SEO is a necessary part of your marketing to bring visitors to your website – however the rules change constantly. Here’s the low down on the latest Google search results update – a change to Featured Snippets.

TL;DR A page that captures the featured snippet will no longer have the ability to also rank elsewhere on page 1. There are no longer 11 organic search results on a search engine results page (SERP) that contains a featured snippet. So, no more position 0, only position 1, which now includes featured snippets. 


What is a featured snippet?

A featured snippet is what Google believes to be the best answer from the web for the search query, and places this in the featured snippet area – see below – the featured snippet for… featured snippets, where Moz claims the top position.

It is important to note that you don’t actually have to rank number one, or even on the first page of search results to be the featured snippet.

The featured snippet update

In late January, Google’s Danny Sullivan made the announcement on Twitter, “If a web page listing is elevated into the featured snippet position, we no longer repeat the listing in the search results. This declutters the results and helps users locate relevant information more easily. Featured snippets count as one of ten first page listings we show.”

The featured snippet position was referred to as position 0 and it is the best position to steal clicks away from the top results of a SERP and still uphold a page 1 result. Now, the latest update indicates that if your webpage is in the featured snippet, it will now be referred to as position 1, and the original listing won’t be on page 1 results.

Google has told us that the new update isn’t meant to penalise webmasters, it’s just Google decluttering top SERPs and re-evaluating duplicated URLs on page 1. If you wish to have more control over the content for featured snippets, you can block content from being displayed in the featured snippet, using the nosnippet tag.

How does this impact my search listings?

The change means there is more room for other search results to appear on page 1 of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). Those webpages that are in position 11 (page 2) will be moved up to the first page. This is an advantage, given that 75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of search engine results.

Paid advertisements will still show above featured snippet results. Users scrolling past ads may also scroll past the featured snippet if they are looking for a traditional search listing. Previously, this may not have mattered if the website also had a Page 1 organic search result also. Not anymore.

Our take on this: That’s okay – for us, ranking for a Featured Snippet trumps a regular search result:

  • They give a heap of exposure
  • They keep your website above the fold
  • They boost your businesses credibility

So, what now?

  • Prioritise your keywords that don’t rank for page 1 and optimize the content on that URL to appear as a featured snippet
  • Do your research – Google questions that your potential customers might ask – what featured snippets are available?
  • Create FAQs for your website. Pepper this with questions that you are attempting to rank for
  • Monitor results and be realistic. Are you really going to rank above Wikipedia?
  • Give us a call. We love SEO – let us help you bring more traffic to your website.