June 9


Controversy over Featured Snippet

By Jason Khoo

June 9, 2020


Hi guys. Welcome to another edition of Zupo's SEO Talk and Tea. 

Today's conversation is the controversy over featured snippets. Now, when I say the controversy, I don't have a crazy opinion about it, but featured snippets are not as cut and dry as other SEO tactics or results and so it deserves some attention because it has something that SEOs have heavily debated. Therefore, I do want to have a conversation about it.

But today I want to introduce the tea we have today. Today the tea is not Kirkland because that's just the box I use, but it's Pu'Er Tea. Pu'Er Tea a fermented tea that's really popular in China. It's not as well known in the West, but Pu'Er Tea, the best way I can explain it is the closest thing you're going to get to black tea. It is a dark tea leaf. It brews very dark liquid, a dark liquid tea, and a dark color. And also it's pretty strong. I drink it as my way of getting a kick in the morning. It is definitely kind of a black coffee kind of version of tea.

Let's go ahead and get brewing and get talking about the controversy about featured snippets. In another video I defined what featured snippets are. If you need to know, you don't even know what a feature snippet is, I would kind of garner over there and go watch that video first and then we can talk about the controversy later, because you probably need to know what it is first.

But the controversy over featured snippets is that though it places you very high on Google [inaudible 00:01:22] box, something that kind of makes sense with featured snippets is if you've ever, and I'm going to use a good example here, if you've ever looked up the lyrics of a song, sometimes, or a lot of times, the feature snippet will appear with the lyrics on the top. It'll kind of have the entire songs lyrics right there in that box so you don't have to click anywhere. So for Google, that's great for their users because they want to make their search results as convenient as possible so people want to keep using Google. That makes sense.

Now the problem is if someone sees the entire set of lyrics on the feature of snippet, why would they need to click anywhere else? The problem is for a lot of sites, is that even though they get the featured snippet and their content is being placed on that snippet, what can happen is that when people see in the search results, they don't need to click to your site and therefore they see this [inaudible 00:02:12] and they leave. Because they're not really on your website, you will not be able to truly convert them. And even on another level, you may not even be able to leave a good impression on them, because if they are seeing it on Google, and though you are sourced on the very bottom, it's not impressionable enough where you were the brand or the company to give them that information. [inaudible 00:02:38] Google gave them that information.

Therefore, I have seen studies and people talk about when their site got the featured snippet, they lost 50% of their traffic because people just weren't looking. It's difficult because it is a tough situation. Do you want to give your competitors the feature of snippet because you'd rather have the traffic to your website, but then if you let your competitors have the featured snippet, they will be on the top.

It's a very difficult conversation. But I do know for most companies, it comes down to how many people are coming to your website and how many sales we're getting. I've seen a lot of companies defer away from featured snippets and then rather not be on the featured snippet and just have the traffic come into their website so you [inaudible 00:03:20] to click a certain result.

Featured snippets aren't as great and easy to understand as you may think. Google has listened to the community and they've actually introduced an ability or a code that you can put on your site to tell them I don't want this page to be as a featured snippet, because they've heard it out. It's kind of a hard balance because of one, sometimes you want to have your listing on the top in that featured snippet, because it's great to see your site on there, but is it worth it to see the sacrifice of traffic by people not clicking on your site?

There's a lot of different ways to do it, and unfortunately I don't have one answer for you. I've seen featured snippets that look great and they don't sacrifice clicks. Because for example, there are comparison guides or product review guides where you'll see the information in the featured snippet, but it's not going to give you enough so you're going to click more into it. That's great, to be honest. That's great because it will lead more clicks to you.

But there's other ones like the lyrics one that if we're on there why would they even click to our website? The controversy is there. I would say when you're talking about featured snippets, don't assume that they're the best. And don't assume position zero is where you want to be.

Now I would encourage you as you go about your own website, measure the results yourself and have an intro discussion on how you want to approach it. Do you care about the branding of being number one or would you rather have the traffic to your website? It would depend on what kind of featured snippet it is, what kind of content there is in there, and then what the ultimate results of your site are. You can use the code to say you don't want to be in featured snippets, but it is something to kind of be on the lookout for and be careful about making featured snippets a good thing right off the bat. It does depend on your business and what kind of featured snippet and essentially the ultimate results of [Alex 00:05:07] of your website.

Hopefully I was able to illustrate that controversy a little bit. The point of this video is to not solve it. I'm not here to solve the controversy. I don't want to really have any hard feelings about it. To me, the only feeling I have is let the data talk, if we're going to keep it or not. Hopefully you can kind of do that the same.

If you guys found the video valuable and you liked what you heard, I'd appreciate if you guys would like and subscribe. I'm going to go have my Pu'Er Tea now. It's kind of been a long week, so I kind of want to have a kick and some tea. But if you guys found that valuable, I do really hope to see you guys again soon in another video. I'm going to go ahead and and enjoy my tea now. Thanks guys. Hope to see you guys again soon. Oh, yes.

Jason Khoo

About the author

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Never miss a good story!

 Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest trends!