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SearchLove San Diego 2018 | Rob Bucci | Featured Snippets: From Then to Now, Volatility, and Voice Search

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Featured snippets are still a large, first place presence on the SERPs, providing significant opportunities to heighten site visibility, drive major traffic, and help digital assistants do their thing. Armed with fresh data and analysis, Rob Bucci will walk you through the evolution of featured snippets, how you can win them with searcher intent, why you’re likely to hang onto them for the long haul, and what they mean to voice search.

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SearchLove San Diego 2018 | Rob Bucci | Featured Snippets: From Then to Now, Volatility, and Voice Search

  1. 1. FEATURED SNIPPETS: FROM THEN TO NOW, VOLATILITY, & VOICE SEARCH
  2. 2. You’ve probably seen one of these before.
  3. 3. @STATrob/@getSTAT #SearchLove getSTAT.com/searchlove
  4. 4. THE EVOLUTION OF FEATURED SNIPPETS @STATrob
  5. 5. RESEARCH STATS KEYWORDS 1,000,000 CPC High DEVICE Desktop & mobile MARKET United States, English (Google.com)
  6. 6. WE’RE STILL SEEING MORE SNIPPETS THAN EVER 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% January '16 July '16 April '17 November '17 31% 23% 15% 9% (Desktop)
  7. 7. FEATURED SNIPPET RANK @STATrob
  8. 8. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% January '16 July '16 April '17 November '17 4%4% 0%0% 96%96% 100%100% Rank 1 Rank 2 SNIPPETS ARE APPEARING IN RANK 2
  9. 9. SHOPPING BOXES CAN PUSH A SNIPPET DOWN THE SERP. @STATrob
  10. 10. FEATURED SNIPPET SOURCE POSITION @STATrob
  11. 11. ORGANIC RANK OF SNIPPET URLS HAS DROPPED 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11-20 January ‘16 November ‘17
  12. 12. A “PEOPLE ALSO ASK” BOX TAKES SECOND PLACE 60% OF THE TIME. @STATrob
  13. 13. @STATrob RANK ON THE FIRST PAGE TO HELP SECURE A SNIPPET. 99% of snippets are sourced from ranks 2–10. TWEETABLE TIP
  14. 14. SERP FEATURES VS. SNIPPETS @STATrob
  15. 15. HOW OFTEN SERP FEATURES APPEAR WITH SNIPPETS 38% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Places Videos Images News Shopping PAA 64% 4% 1% 7% 2%1% 71% 4%3% 9% 19% 0% 43% 2% 10% 3% 19% 0% 22% 1% 5% 11% 14% 0% Jan '16 Jul '16 Apr '17 Nov '17
  16. 16. VIDEO RESULTS ARE GROWING & CHANGING 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Jan '16 Jul '16 Apr '17 Nov '17 14% 19% 19% 38% 2% Videos
  17. 17. @STATrob CONSIDER VIDEO AS ANOTHER WAY TO ANSWER QUESTIONS. Google is making a more video-prominent SERP, especially where snippets are concerned. TWEETABLE TIP
  18. 18. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% PAA 64% 71% 43% 22% Jan '16 Jul '16 Apr '17 Nov '17 FEATURED SNIPPETS & PAAS ARE BFFS
  19. 19. A double–snippet SERP.
  20. 20. @STATrob LET PAAS INSPIRE YOUR SNIPPET CONTENT. Use the relationship between the two features to your advantage. TWEETABLE TIP
  21. 21. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 71 1%0%0%0% Jan '16 Jul '16 Apr '17 Nov '17 SNIPPETS ARE SHOWING UP ON LOCAL SERPS Places
  22. 22. @STATrob FIND THE LINK BETWEEN LOCAL QUERIES AND FEATURED SNIPPETS. And build out the appropriate content. TWEETABLE TIP
  23. 23. FEATURED SNIPPET FORMATTING @STATrob
  24. 24. This is a “paragraph” snippet.
  25. 25. This is a “list” snippet.
  26. 26. This is a “table” snippet.
  27. 27. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Paragraph List Table 8% 32% 60% 11% 29% 60% 16% 19% 63% 7% 11% 82% Jan '16 Jul '16 Apr '17 Nov '17 HOW OFTEN WE SEE EACH TYPE OF SNIPPET
  28. 28. Just look at this hideous thing.
  29. 29. FEATURED SNIPPET VOLATILITY @STATrob
  30. 30. THE RESEARCH • In April 2017 we ran our one million keywords. • 232,451 returned featured snippets, which we tracked for 19 more days. • We measured the rate of appearance and level of volatility. @STATrob
  31. 31. VOLATILITY = DISAPPEARANCES, REAPPEARANCES, OR URL CHANGES. @STATrob
  32. 32. BOOLEAN LOGIC IN ACTION SNIPPET APPEARANCE VOLATILITY DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 cats.com — cats.com — — 0 1 1 1 0
