A featured snippet, sometimes called an answer box, appears in Google search results when Google can quickly provide a summary of an answer or an answer to a user’s search query by extracting content from a webpage. Featured snippets contain a page title, URL, and often an image.
There are many questions surrounding featured snippets. As I cover them on this blog, I will add some of my discoveries to this page at the bottom of this page in the resources section.
How does Google extract data from pages?
In some instances, it is almost as if a human pulled the content. According to Google: “When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question, and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.”
Google does like some types of content better than others. As for text content, Google typically pulls lists, tables, and sentences or paragraphs from pages to display in the featured snippets box.
Why is Google stealing my content?!
It’s ok. Featured Snippets shows in search dramatically increase the click through rate on webpages. I have personally experienced this several times now and will post evidence here at some point in the future. If you really dislike featured snippets, a meta tag exists to tell Google to prevent using your site for snippets.
Do I have to rank well to get a featured snippet?
Google will pull the “best answer” from any page ranking on page 1. In some cases they will use content from page 2 as well. Sometimes text is pulled from one page, and images from another. The answer displayed is not always the est answer but is typically a best guess paired with a page with easily extractable content, or content which is in a preferred format, as listed above.