laptop on a wooden table with the Google search page on the screen
Feb 19 2020

What Are the Different Types of Featured Snippets

Featured snippets (also known as rich answers, or answer boxes) are a part of the Google search result page, usually above the organic search results. They are highly coveted because of their position, and it is good practice to optimise your content for them, even if it might mean your page actually gets less traffic.




Because featured snippets are usually where Google gets voice search results from… and voice search is going to be huge this year.


So, do you know what a featured snippet is?


What IS a Featured Snippet?


As you know, Google wants to give users the best possible and most relevant answer to their query. That is why, in addition to the search results, it tries to provide one short but a pertinent bit of information that could tell you what you need instantly in the form of a featured snippet.


For example, if you ask a ‘how-to’ question, it might give you a YouTube video that demonstrates whatever it is you are trying to do. Similarly, if you have a ‘what is’ query, it will try to give you the definition in the featured snippet.


In order to give you the best possible answer, it uses different types of featured snippets, based on what it thinks might be the best format.


The drawback about being ‘featured’ in a featured snippet is that it might take away from your web traffic. I mean, why would anyone visit your page if they’ve found the answer they were looking for?


That is a valid concern.


However, as I said earlier, it means that you’re more likely to be the result for a voice search.


Additionally, if you style your answer just right, you may effectively answer the question while piquing the curiosity of the reader, encouraging them to learn more about the subject. This means that you get a position above the first search result, and all the ads, with the opportunity to increase your click-through rate.


What Are the Different Types of Featured Snippets?


Text Featured Snippets (or Paragraph Featured Snippets)


A text or paragraph featured snippet is just that… a bit of text that should provide the answer to your question. It is normally just an extract taken from the content in a webpage, with a link to the page in question.


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Video Featured Snippets


Video featured snippets, or YouTube snippets, are single videos that might be the best way to address your question.


Let’s say you’re looking for a process. in some cases, a video might be a better way to show you how it is done instead of a list of written instructions.


How does the search engine decide which video is the best answer?


It uses the keywords used in the video description to determine the contents and if it will be appropriate for your needs.


video snippet 740x947 2 - What Are the Different Types of Featured Snippets


List Featured Snippets


A list featured snippet is a result that displays a list. It could be a list of ingredients in a recipe or the recipe itself, a top-10 list, a list of steps in a process, et cetera. These can be lists from within the content, or a list Google creates by extracting the relevant information from the page.


List featured snippets can be of two types – number lists and bulleted lists.


Numbered List


A numbered list is a list where the order of the list items is important. For example, a recipe, or a top-10 list.


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Bulleted List


A bulleted list is a general list, where the order of the items is not important. For example, a list of vegetables that are rich in Iron, list of books by an author, and similar queries.


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Table Featured Snippets


Google displays a table featured snippet when you ask for information with two or more variables – for example, price comparison for different models of cars or phones over multiple years.


Again, this might not be presented as a table format within the actual page, but Google pulls the relevant information to create the table for you.


table featured snippet 735x552 1 - What Are the Different Types of Featured Snippets


Other Types of Special Content Resource Blocks (That Are NOT Featured Snippets)


Rich Answer


Rich answers, or instant answers, are very short bits of information that could answer your question instantly. These answers don’t link back to a source, as Google considers them public domain and assumes you only need that single piece of information, without any additional info to go with it.


So what kinds of questions would yield a rich answer?


For example, if you were searching for the temperature in your area, or the current time in a city, the result of a mathematical problem, or the answer to life, the universe, and everything!


rich answer snippets 737x455 1 - What Are the Different Types of Featured Snippets


Knowledge Graph


A knowledge graph is a compilation of information that Google has collected from various sources, in order to give you a comprehensive answer right on the search engine results page. It is usually displayed in an infobox next to the organic results, or a photo carousel at the top.


knowledge graph snippet 950x698 1 - What Are the Different Types of Featured Snippets


Rich Snippet


A rich snippet is a part of the organic search results, but with a bit more information than ordinary results. For example, while ordinary results only show the page title, the URL, and the meta-description, a rich snippet would show additional info including a star rating, reviews, and more.


rich snippet 786x441 1 - What Are the Different Types of Featured Snippets


As you can see, there are different types of featured snippets, depending on the kind of answer Google thinks you might need. So, how do you get your page to appear in this prime position?


How to Optimise a Page for Featured Snippets


Find a Question


When doing your keyword research, look at the questions your content could be answering. Since featured snippets are quick answers to questions, it’s only logical that you’d want to find questions that people are asking. Look at your long-tailed keywords or check out the ‘People Also Ask’ section on the search result page.


Create a Short, But Precise, Answer


Once you have identified the questions you want to answer, create the answer for it.


Google prefers long-form answers, those with the most detail, especially for voice search results. However, your text featured snippet needs to be short.


This study by Moz, SEMRush, and Ghergich & Co found that the optimal length for a featured snippet answer was between 40 and 50 words. So, compose a very focused introduction with the answer before you dive into the detailed content.


When we say detailed, we mean comprehensive, with supporting images and videos included.


Format the Content Properly


Like we mentioned earlier, Google can sometimes extract information from the relevant sections of your page to create a list or a table, or even a text snippet. That is why it is important to format your page properly. Use the proper heading tags and list tags, so the search engine knows exactly what is where.


So, there you are. These are the different types of featured snippets (and not featured snippets!) for which you could optimise your content. If you need help doing that, give us a shout. We are available on 01489 232 312 as well as on email.

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Simon Emmins

With print, branding and web design skills under his belt, Si will keep you updated with any new developments and innovative tricks of the trade. Inspiring you to think a little more creatively, Si could be the difference between good and bloody amazing!

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