Google Featured Snippets Guideline – 2023 All You Need to Know
At the end of this tutorial, you will know:
- What Featured Snippet is
- Featured Snippet Types
- How Google’s Featured Snippets Work
- Can You Get a Featured Snippet?
- Why Featured Snippet Can be Removed
- How to Report Featured Snippet
- How to Block Featured Snippets for Google?
What Featured Snippet Is?
The featured snippet is excerpted content, taken from a website and placed at the top of the search results, to provide a quick answer without going to the source (website). Featured snippets are also called position #0. And only Google algorithms decide from what website and what exactly to place as a featured snippet.
Simply type a keyword and a quick answer is ready
Featured Snippet Types
4 featured snippet types are existing in Google: Paragraph, Table, List, and Video, each of them can appear based on the search intent of a given word or phrase and could individually change based on user experience
As I’ve said before, there are 4 types, and the definitions of each, are provided down below
1. Paragraph Featured Snippet
The paragraph featured snippet is an excerption from a source (website) that is provided as a text block with a proper answer (usually 50-60 words long) which basically contains brief information/definition of a given searched keyword or a phrase
2. Table Featured Snippet
The table featured snippet type is a type of featured snippet in Google, that provides an exception as a table-visualized data of a given keyword or a phrase, mostly sorted from high degree to low
For example, you can google a list of countries by crime rate
And get a sorted table result from the most to the lowest degree.
Simply not going anywhere outside, it can tell you what you asked in an easy-to-catch way
3. List Featured Snippet
The list featured snippet – is a text block of excerpted data from the website, provided in list-visualized format (dots, numbers), showing the results in easy to catch way
4. Video Featured Snippet
The video featured snippet – is an excerpted data taken from the source (website), provided as a video block on the search results page, showing a proper result of a given keyword or phrase, primarily used in the topics where the video content is more helpful and useful for people based on user experience
For example, let’s google “how to be the single trailer”
The one above is a video featuring the snippet
Instead of just getting information from the search, when people click on the video, it takes them to the video source website, which is good
Because it improves inner website metrics like average session duration or views, which eventually affects the website positively, or if a video leads to a YouTube channel you get additional clicks
How Google Featured Snippets Work?
Basically, the featured snippet appears when the Google algorithms decide to do so, based on user experience, search intent, and looking at the top 10 websites in search results by a given keyword or phrase.
The algorithm decides what excerpted content from what website to place as a featured snippet, and what would be better for people.
Also: the snippet usually has its symbol limits, about 300 symbols (mostly for paragraph type), and taking a piece of information from page content or a description meta-tag if it does answer on question well enough.
By the way: According to the Search Engine Journal – a featured snippet can occur only once per page
How to Optimize for Featured Snippets?
To optimize a webpage for featured snippet block, a given page has to be in the top 10 in the Google search results page by a given keyword. Also, make sure the content you want to get to the featured snippet block is descriptive enough and unemotionally described as if it would be a precise definition or a handbook.
But there are no guarantees for that actually, and even Google tells that
To reinforce what we’ve learned from here:
To let Google index your content as a featured snippet, you have to fit 2 requirements:
First requirement – Your page has to be top 10 in Google results. As practice shows: The closer to the top, the better.
The second requirement is – Make good excerpted definitions for content you want to see as a featured snippet block. Keep in mind about symbol limits and the featured snippet type also.
For instance, I made 2 examples
What is SEO – SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a very hard thing to master. Also, you can meet SEO in many areas like linkbuilding and content strategy to get high ranks and traffic.
What is SEO– SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a process of improving a website in many areas including Linkbuilding, content optimization, PR, and much more. Eventually, for acquiring more organic traffic by increasing website visibility in search engine systems like Google.
The point here is to make precise definitions for each sentence/passage you want to appear in Google, particularly in the featured snippet block
Why Featured Snippet can be Removed?
