Last year they suddenly appeared more and more often in the search results pages we actively monitor: Featured Snippets. It quickly turned out that our DIY portal heimwerker.de had received so many featured snippets that it was enough for a top 100 position in the Sistrix statistics. (That was at least more pleasing than the ranking in the Top-100 of Panda victims at that time 😉 )
But what exactly are featured snippets? They are specially prepared results that are placed in front of all other organic search results and promise a quick answer to the searcher's question.
Whether this is true and why Google uses these snippets so massively, I have investigated in a lecture for the "34th SEO-Stammtisch Ruhrgebiet". My slides to the talk are linked at the end of the page.
- Declining trend: the number of featured snippets, which had risen very sharply until the end of 2017, seems to be generally declining again.
- The quality of text preparation in German searches is apparently still much worse than in English-language searches. (Presumably AI is not yet ready for German text analysis).
- There is a lot to suggest that the Google is using these elements primarily to train and optimize results for later voice search results, using the feedback capabilities of classic search to do so.
- Those who do not yet see Featured Snippets for themselves and their competitors probably do not need to optimize for them.
- Those who already see Featured Snippets for themselves or for competitors should optimize their page structure, definition texts and images for these topics in order to obtain a better starting position for new end devices and personal assistants.
- For optimization, Structured Data and switching to W questions seem to be unsuitable.
Many thanks also to the always highly recommended "SEO-Stammtisch Ruhr", which gave me the opportunity to give the talk. (It is interesting to see how different the interpretations of the term "cocktail bar" are executed in Düsseldorf and "the Pott").
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