Featured snippets (sometimes referred to as “Answer Boxes,” although the overlap of terms isn’t strictly accurate) started showing up on SERPs in 2014, and the SEO community collectively gasped. Two years later, as the prevalence of featured snippets continues to rapidly increase, we’ve had time to study some data and come to some initial conclusions.
The good news is that featured snippets haven’t done the kind of damage to CTRs that some marketers feared they would. The difficulty is that they may be the start of the next big wave of change in SEO.
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A featured snippet is a summary of an answer to a user’s query that Google pulls from a well-ranking website, and delivers at the top of search results. The featured snippet includes a link back to the page that the information was drawn from. It is, in a way, ranking position #0.
A featured snippet may be a direct answer to a question, but it is not an Answer Box (sometimes called a Knowledge Box to avoid confusion). An Answer Box delivers a direct answer, from Google’s Knowledge Graph or a short list of trusted sources. These direct answers provide information like dictionary definitions, weather information, quick facts, sports scores and schedules, etc. Because the information is pulled from Google’s own knowledge base, or third party data sets, Answer Boxes do not include links to source landing pages.
Answer Box for [what is search]
Featured snippets are a great, new opportunity for SEOs and the closest thing to an SEO shortcut we’re ever likely to get. This document—coming soon—answers:
The download is also full of links to other, top-quality resources that will help you take over your target SERPs.
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