Google featured snippet could be removed if it goes against official Google policy:
- Dangerous content
- Deceptive practices
- Harassing content
- Hateful content
- Manipulated media
- Medical content
- Sexually explicit content
- Terrorist content
- Violence and gore
- Vulgar language and profanity
- Contradicting consensus on public interest topics: including many civic, medical, scientific, and historical issues – should not contradict well-established or expert consensus support. We may remove information presented as fact that lacks supporting evidence if it accuses individuals or groups of serious malevolent acts.
Source: Google’s official policy list
How To Report Featured Snippet?
If you find a featured snippet harmful and against Google policy, you can surely report it by
Simply go to the featured snippet block and find the “Feedback” block beneath it
When you clicked that, select the reason for your report and click the “Send” button
Now it is up to the Google team to decide whether to hide this one or let it be
How to Block Featured Snippet For Google By Your Choice?
To stop showing a page in the featured snippet block, you need to put the following code inside your <head> section of a page.
<meta name="robots" content="max-snippet:0">
But there is also a consequence after all
Because it can actually lower your inner website metrics like views or average session duration, which badly affects website ranks in Google
And why is that a problem?
Instead of going to your website trying to find content, people will easily solve their problems right inside on the Google result page
For example, imagine you have a www.test.com/how-to-make-a-cookie page
And you see your page has performed as a featured snippet inside a Google page result, people won’t click that, they already solved a problem, why would they?
Basically, people click less – you have fewer views = metrics went down = you have less chance to get good ranks compared to your competitors
It all depends on the keywords though
If your page is telling people the time, they won’t click further to your website, they now know what they wanted to know, and that’s it, they close the page.
But if your topic is about something more than time, let’s say you are selling vacuum cleaners and people are looking for something like this
They will probably need to know about this more and would be clicking further to a website.
Actually, I did a small research myself real quick and the CPS Clicks Per Search (or CPS) is the ratio of Clicks to Keyword Search volume. It shows how many different search results get clicked, on average, when people search for the target keyword in a given country metric shows that this is true
Let’s go into that
Going to Ahrefs Keyword Explorer Tool
We’ve got a 1.00 Click Per Search rate
This means that approximately 100% of clicks reach the particular website, regardless of the featured snippet’s existence, it is still would be clicked by people.
So now we know that the featured snippet feature is perfect for this type of query
But what about a time example, let’s take a look
As you can see, the “Clicks Per Search” metric is 0.25 which means that only 25% of people click to the exact result in Google after googling it.
It would be okay to turn off the featured snippet for that one.
But not only the CPS decides, the volume does too. And does it a lot. I’ll show you an example
Let’s imagine that
The “Volume” metric of a given keyword is 100 (100 people searching for this keyword monthly)
The clicks Per Search metric is – 0.10 (which is 10%)
This means that only 10 people out of those 100 would be clicking the results per month, instead of going to a certain website.
So based on this particular example, we actually can turn the featured snippet off, because only 10% of people will come to our website, and this is almost nothing.
But if you have not a 1 page, but 100 of them containing in a featured snippet block? That could be a tragedy for a website’s organic traffic.
Anyway if we do turn it off, the other results from competitor websites would be at the same spot we’ve been, and instead of getting clicks to OUR website, THEY will acquire those 25%
Conclusion: the best solution here is to turn featured snippets off only when you see the low volume rate compared to Click Per Search Metric (CPS), and mostly at your own risk or to collect analytics for further optimization
But anyway, if you need, you can sure avoid hitting the featured snippet block by using the “max-snippet” tag for your pages
The only thing you need to do to hide the featured snippet for a particular page is to paste the following code inside the <head> section of a given page.
<meta name="robots" content="max-snippet:0">
Basically, this is how you’re saying to Google not to put your page inside the featured snippet block
It will be guaranteed disqualified from the featured snippet block after Googlebot will crawl your page again, seeing the tag.
