Many SEOs oppose featured snippets because they feel that they take away traffic from organic search results. However, there are ways you can optimize your content so it is more likely to be selected as the featured snippet for specific queries.
Featured Snippets are Google’s attempt to provide searchers with quick, helpful answers that are relevant to their query quickly and efficiently. Typically they appear below title and meta description in search engine result pages (SERP). Most featured snippets are generated for long-tail keywords or questions starting with question marks – according to Stone Temple and Ahrefs studies, pages featuring featured snippets tend to rank higher for similar queries than pages without one.
Featured Snippets also help those using voice technology, as featured snippets are frequently utilized by virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana to provide answers for search queries. According to estimates over 40% of internet users conduct voice searches both on computers and mobile devices.
Attracting Google Featured Snippets can increase both your brand’s authority and visibility on search results pages (SERP), if it is chosen for an often searched keyword. Furthermore, winning one may increase time spent by visitors as they click to expand further their understanding of an answer for their query.
Though there’s no guarantee your website will qualify as a Featured Snippet, it is worth making the effort to meet Google’s quality guidelines for content, as well as perform basic on-page optimization including using short URL paths, HTTPS security protocols, relevant markup schema, adequate content length and keyword density and creating an understandable page structure.
Keep in mind that Featured Snippets can change quickly. What was once featured could become regular SERP results tomorrow; therefore it is essential that high-quality niche content with helpful and valuable information be produced as soon as possible.
Once upon a time, there was duplication between the Featured Snippet and its traditional blue link SERP result it occupied, which caused much of its traffic to be split among both listings, leading some people to dislike them. Since then, Google has de-duplicated them so they only count as one listing within SERPs, helping reduce some concerns regarding reduced click-through rate from them – but still it would be wise to monitor your SERP traffic data through GSC or Google Analytics regularly.