.

Featured Snippet in table

In the case of lists, these Featured Snippets can be accompanied by images.

Featured Snippet in list

Can I disable the highlighted snippets?

Yes, it is possible, by means of an instruction sent to Google, but we do not recommend its inclusion. Featured snippets are a type of results that will gain us visibility. Its design, attractive and eye-catching for the user, will allow the click-through rate to increase. If there is still a reason why you want to block your results from appearing as featured snippets, you should disable them using the meta tag <meta name=”googlebot” content=”nosnippet”>, which will be included in the <head> of your page.

If you decide to disable this option on your website you should be aware that applying this instruction will also invalidate the featured snippets displayed in your normal search results.

How can I make my results appear as featured snippets?

No way. It is Google that determines programmatically whether a particular web page is relevant to the search query. If so, it will display it as a featured snippet. If the same search is performed over several days, and Google detects that there may be another page that responds more effectively to that query, it will change the text snippet presented and, with it, the image and URL included in the Featured Snippet. In the end, the goal is to provide the user with the most useful answer to the question he/she has asked and thus achieve an optimal user experience.

It is important to have a good positioning of our pages if we want our result to appear as Featured Snippet. The worse our position in the ranking, the less likely it is that any of our pages will be shown as a featured snippet because Google will understand that the content and information included in them is not relevant to the user.

Other important considerations regarding Featured Snippets

  • This search result is not part of the knowledge graph. This is a normal result but highlighted with a more eye-catching design that seeks to attract the attention of users.
  • The meta tag <meta name=”googlebot” content=”nosnippet”> will also disable all featured snippets in normal results, not just Featured Snippets.
  • Featured Snippets results are not static and may change over time.
  • Pages cannot be marked with featured snippets, it is up to Google to decide, programmatically, whether a given page is useful for the question posed by the user, upon which it will show it as a featured result at the top of the SERP.
  • In order for Google to display the content in tables or lists, it is not necessary that the information is presented on the website in such a way but, nevertheless, it is advisable to make use of these elements that will greatly facilitate the search engine’s work.
  • Featured Snippets can appear on domains with high or low authority.
  • For a result to be displayed as a featured snippet it is not necessary to have structured data markup implemented, but it is recommended as this way Google will understand your web content much better.
  • Although it is not a determining factor, it is advisable that the pages have a good positioning if we want them to be shown as outstanding results.

Additional references to the highlighted excerpts

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Rocío Rodríguez
Rocío Rodríguez
Senior SEO Consultant at Human Level. Graduated in Advertising and Public Relations with a Master in Communication and Creative Industries. Specialist in digital marketing and comprehensive SEO audit. Professor in the Professional SEO-SEM Master of Kschool.

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