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What are the 9 basic rules Google follows for Featured Snippets?

What are Featured Snippets? Jul 27 / 2021

What are Featured Snippets?

One of the most common ways that people use the internet is to look up information. And their favorite search engine is Google.

Over the last couple of years, Google has added an attractive feature to their pages that have made searches even more user-friendly. The search engine result page now features a brief explanation or summary of the subject matter being searched for. This will be found at the top of the first search engine result page and is called a featured snippet.

There are four types of featured snippets that Google uses.

In order of popularity, they are:

  • A small paragraph
  • A bulleted list
  • A numbered list
  • A table

Benefits of featured snippets

Featured Snippets are extremely popular with both users and advertisers.

It benefits the reader as they can get a quick overview of the subject matter without visiting any websites that appear on the first page and reading through the content.

Advertisers, especially those whose websites are dependent on organic searches or web traffic, find that the featured snippets are a great tool to improve their visibility. A website that has a feature generated out of its content will get a lot of traffic.

Read Also: What is the Concept of Google Page Rank Algorithm

Google’s 9 Basic Rules

Google has developed nine basic rules to help websites generate content that could be picked up as a featured snippet.

Rule No: 1 – Add a “What is” heading?

The web pages must feature a “What is” heading, followed by a brief explanation or overview of the subject matter. The quality of content and the explanation must be excellent as Google will check on this with voice searches.

Example: “What are Featured Snippets?”

Rule No: 2 – Use an “is” sentence structure

Avoid indirect speech, past tense, and complex sentence structures in the heading. It should be concise, simple, and direct. This kind of question does very well on featured snippets.

Example: “What is a precision air conditioner?”

Rule No: 3 – Fully define the topic

When writing your content, particular attention should be paid to the first paragraph. The first sentence of the first paragraph should define the subject matter clearly and concisely. The second and third lines should include must-know facts that are useful to the user. Avoid irrelevant information and fancy phrases.

Example: “What is coconut coir?”

Rule No: 4 – Match the featured snippet format

The four formats (paragraph, bulleted list, numbered list, table) for featured snippets are the recommended formats from Google, so it is essential to adhere to one of these formats and not deviate from this. If you stick to them, the chances of your content being picked up for a featured snippet will increase.

Rule No: 5 – Do not use your brand name

Avoid any mention of your brand name in the featured snippet and keep it generic. References to the brand can be confusing. It can mislead the reader into believing that the explanation given in the content applies to the brand being referenced.

Rule No: 6 – Do not use the first-person language

Avoid words like we, our, ours, in your content. This can sound ambiguous. It confuses the reader into wondering who the “we” that the content refers to is. It is better to keep the language specific.

Rule No: 7 – Scale featured snippets

Google generates featured snippets as a bulleted list from popular small business listings for each business category. Business houses can exploit this feature and scale up or appear in featured snippets for multiple business directories. This is achieved by optimizing the keyword using the HTML header tags.

The H1, H2, and H3tags could carry keywords related to categories, subcategories, and sub-subcategories of the businesses relevant to the company.

Rule No: 8 – Prioritize when you rank in the top five

There are various opportunities to refine your web page content to appear in the search engine’s top five pages. This is a good marketing strategy as the chances of appearing in the featured snippets increase as you get closer to the top.

Rule No: 9 – Iterate your optimizations

Adhering to all the above rules may not assure your content a place in the featured snippet at the very first instance. You will need to continually refine your page content and play with all these rules till you find a combination that gets you there. The good news is that if you do it right, you will get there in four to five iterations.

With its featured snippets, Google has once again come up with an innovative feature to enhance the quality of organic searches. It is easy for searchers to find the information they are looking for easily and quickly with featured snippets. It also gives advertisers ample opportunity to differentiate themselves and move up in the Google rankings.

So, get your featured snippets for your web pages ready today!

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Cameron Zills

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