Google Search Liaison tweeted an update on how Google will be serving Featured Snippets in search. This change caused some confusion in the SEO world and caused many to question whether Featured Snippets are worth targeting anymore. In this video, I’ll share what Feature Snippets are, what changed with Google and how you can target and optimize your content to earn those positions.
Hey. What’s up? And welcome to Hack My Growth. In this episode, we’re going to be looking at featured snippets, why they’re important and how you can rank for them as well. All right. Let’s go. Are you looking to grow your business, but you’re not sure where to start? That’s where we come in. Thanks for checking out this video. If this is your first time watching or maybe you’ve been watching a while and you have not yet hit subscribe, please do so now. We would love to have you join our community. We create new content each and every week to help you get the most out of your digital marketing activities.
What made me want to create this video was a recent update? January 23rd, 2020, Google Liaison announced something via Twitter that set a lot of SEOs on fire, and here’s the tweet. It said, “If a page is listed and elevated to the featured snippet position, we will no longer repeat it in the first page of the results.” What Google’s trying to do, like they say here, is declutter the results and help the users find relevant information more easily.
We know that Google has moved more towards mobile, that’s their first index now, and we also know that they continue to update and change the look of the search results. One of those is called the featured snippet, and what it used to be is you could have that box above search, and then below that you could also have your link, in position two or three. Well, Google now is getting rid of that link if you’re owning the featured snippet position, and this has already happened. There’s a lot in the SEO community, after seeing this update, that are questioning whether or not these are even worth targeting anymore, because of some data that’s been put out. My answer to that is yes. Absolutely you should be targeting these, because they are great opportunities to have visibility, and I will also show you some newer data that contradicts some of the data that’s out there as well.
What is a featured snippet? Let’s talk about that first, because this only applies to featured snippets. Not everything you’re going to see in the search result is considered a featured snippet. According to Moz … They do a great job in teaching SEO. They’ve got great tools. But this is what they say. “When Google wants to answer a question, when it’s not in the knowledge graph, they may attempt to find that answer in the index. When they do, they create a special class of organic results. Then they extract some of that content from that page, and they call that a featured snippet.” Now, typically, and what we’re seeing today, is that feature snippets have higher click through rates than regular organic results.
This is exactly, right here, an image of what a featured snippet looks like, where you’re going to see this call out box at the top. It’s going to highlight it. It’s going to give you a little bit of information of what that link is about. Then below this you would see the 10 blue links. There’s a few different types of featured snippets. These are paragraphs, list, table, video, and accordion. Those are the five main types.
What you’re seeing here, this is an image of a list featured snippet. Now, paragraphs, which is the one on this page, how to use Excel, are the most common. About 50% of featured snippets are paragraph, and 37% are lists. So, you’re looking at 87% of these are going to be either paragraph or list. Now, again, this doesn’t impact all the different SERP features. It doesn’t impact news. It doesn’t impact a video carousel. It doesn’t impact the knowledge panel. All of those are outside of this realm, and all of those are very different, when it comes to SERP features, than featured snippets. So, what we’re focusing on right now is only featured snippets and how this update has impacted them and then what we should be doing about it.
Why are SEOs panicking after this announcement? Well, Ahrefs did a report in 2017 and Ahrefs does a number of really awesome case studies and reports, and they dig deep into the data. Back in 2017, this is what they found. They found that click through rates for featured snippets at the time was about 8.6%. Now, the page below it was getting a click through rate of about 19.6%. So, as you can see here, generic search would get maybe like 26% of the clicks, but in the featured snippets it would split that, and in their study that they were doing, they were seeing that the link below was actually getting more clicks than the featured snippet.