1. Your website is the first result on Google? You can do better (and here is how to do it)!

Being ranked on Google's first results page as the first result is a great thing. If you have such a ranking for the right keywords, you will get thousands of targeted visitors. Did you know that your website can rank even higher? Read this article to learn how to do this.

Featured snippets are the key

If your website is listed as a 'featured snippet' on Google's search results page, it will be displayed above the first regular result page.

Featured snippets appear only for some search queries. Usually, the snippet contains a short text from the listed web page, as well as the title and the URL of the page. Google tries to display the answer to the question of the searcher directly in the featured snippet box:

example of
                                                        a featured
                                                        snippet on
                                                        Google

As you can see, the featured snippet is much more prominent on the first results page than the first regular result. If your website is listed as the featured snippet, you will get many more website visitors than before.

How to get listed as a featured snippet

1. Check the topic of your website

Featured snippets do not work for all websites. Queries with financial, transitional, or mathematical questions often have a featured snippet on the search results page. The same is true for questions about time, health, do-it-yourself help, or the status of something.

If you have a local business then it's unlikely that Google will show a featured snippet. Featured snippets are also unlikely for image/video searches, and shopping searches. In that case it is better to invest your time in regular web page optimization and link building (which is also important for all other sites).

2. Search for relevant words

Use the keyword suggestion tool in SEOprofiler to find the keywords that could show featured snippets. In general, higher-volume search terms often get a featured snippet if the search term includes 'who', 'how', 'where', 'what', etc.

Search for 'how to' in the keyword suggestion tool in SEOprofiler and you will get many 'how to' search terms. Of course, this also works with other questions.

There are also words that can imply a question, for example 'does', 'getting', 'making', 'cooking', etc. The 'People also ask' section on the search results page (see screenshot above) can also help you to get new keyword ideas.

3. Invite Google to choose your web page for the featured snippet section

If you want to increase the chances that Google picks your website for the featured snippet, you must show Google that your page is the right page for the question. You can do this by doing the following:

  1. Repeat the search term or the question in the title and in the headline of your page.
  2. Answer the question directly below the headline. The answer should be short, clear, and precise. Bullets often help. The answer should not be longer than one paragraph.
  3. Add additional information (images, videos, etc.) to make sure that the question has been answered as completely as possible.

Use clean and structured HTML code that makes it easier to parse your pages (headers, lists, etc.). If the content of your page has question/answer format, Google might also pick a short answer from your page as the featured snippet for a question.

This has a very positive side-effect

Google only picks the best pages for featured snippets. By optimizing your web pages for featured snippets, you have to make sure that your web page is the very best page that answers the question of the searcher.

It is important to structure and improve the content of your web pages to get listed as a featured snippet. It is even more important to make sure that your web page offers the best solution. This will be rewarded by Google and by your website visitors.

2. Internet marketing news of the week

Google: buying links is like throwing money out the window

"Gary Illyes from Google said at SMX Advanced on stage that buying links from sites that sell guest blog posts and the like is the same thing as throwing money out of the window. [...]

Either you penalize and people say you should just ignore the links or you ignore and people want you to penalize the links. He personally likes the ignore method over penalty method."


Gary IllyesGoogle opportunity: produce content in non English languages 

"Another tidbit at SMX Advanced from Gary Illyes of Google, something he said a few months ago is that there is a huge opportunity to rank for keywords in non-English languages. He said there is a lack of content and web pages for non-English languages. [...]

Gary said look for 'where is there a gap in content' and produce content there. English is somewhat over saturated but with non-English, there are plenty of opportunities."


Google confirmed the mobile interstitial penalty did roll out

"On January 11, 2017, Google said it began rolling out but very few sites got hit, the ones that did got hit, got hit hard but the spread was minimal and sites that likely should have been hit, did not get hit.

So I questioned Gary Illyes at SMX if it really rolled out and he said it it 100% did roll out and he is confirming it rolled out. [...] I do think it rolled out but it did not have the impact we all expected. We expected hell to break lose, but I guess Google sent out enough warning for webmasters to prepare?"


John
                                                        MuellerGoogle’s John Mueller: a residential dwelling address is okay

"Does it matter if your business is a home office that is registered as a residential address? According to Google’s John Mueller, this doesn’t matter for web search."

+++ SEARCH +++ ENGINE +++ NEWS +++ TICKER +++

  • Google’s definition of near duplicate content.
  • No Google plans for a featured snippet specific meta tag.
  • EU poised to fine Google more than $1 billion in antitrust case.
  • Was there a small Google algorithms update this week?
  • Google: we will bring voice search analytics to webmasters.
  • Google’s mobile-first index likely not coming until 2018 at earliest.