The Featured Snippets and Update in 2020

The Featured Snippets and Update in 2020


So if you know what is position zero on google or better say featured snippet of the SERP’s? you can directly go to the update in 2020 below but if you don’t then fantastic.
Let’s see this through an example, we will search for “digital marketing in 2020” in Google.

SERP feature showing zero position

Now you can see Google has generated a bunch of webpages but along with it, there is also a generated “featured snippet” at the top of every webpage, and that is what position zero is for a webpage in a SERP and it’s called position zero because Google generates 11 webpages in the SERP with 10 unique webpages in it.


1. Rich Result:
Adding structured data to your website or webpage will help Google to understand the page and also enhance your chances to be on the zero position.
2. Meta Description Tag:
Google also uses Meta tag contents to generate snippets, so it's always a smart move to use your meta description tag to describe to the points.   

Now how to create a good meta description tag?

So a good meta description tag must be included with a short and to the point answer to the interest of any user and is easily understandable. It actually acts like a pitch which makes the user invest their time on your website and that has to be as specific as possible.

A meta description can have no limit but the search result snippets are truncated as needed. An admin can also direct Google to extract the exact amount of words for featured snippets.


1. Make sure every webpage must has meta descriptions.
2. Every page’s meta description must be unique.
3. Include clear tagged facts in the description.

a. You can include information about the page like about the author and date of publication if it's a blog.
b. You can add price, manufacturer name, important date, etc. if it's a product page. 

Okay now according to google this all you need to be on the zero position and actually that’s pretty much to generate a snippet and be on the zero position if you have a monopoly in your domain but we know every business has its competitor. So you need to do all these steps and also you have to stand out apart from your competitor.
Now before jumping into how to reach the zero position, first we must know why it is even important for a company to reach the zero position in 2020?

So there has been a huge shift in behaviors of the users, how they interact with the product and services overall and there has been a lot of technological shift also. For example, according to google around 20% of the searches are now done through voice searches, and technologies like  Amazon Echo and Google Assistance are changing the way of interaction of users in web searches. So whenever a user asks Alexa which is the best for holiday this weekend, and Alexa will provide the featured snippet only without going through the other listed websites below them, you will miss out on a great lead. So keeping all this in mind, one business or company has to be in a position where it can take all the advantages of the technological shifts before its competitor takes that place.

According to some reports, the brands which focus on DIY, recipes, nutrition, and finance are more likely to be in the featured position in comparison with other industries.

So Now Let’s See The Steps To Follow In Order To Be On Featured Position:

1. Do Competitor Analysis:

The first thing to do is competitor analysis and track the keywords on which your competitors are featuring. If you also want to get featured on the same keywords optimize your content according to your analysis and research of your competitor.

2. Triggering word of featured snippets:

Now according to a semrush report back in 2018 total 41% of question type keywords have been to the featured snippet and rest are 22.67% of comparison and 17.72% of preposition keywords. Another great stats shared by ahref about the featured snippets and how they are triggered using keywords like:
top 30 most frequently met words in search queries with featured snippet data by ahref
Now after this data ahref also shares the type of search data in the featured snippet and that was quite different from semrush.
type of search queries that trigger featured snippet by ahref
So concluding anything is difficult but always use triggering words with your target keyword to increase your chances to be in the featured position.


3. Keyword Research:

So like any other SEO planning, one of the most important steps is keyword research. And there are mixed observations about whether the featured snippet position holders are ranking within the top 10 or not. So with proper keyword research and optimizing the keyword with the triggering words will be the best strategy to follow. Use keyword research tools like google trends, ubbersuggest, keyword planner, etc. to find the best fit keyword for your industry.
Along with the keywords, finding what people are searching for related to your keyword using google trends and answer the public is very helpful.

answer the public result for seo keyword

Use the questions asked by the people in your page and increase the chances to be on the featured snippet.

4. Word Count:

As mentioned above the meta descriptions are used to show featured snippets, one should use minimal amount of word counts to answer the question user has been asking. And according to a research by semrush it is found that the optimal amount of word is around 40-50. And the trick is that whenever possible use list type answering instead of paragraph.
most optimal meta description word count data by semrush


5. Header and high-quality images:

Use headers very wisely, always use header chronologically while giving heading and subheading in your snippet. Ex: If you have used h2 in heading then use h3 for your subheading, not h1. And finally, always use high-quality images to illustrate.


6. Schema Markup or structured data markup :

Finally, the best technique to use for generating rich snippets and increasing your webpage ranking is the schema markup of your webpage. Schema markup is a joint project by all the search engine institutions to develop an algorithm that will understand the context of a query and show a high-quality result. Now schema markup can be done directly in the HTML code or it can be generated using Google’s structured data markup helper very easily.

structured data markup helper

Figuring how to implement these steps on your web pages? Consult our SEO experts now.



Now following all those steps you can achieve the featured position but Google has recently updated it featured snippet algorithm. And now what was called the zero position has been upgraded and is now the first position in a SERP. Yes, Google has updated this zero position feature, earlier the total number of webpages in a SERP was 11 taking account of the featured snippet while after the update Google has decided to place the featured snippet as rank one webpage and register 9 other unique webpages followed by it.

Before the update in 2020, the SERP would have been looked like this

You can see the same webpage there two times in the SERP and this was before the update. But after the update

featured snippet after 2020 update

As you can see for the same keyword the latest search in 2020 is not registering any duplicate webpage in the SERP and this is how the position zero is obsolete and become the position one.
Now there is a huge opportunity for low-rank webpages for competing for that first position as you have to focus on how to be on the featured snippet position and you might get the 1st rank on the SERP.

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