New study on featured snippets within Google reveals growth & optimization techniques

Stone Temple Consulting has published a new study on the Google search results around featured snippets. Featured snippets are when Google shows answers at the top of the results — sometimes referred to as position zero. They’re also often used for Google Voice search results in Google Assistant or Google Home.

The study was based on 1.4 million queries and shows that for 50 percent or more of those queries, Google has shown a featured snippet, rich answer, direct answer or something similar in the search results. The growth of featured snippets over the years in the Google search results is significant: About 30 percent of those 1.4 million queries showed featured snippets.

Here is a chart showing the growth of featured snippets in Google over the years:

The study also showed that of the 601 featured snippet results in those 1.4 million queries, in 524 (89.9 percent) of those, the “featured snippet was identical to the regular snippet associated with the search result.” The other 10 percent or so fell under one of these cases:

One commonality between featured snippets and the core web search result snippet is that “451 (75 percent) of the featured snippets” in the study “had three or more lines in the regular snippet.” So there is a strong correlation between longer snippets in Google and those snippets being used as a featured snippet in Google.

The study goes into a lot more detail on these growth numbers, the patterns between snippets and featured snippets and best practices on how to achieve featured snippets in Google. So check out the full study over here.

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