Featured Snippets in Google are a blessing and a curse. One had they offer a way for clients to improve their exposure on the first page with the featured snippet. However, this has also led to a growing amount of Zero-Click Searches.
A Zero-Click Searches refer to a search engine results page (SERP) which answers the query right at the top with a featured snippet in a way that the user doesn’t need any further clicks to complete the search. A zero-click search is one that satisfies the search intent at the top of the SERP.
I have had some amazing results with featured snippets, and I can’t say I notice a significant effect from Zero-Click Search.
50% drop in featured snippet followed by recovery
In the middle of February this year, Google started to show significantly fewer featured snippets in its search results. Several analytics services reported up to a 50% drop in the number of snippets shown.
However, a month later and these services are now showing that Featured Snippets are back to normal levels.
Google has made on no comment on why it happened or why it has come back, but the current theory is a bug.
How to get featured snippets?
There are typically 5 types of featured snippet:
- Numbered list
- Bullet list
The basics of achieving these is quite easy; you just need to produce content that works for the above 5 categories.
However, moving beyond the obvious, using the appropriate H1, H2 and H3 tags and then combine this with a table of contents for each post can help trigger paragraph snippets and improve rankings for parts of your page.
The hard part is writing the content that would trigger a featured snippet then ranking it high enough to actually trigger it.
Generally, the best way to do this is to have sections of your content that specifically answer questions, such as this how to get featured snippets sections.
Featured snippets to improve backlinks
Featured snippets are both a great way to drive traffic to a site but also improve the number of backlinks to your site. When people research references they are more likely to link to the the top results, or in this case the featured snippet.