Google’s featured snippets are the highlighted results at the top of a Google search result page that give the highest likelihood of the correct answer for any given inquiry. This featured information often includes a summary of the answer, taken directly from a web page, plus a link to the page, the page title, and the URL.
For almost any business, being seen is crucial in order to adapt to the new way customers buy. So, being somehow “featured” as the top answer in a Google hit will definitely boost long-term success and drastically increase click-through rates and engagement with your content.
Google strives to give users the most relevant information possible. However, featured snippets reflect the views or opinions of the site from which Google takes the information, which could mean sometimes they get it wrong. But that may be a good thing! Google is always working to improve its ability to find the most useful snippet to a related search, so the results you see may change over time, which means your business can potentially be included!
Here’s what you need to know about Google’s featured snippets.
You Can’t “Make” Your Site Featured
Every business wants to increase its online visibility, so it’s a no-brainer that many ask the question, “Can I make my web page a featured snippet?”
The short answer is no. Google’s complex algorithms programmatically determine the content of certain web pages and then connect it with the user’s Google inquiry, matching the two in terms of likelihood of answering the search question. The results are, quite literally, “featured” at the top and are designed to draw the user’s attention on the results page.
According to research by Ahrefs, 99.58% of Google featured snippets are those that already rank in the top 10. That’s good news if you already have a good ranking for top keywords. You have a good chance of getting featured. But that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily out of luck if you’re not a powerhouse website like Wikipedia or Buzzfeed, especially if your content is niche.
You Can Opt Out
Now, I know you’re thinking, “Why would anyone want to opt out of being featured?”
Well, depending on your situation, business model, or personality, you may not want to be included in Google search results. No judgment here, but Google has made it easy for websites to opt out of featured snippets by using a specific tag on their pages. This will remove mentions of the page, which, we must note, also includes those in regular search results—not just featured snippets.
In addition, if you have any concerns, you can let Google know by leaving feedback on any snippet by clicking the "Give Feedback" link at the bottom of the box.
Focus on Keywords
Now, those who do wish to potentially reap the benefits of Google’s featured snippets have to really get down to the basics of SEO 101 and use accurate and effective keywords.
A large majority of Google searches are linked to keywords and predictive answers. By researching your keywords and integrating them into your web content, you’ll be able to increase your likelihood of being organically found via a search. In addition, keyword research can also give you a glimpse of your competitors, so you can see who’s vying for the same online traffic as you. It’s also in your best interest to not neglect social media, as key insights may also be gleaned from the queries and answers posted on sites like Twitter.
However, keywords are only one piece of the puzzle and it’s important to focus on the overall content you’re producing in order to have the most impact online.