Ranking in Google’s featured snippets is one of the best ways of getting a ton of traffic to your website, provided you get ranked for the right keywords and there is another link of yours appearing somewhere on the same page.
Nobody knows exactly why Google decides to rank your link. I have had some success getting some of my links ranked in this section; for example, look at this:
This blog post contains lots of statistics and graphs to show how many more links Google has started including in the featured snippets section and how much more traffic these featured links draw from Google compared to those links that are not featured.
Google’s featured snippets
Just like any other content-based platform, Google is constantly coming up with ways to present relevant content attractively as well as purposefully.
Since more than 99% of the times people are asking questions and looking for useful information on Google, it makes sense that when Google feels that a particular answer satisfies a particular question, that answer is featured as a snippet.
As you can see in the above image (from my website), the featured snippet stands out compared to other links on the search results page.
You don’t get snippets all the time. Snippets are usually triggered by queries that contain, “what is”, “how is” or “how much”.
A relevant part of the text is picked from your link and featured in the snippets section. It is like, while analyzing the question asked by the search engine user, Google finds the traces of the right answer on your link, picks up the relevant portion, and then puts it in the featured snippets section.
Many webmasters believe that being featured in Google’s featured snippets can be counter-productive because then the search engine users have no reason to visit the link.
It depends. It can also increase the chances of the search engine users visiting your website more if they like the answer presented in the snippet. A big part of your answer appearing in the snippet also makes a strong impression on search engine users because they think that if Google is highlighting your answer then your link must have relevant information.
Is there a way you can get your links ranked and featured in the Google featured snippets section?
Over the years since Google started featuring links in this section various SEO experts and content marketers have been trying to figure out how to pinpoint the qualities or attributes that get your link featured in the section.
Ahref has done a comprehensive study on how many links are being featured in the snippets section on exactly what are the benefits of getting featured there.
The Ahref study has found that there is a decline in the number of clicks when your link is featured in the snippets section.
You can see in the above graphic that when a link is featured in the snippets section it gets approximately only 8.6% of clicks but when it is not featured it gets 19.6%.
It proves the apprehension of some webmasters that if your link is listed in the snippets section then people have less motivation to click it because they have already found the information they are looking for.
If I can remember my own search pattern I think I agree with this conclusion. Sometimes when I’m looking for an answer and when I find the answer in the featured snippets section, there is no reason for me to visit the actual link or, it prompts me to visit another link because I don’t seem to be able to find the right answer within the snippet.
But there is another finding in the same above Ahref link: the overall clicks on the remaining links appearing below the featured snippets link tend to fall down.
This might be because Google has become so efficient in digging out the appropriate answer and featuring it on the snippets section that after having viewed the snippet, users have no reason to check the other links.
On the other hand, detailed analysis of Google’s featured snippets on this link shows that if the link that appears in the featured section is followed by another link from your website, the CTR increases tremendously, sometimes by a whopping 516%.
How to make your content appear in the Google’s featured snippets section
Most of the SEO websites suggest that there is no definitive way of ranking in Google’s featured snippets section, but still, there is a pattern that emerges as more and more people study it.
Personally, I wouldn’t advise you to go crazy about getting your content featured in the snippets section. What matters the most is, what benefit you derive out of the various positions you get on the search engine result page.
Anyway, if you want to get featured there, you should take some clue from the way people ask questions on Quora.
You can follow the same pattern while writing content for your own website.
Create your blog posts, articles and web pages in QA form: ask a question in the title of your link and then provide an answer in the body text.
Remember that Google should be able to find a complete answer to the query submitted by the search engine user. The answer to this query can manifest in the form of
- A small paragraph that can fit into a snippet
- A bullet list of different parts of the answer
- Data presented in a tabular format
As you can see in the featured snippet from my own website, it is a paragraph.
The text taken for the Google’s featured snippet can appear anywhere in your body text. Just make sure that the words contained within the question also appear within the text that you would like to present as a snippet candidate.
Of course, the usual conditions need to exist, such as, you should already be enjoying good or comparatively better search engine rankings. Your links should already be ranking for you to appear in Google’s featured snippets section.
So, if you want to publish content specifically for the featured snippets section, first focus on improving your general SEO