Earlier this year, when I first started noticing commercial sites – such as Amazon and other retailers – showing up with the featured snippet result for commercial intent queries using non-branded keywords, it seemed quite rare. But as the percentage of featured snippets being displayed in the search results increases, so has the number of commercial sites displaying these coveted featured snippets.
But something is very key to all of these commercial sites getting featured snippets – many are being displayed not for product specific pages, but for helpful content related to the products. In simpler terms, their content marketing addition of articles that answer questions for searchers are being selected for featured snippets by Google.
And featured snippets continue to play a huge role on the search results, and one that is continuing to grow. On this date last year, featured snippets were shown for 2.3% of queries that Mozcast tracks. Today that number is 5.5% – over double in the past year.
One of the first noticed was back in April when a query for “smallest car camera” returned an Amazon featured snippet for a product page, while a search for “rosacea cream” returned a Boots result.Another example, while this is a product specific page from Boots, it highlights the importance of having helpful content on product pages too – a huge amount of original quality content that doesn’t appear on many of their competitor’s product pages. End result? Featured snippet for those searching from the UK.
But Amazon is not the only site getting into the game. Courtesy of Glenn Gabe, here are some more commercial sites nabbing featured snippets. First is an example from eBay (with their infamous BHP pages) showing a featured snippets for generic queries.
What is most notable for the eBay example is that the image being shown in the featured snippet no longer exists on the landing page, since the page consists of ever changing listings and none of the current listings use that image.
But companies are also grabbing “how to” queries as well, showing how important content is even on a commercial site selling products. Specifically these are all results from content these sites have added to their site that exist to be helpful and answer questions for searchers. Yes, these pages do lead to product pages and ads, but it appears to the searcher as supplemental content which doesn’t detract from the main purpose of the article.
Neither of these companies would have gotten the featured snippet without having those pure content pages that answer questions for searchers – something the Google quality rater’s guidelines talked about, as well as recently by Gary Illyes at his State of Search keynote in Dallas.
Major retailers are also nabbing featured snippets for brands as well, brands they are merely a retailer for, and even when the number one position in the organic search results are from the brand itself. This highlights the importance of what content you have on your landing page, and if that content is suitable for a featured snippet.
Many people believe it would be impossible to get a featured snippet from brand names for their products, but if the content isn’t featured snippet friendly, retailers can grab that coveted featured snippet instead.
I spotted this example earlier this week:
Featured snippets continue to play an important role in SEO, particularly getting one to showcase your site. If you aren’t sure if your site has featured snippets, here is how to find out. But Google has also talked about giving webmasters more details about featured snippets within Google Search Console, which would make tracking and analyzing featured snippets much easier.
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