The Ubiquitous Featured Snippet

Oct 21, 2019

Ah, the “featured snippet”, are we talking about:

·       A sustainable fish option on a restaurant menu?

·       Type of rodent, similar to a hamster?

·       Trump’s tweet of the day?

None of the above. Featured snippets are those quick answers to Google questions that appear below AdWords blocks but above organic search results. Everyone has used them (go on, admit it), but most are still wondering where they came from.


Google rules, get used to it

Google created the Featured Snippet format to give users with a concise, direct answer to their questions right on the top search results page, without the users having to click through and then choose a domain. It’s all part of Google’s ongoing quest to add more information to your search results.

But here’s where it gets mind-boggling.

Google decides on the snippet, that is, you can’t buy “snippet space”. And Google also decides the format of the snippet: text, video, or list.

Text snippets: In 30-40 words, Google provides the answer to a search inquiry with text, and a link to the source domain. (Note, in many instances, the origin seems to be Wikipedia.)

Video snippets: If Google decides that a video gives a better answer, that’s what you’ll get, and once again, linked to the source domain.

List snippets: Google may decide that a text may not be the best way to transfer knowledge and use a table or list instead. If this is the case, Google still takes the data from the source domain, even if the data itself is not structured as a list (tricky, that Google!)


So what do feature snippets have to do with B2B marketing

As yet, no mere mortal has been able to completely understand how to get chosen by Google as “snippet” material. But the rules of clear, concise copy and legitimate key words definitely help. Google has no interest in showing its users snippets of long-winded, or overly complex content.

If your company contains information that Google decides works well in a featured snippet, then your text could be displayed, with a link to your company or organization.

For example, type in sustainable fishing. The featured snippet Google provides is from the Maritime Stewardship Council. Kudos to the council for getting free publicity! Or type in sustainable floor cleaning. The explanation links to a company called Earth Easy that also sells sustainable cleaning products on their site. Another win.

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Don’t stay awake at night worrying about featured snippets

It’s enough to make your head spin. The best advice – talk with digital providers that keep up to date with this stuff, including the latest on why Google chooses what it does (good luck with that). In the meantime, put your time and resources into a properly-built website (optimized for Google), your content marketing plan, a focused social media strategy, great design and original, well-written content.

There is no guaranteed way into Google Snippets, but building a strong brand can surely get you closer to being the reference in certain areas of knowledge on the internet. At Maguire Marketing Group we have a team dedicated to your business growth in brand recognition and profits, so book your first session and let’s talk about your marketing goals.