In late 2016 we started to see more and more Google “featured snippets”. These are the search results that show up at the top of Google search with an entire answer with a box around it. If you have ever asked a common question on Google you have seen the Google featured snippets. This is extremely valuable real estate as it takes up the large majority above the fold on desktop and basically the entire screen on mobile. So, can personal injury lawyers, orthodontists and mortgage brokers get the featured snippets box on Google?
The answer is yes. You can absolutely get this box but it is something that is not easy. Some SEO experts may claim you can do a markup for it or make your website more likely to trigger the featured snippets. The best thing you can do is answer questions in text format on your website.
Below is an example of a featured snippet in Google Search:
Note that Wojdylo Social Media is in the featured snippet as well as the first result in the organic search results. This is basically the entire top of the page on mobile which is where most people are searching for this specific keyword phrase.
Do not assume that the date determines the featured snippet. This particular article was published one day prior to the search being performed, as you can see with the image stating “one day ago”. We have noticed that many featured snippets are from articles that are months or years old. While timing can be important for some keyword phrases, it is not imperative to trigger the Google featured snippet.
So, how do featured snippets work? Well, here is what Google officially states:
When a user asks a question in Google Search, we might show a search result in a special featured snippet block at the top of the search results page. This featured snippet block includes a summary of the answer, extracted from a webpage, plus a link to the page, the page title and URL.
The summary is a snippet extracted programmatically from a webpage. What’s different with a featured snippet is that it is enhanced to draw user attention on the results page. 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.
Like all search results, featured snippets reflect the views or opinion of the site from which we extract the snippet, not that of Google. We are always working to improve our ability to detect the most useful snippet, so the results you see may change over time. You can provide feedback on any Featured Snippet by clicking the “Give Feedback” link at the bottom of the box.
Google has also made it clear that you cannot make a page as a featured snippet. No matter what your SEO Expert tells you, only Google can determine if a page should be a featured snippet. This is what Google has stated:
How can I mark my page as a featured snippet?
You can’t. Google programmatically determines that a page contains a likely answer to the user’s question, and displays the result as a featured snippet.
If you are a personal injury lawyer, mortgage broker or orthodontist that would like featured snippets for specific questions it will take amazing content and an optimized website. Law firms, orthodontics offices and financial brokerages would benefit greatly from having a featured snippet for a commonly asked question.
If you would like assistance with this, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help your business not only trigger featured snippets but rank in Google search for highly competitive keyword phrases. This will assist your business in getting more leads, clients or patients from your website.