Is the Google Featured Snippets section positive for SEO?

It is no secret that Google is increasingly looking to improve the user experience. A clear example of this is the related questions box or Google Featured Snippets. We all came across it at some point when performing a search. And we also get quick answers to our queries and others related to them. That’s why it’s worth knowing what it is and how we can use it to our advantage in SEO.

The inclusion of the box is relatively new. After months of testing and queries, Google added it to the search results page at the end of 2017. Basically, what Google and other search engines like Bing do is to select the pages that give answers to the questions that users may have about a given search. It then places them in the form of questions and answers in a separate box or section, located anywhere on the main search results page. Generally, among the first 3 results.

In this accordion-like section, the list of related questions appears, and by selecting one of them, the answer is displayed with the link to the page where the complete information is contained. Likewise, each time a question is selected from the box, other questions appear that are connected to it. And so on.

Objectively, this box represents a plus point for SEO. Because getting to appear in a featured snippet is one of the achievements that any SEO professional is currently pursuing. And this for different reasons. Firstly, it places your information as an adequate response to what users request. Secondly, it increases traffic by directing users directly to your page. Consequently, it means a valuable increase in CTR (click-through rate to impressions).

Placement in these questions and answers is a great help, especially when your page is not among the first results, which is likely but unusual. On the other hand, there are several formats in which the information can appear: paragraph, list, and table. So the first step for your content to be placed in the box is that it is in one of these formats.

Despite these clear advantages, there is also a downside. By offering your information in a specific format, and indicating that it is related to a specific search query, the user quickly receives what he/she needs. This immediacy and practicality can limit the search and eliminate the desire to dig deeper. So, there is a chance that they will not enter your page to look at your content.

From this point of view, it is beneficial for the user but it can also be negative for you. However, it is only a small percentage, compared to the multiple benefits that can be obtained from the featured snippet.

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