Have you noticed the boxed result that appears above the search results? Yes, that’s the featured snippet. Back in 2014, Google introduced a new feature known as the featured snippet, a promoted organic ranking that is also known as “position zero”.
Apart from being at the top of the results, the featured snippet got a double-dip that means you also got a place in the organic listing. But that was only until 23rd January 2020.
What is Google Featured Snippets Update?
Previously, Google used to provide a URL two spots in the search engine results page when a URL was featured in position zero.
But now, if you get to rank on position zero, Google will not show your URL on the first page of the search results. And this process of removal of duplicate URLs from the SERPs that have featured snippets is known as duplication.
Google’s Counting Method Of SERP:-
Before POSITION ZERO UPDATE, Google was displaying 11 results on the first page with the feature-snippet being the 0th results. You can clearly see in the image that the same URL that was appearing in the 0th position (featured-snippet) was also visible in one of the top 10 results i.e. #1 for our SS.
After POSITION ZERO UPDATE, there is a drastic change in the way Google counts 1-10 results on the first page. As you can see in the image above that, now, the feature-snippet is your #1 results and that same URL won’t be appearing again in the next 9 results. So, in total, we will have 10 results instead of 11 and there won’t be any repetition of URL.
So, in this manner, you can clearly stack the claim that POSITION ZERO is NOW DEAD. Not in the sense of life or death, but from the algorithmic perspective where the method to count 1-10 POSITION has changed.
If a web page listing is elevated into the featured snippet position, we no longer repeat it in the first page of results. This declutters the results & helps users locate relevant information more easily. Featured snippets count as one of the ten web page listings we show….
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) January 23, 2020
Here’s what Google’s Search Liaison published a few facts about duplication:
- Featured Snippets duplicate URL change is being called duplication.
- Duplication is global.
- The change does not affect video featured snippets.
- Duplication does not affect a featured snippets variant that resembles a knowledge panel. But it will affect it later this week.
- Duplication does not affect:
- Top Stories
- Interesting finds
- Duplicate URL moving to page two of the search engine results pages (SERPs) may have that listing removed.
- There will be no change in Google Search Console (GSC) performance reports.
So this was all about Google’s featured snippet update. Now it is important to understand how this update is going to affect your website.
Is this going to affect your click-through rate?
Every day over 3.5 billion searches happen through Google on a daily basis and about 90% of the searchers are most likely to click on the first set of results.
We all know how rare it is for searchers to go for the second-page results. According to a survey by SearchEngineLand featured snippets get an average of 8.6% of clicks while the result on the first position gets an average of 19.6% of clicks.
Now understand the fact first, the primary reason behind the introduction of featured snippets is to provide the searchers with fast and accurate answers. That means featured snippets aren’t for boosting your click-through rates but rather for improving user experience.
How to adjust SEO strategy as per this update?
I believe that this is the most important question that comes into the mind after every Google update.
But here’s a fact: it all depends upon your goals. Position Zero is still helpful in terms of generating organic traffic.
However, to have your website rank within result 1-10 is always a better idea as these results are more likely to get clicked in comparison with the featured snippet.
If you believe that getting ranked on the first page is better than being on position zero, consider the following tips-
Pick a long-tail keyword
It’s a fact that there are way more long-tail keywords than one-word keywords and it is also easier to rank for long-tail keywords than the latter one.
Each long-tail keyword might not derive a ton of traffic but a bunch of such keywords would definitely do.
Collect a bunch of similar long-tail keywords as per your website’s or blog’s niche and then optimize your content accordingly.
If you’re new in the blogging industry, you need to write more content. But why more content? Because more content means more keywords and that means more chances of getting ranked.
It’s not a secret.
Also, in this way, you can easily outrank your competitors by being indexed in more number of search result pages.
Get More Backlinks
Creating backlinks is the best strategy when it comes to ranking your website in the SERPs.
You can use various methods for building backlinks. However, before you opt for any strategy, bear in mind that not all kinds of backlinks can be useful for you, you need to focus only on building quality backlinks. Here are a few ways that can help you for building quality backlinks-
- Guest Posting: Guest posting is the best way to build backlinks for your website. However, it’s advisable to post only on websites that are similar to your niche and have a DA above 40.
- Round-Ups: Search for websites that post round-up posts on a regular basis and pitch them directly.
- Broken Links: Contact a webmaster to inform them about broken links on their website and ask them to replace those links with yours.
- Use Infographics: Create value-adding Infographics and share it on various infographic submission websites. You can also pitch them directly to bloggers who deal in a similar niche and ask for a backlink in return.
This goes without saying that SEO is imperative when it comes to ranking on the first page of search results.
However, SEO is much more than simply doing keyword optimization.
There are many articles on the web that you can refer to for understanding what SEO actually is. Also, if you aren’t into the marketing industry, you can simply outsource a digital marketing company or hire a freelancer to do the needful.
So these were a few techniques that you can use for ranking your website higher in the search engine results page. However, if you still prefer to rank your website on the zeroth position, read on to explore a few tips.
How To Rank on Position Zero aka Featured Snippet?
Find competitors’ snippets
There are many tools like RankWatch that you can use to spy on your competitors’ featured snippets.
Once you find the keywords that are providing featured snippets of your competitors, you can also optimize your Content for the same keyword and content.
Another great way to search for featured snippets is to use Google.
Search for some keywords both long and short, as per your niche and then check out which pages are showing featured snippets.
After collecting the information, create and optimize your website content accordingly. In this way, you can have a bunch of featured snippets.
Try Answering Multiple Questions in Your Content
If you carefully examine a bunch of featured snippets, you’ll find that the snippets are basically for answering questions.
And this can be your best option for getting featured: answer multiple questions in your blog post.
Also, while answering a question, stay within the optimal word count. Why? Because according to a survey the most common length of content in the featured snippets is between 40-50 words.
Break down each section with the help of multiple headers. You can use all header types like h1, h2, h3, h3, or h4 to organize your content effectively.
Just make sure that you’re properly organizing your content so that Google features it.
So this was all about Google’s latest update regarding the featured snippets. Now it’s your turn to optimize your website as well as your content so that you can rank better in the SERPs and get better click-through rates.
Here my suggestion is to start focusing more on ranking between 1-10 if you want more organic traffic but featured snippets are also a great way to drive traffic when your website is new because then your chances of ranking on the second page are more.