What is a Google snippet?
Snippets have been a prominent part of Google search results for a while now, but are getting increased attention as Google continues to evolve their search engine results page (SERP) behavior.
First, it's helpful to understand what a snippet is versus the newly popular featured snippet:
- Snippet: The description that appears below a page title in regular search results. The description is a summary extracted from the webpage that best explains how the page relates to the search query.
- Featured snippet: Often called position zero, it is the top search result that appears in its own box above all search results. The featured snippet description is often identical to the description that appears in regular search results, but is displayed much more prominently.
You cannot buy your way into position zero or directly control the extracted description - Google programmatically determines what content is a good fit for a featured snippet.
Why you want to appear as a featured snippet
- It is Google's stamp of approval that your content is the best answer for that search query.
- Appearing in position zero can be easier than landing the coveted first search result.
- A featured snippet result has higher click-through rates than other results.
- It conveys brand authority and boosts your content above your competitors.
How to become a Google featured snippet
- Do keyword analysis to determine common questions that people ask related to your subject matter.
- Create content to directly answer the questions - a list format is often best.
- Offer enhanced value or extra information within the content.
- Optimize the page for Google - a quick load time can be the most important factor.
Featured snippets are pulled from results that already appear on page one of a Google search engine results page (SERP).
Focus on the right content and queries
Look at content where you are already ranking on or near the first page and where your regular search result description has three or more lines of text. If your high-ranking search results do not have descriptions of at least three lines of text, follow Google's recommendations to create good titles and snippets in search results. To pursue long tail SEO opportunities, both branded and unbranded, unpack your existing documentation and turn it into powerful microcontent.
MindTouch automatically structures content in a way that Google loves. If you publish content you already have then it's an easy win. To see examples of MindTouch customers capturing Position Zero in Google, read: Zero Is Greater Than One: Find SEO (and Customer) Success through Snippets.