A few people have asked me:

  • How long does it take to get a featured snippet?
  • How long does it take to take someone else’s featured snippet?

Featured Snipets in Google may be produced instantly, or within 1 second of a page going live on the Internet. In most cases this occurs when the new page ranks well and provides the best and most concise answer.

Possible scenarios:

No existing snippet.
I recently published the article “Featured Snippets Are Being Added as Better Content Hits the Web“. In it I show an example of a search which had no snippet. I simply structured the content just right and published the article and, tada, I had a featured snippet.

Existing snippet scenario 1:
If you have a competing page and the competitor has the coveted featured snippet, you may or may not be able to steal their snippet easily. If you’re both on page 1 of Google search results, you do have a chance of stealing their snippet. If your content is not getting a featured snippet and you can restructure your content to be featured snippet friendly, you may eventually steal their snippet. This may happen instantly or it may take a few weeks if their site is already producing a nice, neat concise answer.

Existing snippet scenario 2:
Your competitor has a snippet but it is poorly worded, Google is producing a poor result, or you have yet to write the content. This happens all the time on .GOV sites where the most authoritative content is often found yet it is tought to uncover since it is buried in a PDF file or something silly.  In these cases you can steal the Featured Snippet instantly.

Screenshots / case study

Over 2017, I have stolen hundreds of Featured Snippets. I figured I’d better get a screen shot. In this case I’m using a basic wordpress site I’m experimenting with just for the sake of playing with Featured Snippets. Not only was I able to grab the Featured Snippet, I did it in under 10 seconds, and I took it from a .GOV website.

In this screenshot, Ohio.gov has a featured snippet. Not for long!


Within seconds of this new page going live, the Featured Snippet has been stolen. The change occurs instantly as the page is crawled and indexed.

Have a question about featured snippets?

Feel free to post it below.


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