Make sure a webpage you’re trying to exclude a featured snippet from is available for crawling by Googlebot, it has more than one though, so based on what you need, open a website up for a certain Googlebot. Here list of all google bots you can find specific bot for your needs.
What you need to do is
- Open up your robots.txt file, https://yourwebsite.com/robots.txt
- Find the rules that you might think blocking Google bots from crawling
- Compare these rules with a list of all Google bots
Make sure you haven’t found blocking rules for “Googlebot” inside your robots.txt file
As far as I know, I’ve listed all the key moments during the featured snippet work process, that have been helping me often.
So I’ve made a conclusion to reinforce what we’ve learned today
Featured snippet block is a very useful technology
According to recent research by Enginescout in 2022, featured snippets are getting 35.1% of all clicks on average). So, featured snippets can become ⅓ of your monthly traffic from searches.
Featured snippets are automatically placed by Google
Google has the last word, particularly its algorithm, based on keyword intent type/ current results, user experience, and a website’s current rankings by a given keyword Google decides what feature snippet to place as a result
There are 4 featured snippet block types
- Paragraph featured snippet (goes as a plain text block, mostly limited by 50–60 keywords)
- The table featured snippet (provided as a table with rows and columns)
- The list featured snippets (same as a table but instead of many columns you see a doted or numbered list with information based on a given keyword)
- The video featured a snippet block (simply just a block provided as position #0 containing a video block as it would be on YouTube, but just only a 1 video)
If you want to get a featured snippet block
Try to stick to these requirements
- Being in the top 10 on Google search results page by a given keyword, you want to acquire a featured snippet
- Based on the keyword type and result currently provided in Google featured snippets result at the moment, provide a good answer in a handbook-way without going emotionally/or using subjective opinion form (see my bad and good examples above)
You can avoid hitting the featured snippet block for any reason.
If so, simply put
<meta name="robots" content="max-snippet:0">
Into the <head> section of a page, you want to exclude to be shown as a featured snippet
You can analyze the keywords for the usefulness of being in the featured snippet block
Simply go to the Ahrefs Keywords Explorer tool by looking for the CPS (Click Per Search) metric
The given number is provided in percentages, where 0 equals 0% and 1 = 100%
Speaking of the given example above, It means that 0.18 number equals 18% which means that only 18% of people are actually clicking on the particular website of a given keyword results.
Moreover, try to make decisions not only based on the CPS metric but a volume metric too
It could ruin your clicks if you turn off the featured snippet block feature without analyzing both: volume and CPS metrics.
And last but not the least
Don’t turn the featured snippet off without any control, analyze as frequently as you can after turning it off, and try to make the best options, particularly for your website, based on that analysis
How to Rank For Featured Snippets?
To rank for featured snippet, your particular website page should be in top 10 in Google by given keyword or a phrase. Also, make sure that the content you want to rank in there is descriptive enough and covers the precise question in a definition form of answer
How to Track Featured Snippets?
You can track featured snippet results by using SemRush Position Tracking tool. Moreover, you can use Google Search Console “Search Results” report and sort keywords positioning from high to bottom, position 1 means that it could be featured snippet result, and it's absolutely free
How to Find Featured Snippets Opportunity?
You can use SEMrush Explorer Tool sorting your pages from position #2 to #10 while featured snippet filter is triggered.
Who Owns the Featured Snippet?
Google algorithms own formation of featured snippet block, however you can influence on it by making improvements to a particular website page
I hope now you understand more about featured snippets. So try to make your best and see yourself how it actually works. Practice makes perfect.
You can start by trying to give Google excerpted content of your pages about each thing that you want to optimize for the featured snippet block. It is better to start with pages that already are in the top 10 of Google.
Also, subscribe to my newsletter in case to get a quick email right in your mailbox, I will be sharing a lot of guidelines, and my personal experience, and also I have a project (a game-changer one) in the close future that will (I hope) blow up the media for a while