Cartoon person carrying off a red zero symbolizing the removal of "position zero" from online search results.The much-coveted featured snippet, often referred to as “position zero” still exists, but it is now essentially position #1 on the page. In a recent change that has been confirmed by Google (see below Twitter exchange between Moz’s Pete Meyers and Google’s Danny Sullivan), a search result that appears in the featured snippet will no longer be elsewhere on page 1. So, it’s no longer possible for a company to secure a featured snippet and another page 1 organic ranking for the same link. This is a huge shift as a 2017 study of 2 million featured snippets by Ahrefs showed that virtually all (99.58%) also appeared on page 1.

Twitter exchange between Moz's Peter Meyers and Google's Danny Sullivan.

Twitter exchange between SEO Marie Haynes and Google's Danny Sullivan.

The Good

Securing a featured snippet (also known as an answer box) is still advantageous. These search results still appear above other organic results, below the ads, enjoy more real estate on the page and are highlighted with a black frame, which helps them stand out. Being featured in an answer box translates to additional brand exposure. HubSpot research showed that content with a featured snippet had a 2X higher click-through rate compared to traditional organic listings in positions #1-#5. Featured snippets are prevalent too – according to Moz, nearly 1 in every 4 search result pages includes a featured snippet.

The Bad

It would seem that brands that previously enjoyed two listings on page 1, will see a drop-off in sessions, although it is difficult to predict the extent of the drop. We may see an increase in companies attempting to rank for very closely related terms in order to secure a second page 1 listing with a different link.

How to Secure a Featured Snippet

Is it still worth it to try to rank for a featured snippet? We think so! Most featured snippets are pulled from results already ranking on page 1, so start by taking a loot at what keywords you are already ranking well for. Develop informative by very succinct content around the term you are targeting for featured snippet placement. SEMrush reports that the most common length of featured snippet content is just 40-50 words. Consider adding a short summary or concise FAQ section to well-ranking pages. Sometimes, actually adding the search query you are trying to rank for as a question on your page can be helpful. Q&A-style content or “How To” type content may result in a featured snippet spot as well.

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