What is a featured snippet? A featured snippet is the result in “position zero” in some of Google’s search results in a box at the very top of the page. It often includes a definition, a list, or other explanation in answer to your query.

Featured snippets have increased in prevalence over the past several years.

You’re likely to see featured snippet results when you search for:

  • Definitions (e.g., What does voracious mean?)
  • Dates (e.g., When is Mother’s Day?)
  • How-tos (e.g., How to make oobleck)
  • Names/people (e.g., Who was Ruth Bader Ginsburg?)
  • Costs (e.g., Cost of living in Minneapolis)
  • How many (e.g., How many people are in the United States?)
  • Conversions (e.g., 12 tablespoons is how many cups?)

Are featured snippets good or bad for SEO?

When featured snippets were first introduced by Google, most SEOs were less than thrilled. Surely we’d lose clicks when Google’s scraping our content and putting it on their results pages! Users won’t need to click on our websites anymore to find the content!

While in some cases, you’re losing clicks, in other cases, you’re gaining them.

You see, featured snippets aren’t only generated from the No. 1 result on the search results page. It depends largely on which result is structured in the best way for a featured snippet. For instance, a page might rank first because it has better backlinks than the other results.

However, if the third result also shows high levels of expertise and trust and, in addition, is structured in a way that featured snippets love, it might be grabbed for the featured snippet and suddenly catapult to that top spot.

There are many cases in which a user will still want to click on your result to learn more than what he or she can see in the snippet. If the user doesn’t feel the need to click, she’s still seen your result and your business or brand’s name and URL.

Are featured snippets good or bad for SEO? The final answer: It depends. It completely and totally depends on the query. If a searcher’s answer is completely represented in the snippet, then there isn’t really a reason to click on your result. If it’s the kind of query where the searcher is likely going to want to know more about the topic, then being the featured snippet can be lucrative, grabbing you lots of clicks because you’re in the No. 1 slot.

How to create featured snippet-worthy content

Here’s a very basic, quick and dirty list of featured snippet optimization:

Improve your chances of snagging a featured snippet by letting ClearVoice handle your content creation, from keyword research to the writing process. Talk to a content specialist today to get started.