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What is Featured Snippet/ Position Zero?

When you search on google with queries like, what, why, how, when, where, who, best and top,  what we see is the answer box

According to Google,  a featured snippet is “When a user asks a question in Google Search, we might show a search result in a special featured snippet block at the top of the search results page. This featured snippet block includes a summary of the answer, extracted from a webpage, plus a link to the page, the page title, and URL”. Source: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6229325?hl=en

It is also called as “Position Zero, Answer Box, or Featured Snippet”.

Formats of Featured Snippets:

Featured Snippet Example: Table

Example of Featured Snippet, Answer Box, Position Zero

Featured Snippet Example: Paragraph

Answer Box, Featured Snippet, Position 0 ExampleVideo Featured Snippet Example
Example of Video Featured Snippet in Google

Example of List Featured Snippet/Answer box

Lists Example for Google Featured Snippet

Why featured snippets are important?

  • Visibility and attention as it appears at the topmost position above the regular search results along with a supportive image
  • Indicates the trustworthiness and authority of the website per google on the searched topic
  • Voice assistants read out the text from the featured snippets, hence we are optimizing for voice search too. (include video of VA)
  • The users get their answers summarized without having to browse through multiple websites.

Featured Snippets and Google Quality Raters Guidelines :

“Google has published a revised version of the 164-page set of guidelines used to help human ‘quality raters’ evaluate online content and provide feedback to Google”   – source https://searchengineland.com/google-updates-its-search-quality-rating-guidelines-302553

Google’s Quality Raters guidelines consider a lot of factors while featuring your content in position zero. The most influential factors of them all are E.A.T.

  1. Expertise – The author of the article, his/her possession of specialised knowledge of the topic and his/her credentials, Google might scan the author’s public profiles like LinkedIn, Medium, Publications, etc.
  2. Authority – The Authority or the expertise of the author and the website should be directly related to the topic.
  3. Trustworthiness – Trustworthiness of a website may depend on all or more of, the number of websites referring your website for this topic, the secure connection to your website – SSL certificate

The one disadvantage for websites featuring in position zero is that the users get their queries answered on the search engine results page and so might not visit your website. However, this is a minor factor considering the trustworthiness of your content as mentioned above.

“Every search in google is a problem for which users are looking for an answer, and your content should provide a solution to their problem”

Best practices for your content to be featured in position zero as per google:

To begin with, here are a few things you need to be familiar with : (links included)

  1. Structured Data/ Schema
  2. Technical SEO
  3. Google Search Console
  4. Page Speed
  5. AMP

Structured Data/ Schema – Structured data is nothing but specific codes relevant to the content, added to the website for Google to access, categorize and serve on the results page.

AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages – optimizes the speed of the website when searched on a mobile device. This optimizes your website’s content which might appear on featured snippets for mobile searches.  

How to optimize your content for featured snippet/position zero / answer box?

In simple terms, you have to structure your content for Google with specific codes.  This allows Google to find. understand and categorize your content.

  1. Basic Search Engine Optimization for your content includes Title, Meta Description, URL structure, Header Tags, Anchor links, Bread Crumbs, Image, and video optimization helps organize the content.
  2. In addition to the basic SEO, use formats like paragraphs for introduction/ explanation of a topic, tables for comparisons, numbered lists for instructions, bulletin points for best practices, top 10 points to remember, etc
  3. Add relevant structured data to your website/page based on the objective of each page.

Here is a step-by-step screenshot of how to add one type of structured data to your website:

Schema. How to add Table Structured Data

Schema Structured Data - Micro data, JSNL

Google Structured Data Testing Tool. How to Validate a Structured Data

Structured Data Tool - Validate your Structure Data

Add your own Content to Structured Data Tool

Validate your Structured Data in Structure Data Testing Tool

Add Structured Data to your blog after Validating

If you would like to watch a Video on the same topic, here it is!

Special Thanks to Vishnu Priya, A budding Digital Marketer specializing in Content development for Research, editing, content fine tuning and editing