Google: Ranking for Featured Snippets

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djbaxter

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Google's John Mueller on Ranking for Featured Snippets
Search Engine Journal
May 16, 2018

Google’s John Mueller was asked in a Webmaster Hangout about the ranking factors related to featured snippets. Mueller provided helpful advice as to what is not a ranking factor for featured snippets. Then he offered useful information about the kind of content that Google tended to promote as a featured snippet.

What is a Featured Snippet?
A featured snippet is a summary that answers a search engine user’s query. It’s particularly useful for users on a mobile device as well as those using voice search. One can grumble about these kinds of results not sending traffic but they do send some traffic. The pragmatic approach is that someone’s going to benefit from that traffic so it may as well be you.

When Does Google Show a Featured Snippet?
Google shows a featured snippet when their algorithm recognizes that a search query is a question. Here’s what Google’s featured snippet support page says:

“When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question, and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.”​

That is an important clue for ranking in the featured snippets. If you want to be shown as a featured snippet, think about what problem your content is solving then create at least a paragraph of content that answers a specific question. Be sure to add images and mark them up with structured data in order to fully communicate what that image is about and how it relates to the content.
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