The word “snippet” surely carries a number of meanings, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition you’ll find is, “a small part, piece or thing; especially: a brief quotable passage.” So, what does that mean in the context of marketing?
In marketing, it could be an excerpt from a larger piece of content in the form of a blog post. Moreover, it could also be a fragment from an e-book used as marketing copy or it could pertain to search engine results. Regarding the search result, you surely want to have a featured snippet that works well in search engine results. In the following explanation, we are going to discuss about what people think of the featured snippet; what is it, and can it be trusted? If you are working in an SEO service agency or if you are one of the people who are curious to find out more about featured snippet, you can keep reading this article.
What Is a Featured Snippet?
In general, a featured snippet is a summarized response to a search engine query that appears on top of results. The text is taken from a page’s content that Google believes will be the best answer to your question, and is displayed with the page title and URL.
For example, you are looking for an answer on Google; you will see the page used for the featured snippet usually shows up as the top-ranked one in the search engine result page (SERP) for this query. However, in some cases, that isn’t always the case; in fact, Search Engine Land recently reported that Google is testing the option to remove featured snippet pages from the following results altogether.
So, it will be possible to get an answer from the featured snippet, which is in the #2 position. This shows that a featured snippet does not always equal a top rank in the SERP.
Do People Trust the Featured Snippet?
If you are planning to snippetize your content, you should keep in mind that the featured snippet isn’t perfect. In fact, a research which is conducted in Australia, the UK, and the U.S. shows that only 7% of respondents truly trust featured snippet results. This study compares that with the 21% who never trust them, and the 36% which are neutral about them.
To find out, let’s take an example, such as writing for a question on Google, “why are dogs so great?”
As the answer, Google will show you the results above, in which the featured snippet will serve you with some nice information about the history of dogs becoming domestication, but unfortunately it doesn’t explain anything, such as about what specifically makes them such great little creatures.
This thing also happens to other queries, for example, you are searching for, “How long does it take to make caramelized onion?”
In the featured snippet, it clearly reads, “about 5 minutes”. The text was actually pulled from an article, in which the writers indicate the time it takes to make caramelized onions. Unfortunately, the text quoted in the featured snippet was quoted from an unreliable source where a recipe pointed out for its incorrect cooking times.
Even though it is a low risk query since no adverse condition will happen once you undercook onions, it will surely upset the readers who try it out.
What if the inaccurate featured snippet results carry greater consequences, such as when a featured snippet explains totally wrong information about the history and the current events? It will surely cause a risk of widespread information, right? However, most of the examples featured in it have been corrected.
In other words, you still have a good reason why you need a featured snippet, especially as a marketer, you could invest some time into optimizing your pages for the snippet. Of course, a featured snippet that is meant here is a featured snippet that comes from the accurate and truthful information, since they’ve shown to beat out even the #1 ranking results in the SERP below them.
That’s what you need to know about featured snippets! Just like the other algorithms, Google will also improve many things related to the featured snippet front for a better performance in the future.