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What is position zero, and why does it matter?

‘Position zero’ refers to featured snippets found at the top of Google’s search results page. Technically, featured snippets are not the first organic results of a search query. The featured snippets block is above the first search result, and the ‘People also ask’ block, which is why people call the snippets ‘position zero’.

About featured snippets

A featured snippet displays a straight forward answer that Google feels is most relevant to the search query. They are not exactly a new feature. Back in 2013, they used to be known as ‘Quick answers’, and were a way for Google to provide snappy and specific answers to queries. Improvements on the feature continued until 2016 when Google officially changed the name to ‘Featured snippets’.

Today, there are a few different kinds of featured snippets. They include text, video, table, and list snippets. Usually, the results of a voice search, for instance, on Google Home, are taken from a featured snippet rather than from thousands of organic results.

Why should you care about featured snippets?

A thorough survey in 2017 relieved that although only about 30% of search queries generate a featured snippet, those that do have a significant impact on the click-through rate (CTR) of organic results. The survey found that the search result right below a featured snippet only gets 19.6% of the total clicks. Without a featured snippet, the first page gets about 26% of the clicks on average. The snippet itself attracts an average of 8.6% of the clicks.

Featured snippets do not affect SEO ranking. However, they do “steal” clicks from top-ranking results. Although snippets are mostly generated from pages in the top-10 ranks, there is no guarantee that the snippet is drawn from the first result. This means that lower-ranking pages can elbow their way to the top by taking advantage of snippets.

All this is good news of course if you can manage to get your site a featured snippet.

Getting a featured snippet

Getting a snippet depends on two main things – keyword research and content marketing. Analyse keyword opportunities and include competitive and relevant keywords in your web content. Keep in mind that the material has to be formatted in such a way that it provides direct answers to search queries.

To do this, break your content into several segments under different headlines that bear the keywords. The sections could be in the form of lists, paragraphs or tables. It also helps to incorporate FAQs and Q&As into the content.

Get in touch with us to learn more about search engine marketing, and the right SEO strategies for your business.

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