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Why the Featured Snippet is Now Even More Important

Featured Snippets are a hot topic in SEO at present, as we see more and more featured snippets appearing across a wide range of search queries, with Google trying to give its users even quicker answers to their questions. A study, just published by Ahrefs, confirmed what we have been seeing for a while now, namely that not only are featured snippets becoming more widespread, but they are becoming much more popular and capturing a much larger proportion of the click share, with click through rates (CTR) for the top organic result falling below 20% when the a featured snippet is present, compared to an average 26% CTR when no snippet is featured.

The Increasing Importance of Featured Snippets in Search

Featured Snippets Click Through Rate CTR

The presence of the featured snippet also means less clicks overall for all the organic search results:-

Featured Snippets Reduces Other Clicks

Featured Snippets Reduces Other Clicks

What we have seen from our experience is that when we ‘capture’ a featured snippet, traffic to the page from which that snippet has been taken rockets, often out of proportion to the volume of searches that should be expected.  This would indicate that the click through rate might actually be higher than the 8.6% suggested in the study. Or, possibly, that the featured snippets appears in a wider range of long tail terms than is typically seen in top ranking posts, as ostensibly Google sees the quality of the content in that snippet answers a wider range of queries than, perhaps, the standard queries do?

The Increasing Importance of Featured Snippets in Search

Other key findings from the study of 112 million keywords that Ahrefs analysed include:-

  • 12.29 percent of search queries have featured snippets in the search results.
  • Only 30.9 percent of featured snippets rank at the very top placement in the organic results.
  • 99.58 percent of the featured snippets are already in the top 10 positions in Google.
  • The vast majority of featured snippets are triggered by long-tail keywords.
  • Wikipedia has by far the largest amount of featured snippets in Google.
  • Featured snippets often change sources.

All of this confirms our recent thinking in that capturing the featured snippet opportunities is now often more important than simply achieving top 10 rankings and emphasizes the importance of creating quality, authoritative content, which has a good chance of appearing in the featured snippet.

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