Larry knew exactly what he wanted Google to accomplish for millions of users around the world when he co-founded the search engine back in 1998. Following a list of ten simple rules, the founders of Google shaped a philosophy that people now come to expect of every search engine today.
Search engines are essentially huge knowledge databases filled with information which has been collated from content all over the internet. Google crawls information every second and organises it in a super OCD way to give you the best answers to your search query as quickly as possible (they even show you the fraction of a second it took them to get your results – just to show off how speedy they really are).
What is a Featured Snippet?
In the most basic terms, a featured snippet picks out the very best answer to any user query and puts it into a pretty little frame at the top of the page, making it as easy as possible for you to find the information you need swiftly and, as Google puts it, “get the things you need to do done”.
Whether that’s asking “how to tie a bow tie” for a really posh do that you’re attending:
Or trying to work out what your electrician friend meant by “get yourself a GLS light bulb” for your new kitchen:
The featured snippet provides you with the best and most accurate answer to your query. It’s also a bit more personal, basing that answer on your location and historical searches plus a number of other factors to make sure they are giving you exactly what you want to find.
The Relationship between Content and the Featured Snippet
As digital marketers, our work revolves around one all-important word “optimise”. And this can really mean two things – firstly, technical optimisation is all about improving the efficiency of data feeds and diagnostic issues to make it easier for search engines to index and understand your website.
Secondly, and most importantly for content marketers, optimising your content isn’t about any technical formula. It’s about making your content effective and useful for humans, because if you’re satisfying their needs with great content, you’re helping search engines (and Larry) reach their ultimate goal – to understand exactly what users mean so they can give users back exactly what they want.
According to Content+, 70% of customers prefer to get information about a company from content rather than ads. Customers these days are picky before purchasing and are not easily seduced by a direct advertisement. Regardless of their end goal, all customers want useful information before they choose to buy. This means your content has to be well researched, optimised and able to enhance the customer journey to be a contender in the search results.
The featured snippet is designed to enrich the user experience and deliver more focused and relevant search results. If your content is researched in the right way and you understand what your target audience really wants to know, your content can be the catalyst which brings the right people to you and establishes you as the authoritative leader in your field.
Knowledge is Power
As one of Google’s golden rules states, “there is always more information out there”. Google is on a never-ending quest for information in every nook and cranny of the internet and as users continue to ask questions about new topics, products and trends every single day, crafting information that accurately answers those questions will catch Google’s attention and they will reward you with the top spot.
As long as you can do that consistently, Google will send you more relevant traffic and improve your ranking in the search results – proving that knowledge really is power.