Skip to content

What is a featured snippet, and how can you position your content to rank for one

What is a Featured Snippet? A featured snippet is a format that provides users with a brief and precise answer to their question on the search results page without them having to click on a particular search result. It gives the user one distinct answer that Google deems to fit your question. It als

featured snippet
featured snippet

A featured snippet is a format that provides users with a brief and precise answer to their question on the search results page without them having to click on a particular search result. It gives the user one distinct answer that Google deems to fit your question. It also includes a page title and URL.

With the intention of enhancing the search experience, Google has been increasing information to search results.

Snippets come in various sizes and shapes. The content you provide must be in the correct format which will depend on Google’s specifications algorithm. Snippets can be in the form of text, images, lists, tables, charts or knowledge graphs. The best thing about most snippets is that they show up just below the AdWords block and before the organic search results,] but do not push them out of the first page.

Depending on the query, Google will decide on the best snippet to answer the question. Featured snippets can be categorized into different types.

Text Snippet: This is a snippet that only has text.

Image snippet: This contains an image and may contain some text.

Video snippet: This snippet contains a video. When you click on the picture, it redirects you to the domain in the link.

List and table snippet: This is a snippet that shows a list or table to answer your query. In this case, Google takes the data from the page in the link, even though the data is unstructured. Lists may also show an image.



Where does the answer summary come from?

It is extracted by an algorithm from what is visible to the user when they visit your web page. It is improved to capture the user’s attention on the results page. For example, when Google recognizes that a query has asked a question, it programmatically distinguishes the pages that answer the question and then display the featured snippet. Featured snippets do not mirror the views of Google but rather the site from which the snippet is extracted from.

An OneBox allows for additional information with the featured snippet. This may include, height, ingredients, cover albums among other and it depends on the query. The information is a component of Google’s knowledge graph and is not picked out from the domain in the link. The OneBox moves from its customary location, on the results right-hand side to the top.

How can you position your content to rank for one?

So, how do you get a featured snippet for your domain?  You can’t. There is no way to force Google to use your domain for a featured snippet. Maurice Morgan, SEO expert at  A Plus Digital, admits that Google decides which featured snippet will answer search requests and which domain to use for the answer. Take for instance, if you want to increase your chances of positioning your content to rank for a featured snippet, you need to optimize your content.  Below are a few tips on how you can position your content to rank for one.



Use one paragraph to summarize the answer to a query

Google usually picks parts of an article from the content on the page that best summarizes the answer. Note that although it need not be the first paragraph of the text, it should be adequately high in the page. Google will pick the paragraph which provides the most concise answer to a question.

  1. Rankings

Although you don’t have to necessarily rank at the position one, for a featured snippet to be eligible, you must rank on the first positions. Your backlink must be solid but need not be the strongest when compared to the other domains ranking in the top five.

  1. Page structure

A clear page structure is crucial. For Google to extract the text used in a featured snippet, it must first understand the page accurately. Utilizing <p> for the text, H1 or page title, and H2 and H3 for subheading should be practiced. Make it effortless for users to find information and whenever possible use tables, bullets and ordered lists.

page structure
  1. Images with relevant ALT text

It is always good to include on the page an image with relevant ALT text.

  1. Answer questions that ‘People also ask’

To better your odds of being eligible for a featured snippet, provide answers to the questions people ask. Spot a simple question and incorporate that question in the text of your page and provide a concise answer with value added information.

Benefits of Being in Position 0

Earning a featured snippet is not dependent on the authority of your site or the size of your brand. This means you can earn a featured snippet even if you are not the top result in regular SERPs. A featured snippet will get you more traffic to your website, earn you credibility and allow you to gain better visibility in Google’s SERPs.

position tracking

position tracking

Some studies had also shown that a featured snippet increased the click-through-rate to the domain, even when the answer was already given in the search results page.

Can I opt-out of featured snippets?

You can prevent a featured snippet by telling Google not to show your domain. This is done at your page header by adding a meta tag  <meta name=“Googlebot“ content=“nosnippet“>.


Daniel Jack

For Daniel, journalism is a way of life. He lives and breathes art and anything even remotely related to it. Politics, Cinema, books, music, fashion are a part of his lifestyle.