A featured snippet is a format that shows the result of a Google search query directly as text without having to click on the website. This text excerpt from a website is thus created directly and automatically by Google from the page linked in the snippet.
The importance and usage of featured snippets
Featured snippet is a featured search result. Since a featured snippet is displayed above the other organic search results, it is in the so-called position zero. Only the paid search ads are above the featured snippet if ads are displayed for a search result. The user should get the answer to his Google search even faster, as he no longer has to click on the website with the actual content.
Various featured snippets
According to fun-wiki, there are various featured snippets, which can be divided into the following three categories:
- Text snippets
This is the most common format used. The user receives a direct, short answer to his question in the search results in pure text form. As a rule, the length is between 40 and 50 words. There are also text snippets with an image, although it does not necessarily have to come from the same website as the text excerpt. German search results show that most of the text snippets are created from Wikipedia entries.
- Video snippets
In addition to the text snippets, Google also shows video results for certain queries. A click on the preview image opens the corresponding linked page, which is mostly YouTube.
- List and table snippets
For some queries, Google decides that the result is better answered using a list or table than in pure text form. In doing so, Google creates the list even if the information about structured data is not shown. It can also contain an image. A featured snippet does not necessarily have to be generated from the page in position 1.
Benefits of featured snippets
While this has the advantage for the user of requiring less time and data volume, it is somewhat more critical for the website operator due to the possibly decreasing traffic. However, this risk exists especially with search queries that have already been answered in a few short sentences. In all other cases, the featured snippet serves as an introduction to the topic, whereupon these users click on the search result for further information. However, there are still a few points in favor of optimizing on featured snippets of your own website. On the one hand, based on the position zero, your own website receives more attention than the regular organic search results, which in turn usually leads to an increase in the CTR (click rate) and thus to more organic traffic. On the other hand, the perception of the website is strengthened, which has a positive influence on the branding. In addition, Google does not necessarily create a featured snippet from the information on the website that is in position 1. This website only has to rank on the first search results page, which is why your own website can use a featured snippet to position itself in front of competitions, even though these appear in the regular organic results.
How can I create a snippet?
Interestingly, Google independently decides for which search queries a featured snippet is displayed and which domain is used for it. However, in the Search Evaluator Guidelines, Google provides information on which searches are suitable for a featured snippet. In the “Know” search intention, Google describes the “Know Simple” subgroup as answers that fit correctly and extensively in 1-2 sentences or a short list on the screen of a mobile phone. For each featured snippet format, the content must be specially optimized, which is part of the SEO measures.
However, a snippet of your own page on Google can be prevented by putting a code in the header of the page.