  33. 33. 68% OF SNIPPETS SHOWED ZERO VOLATILITY. They appeared every day for 20 days with the same URL. @STATrob
  34. 34. @STATrob Appearance Volatility Number of keywords by volatility and appearance. Score
  35. 35. THE NATURE OF VOLATILITY @STATrob
  36. 36. HOW VOLATILITY BEHAVES 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 10% 16% 8% 67% Only URL changes Only disappearances Disappearances & reappearances Disappearances & URL changes + Disappearances, reappearances & URL changes
  37. 37. @STATrob Appearance UniqueURLs Number of unique URLs by appearance.
  38. 38. @STATrob 99% OF KEYWORDS RETURNED UP TO THREE DIFFERENT SNIPPET URLS. 76% returned only one.
  39. 39. @STATrob TRACK DAILY TO SURFACE YOUR COMPETITOR URLS. Head to their pages to see how Google interacts with their content. TWEETABLE TIP
  40. 40. SPOTTING VOLATILITY ON THE SERP @STATrob
  41. 41. SNIPPET FORMATS RETURNED BY EACH KEYWORD FORMATS NO VOLATILITY LOW VOLATILITY HIGH VOLATILITY Only paragraphs 61.25% 26.92% 10.50% 0.80% 0.28% 0.26% 0.00% 49.48% 22.30% 6.99% 10.83% 4.74% 5.28% 0.28% 44.51% 20.03% 5.41% 15.39% 5.66% 7.63% 1.38% Only lists Paragraphs & lists Paragraphs & tables Lists & tables Paragraphs, lists & tables Only tables
  42. 42. @STATrob KEEP TABS ON FORMAT TO HELP IDENTIFY VOLATILE SNIPPETS. TWEETABLE TIP
  43. 43. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11-20 ORGANIC RANK OF SNIPPET URLS No volatility Low volatility High volatility Rank
  44. 44. @STATrob UP YOUR ORGANIC RANK FOR A BETTER SHOT AT SNIPPET STABILITY. TWEETABLE TIP
  45. 45. FEATURED SNIPPETS & VOICE SEARCH @STATrob
  46. 46. VOICE SEARCH IS HAVING AN IMPACT ON FEATURED SNIPPETS. @STATrob
  47. 47. Search engines have evolved to understand natural language queries.
  48. 48. GOOGLE IS SURFACING FEATURED SNIPPETS FOR NATURAL LANGUAGE QUERIES. @STATrob
  49. 49. The ratio of featured snippet keyword length to non-featured snippet keyword length continues to grow.
  50. 50. DIGITAL ASSISTANTS TRANSLATE SPOKEN COMMANDS INTO WRITTEN QUERIES. @STATrob
  51. 51. MACHINE LEARNING: THE GOOD “What are the best headphones for $100” “What about wireless” “I meant $100 Canadian” [best wireless headphones for $100 Canadian] [best wireless headphones for $100] [best headphones for $100] COMMAND QUERY
  52. 52. COMMAND & QUERY 1 COMMAND & QUERY 2 “How do I bake a bundt cake” “How long will it take” “How long does that take” [how long does a bundt cake take to bake] [how long does it take to take a bundt cake] [how do I bake a bundt cake] MACHINE LEARNING: THE GETTING THERE
  53. 53. MACHINE LEARNING: THE GETTING THERE COMMAND QUERY “How do I bake a bundt cake” “What kind of pan does it take” “How much do those cost” [how much does bundt cake cost] [what kind of pan for bundt cake] [how do I bake a bundt cake]
  54. 54. MACHINE LEARNING: THE… WAIT WHAT? “How do I bake a bundt cake” “Does it take butter” [how do I bake a butter] [how do I bake a bundt cake] COMMAND QUERY
  55. 55. OPTIMIZE FOR VOICE SEARCH BY CREATING SNIPPET CONTENT FOR LONG-TAIL, NATURAL LANGUAGE QUERIES. @STATrob TWEETABLE TIP
  56. 56. SEARCH INTENT ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE. @STATrob
  57. 57. IT’S NOW TIME TO LAYER IN SEMANTIC INTENT. @STATrob
  58. 58. RESEARCH THE TYPES OF SNIPPETS APPEARING FOR YOUR QUERIES THEN FORMAT YOUR CONTENT TO MATCH. @STATrob TWEETABLE TIP
  59. 59. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Does Cost 10% 1% 3%0.4% 88% 98% Paragraph List Table WORDS THAT PRODUCE MOSTLY PARAGRAPH SNIPPETS
  60. 60. [how much do hoverboards cost]
  61. 61. WORDS THAT PRODUCE MOSTLY LIST SNIPPETS 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Best How to 0% 11% 68% 79% 32% 10% Paragraph List Table
  62. 62. [best kitty names]
  63. 63. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Rates Abbreviations 96% 54% 4% 15% 0% 31% Paragraph List Table WORDS THAT PRODUCE MOSTLY TABLE SNIPPETS
  64. 64. [abbreviations for Canadian provinces]
  65. 65. WRAPPING IT UP @STATrob
  66. 66. SNIPPETS SHOW UP A LOT AND ARE MOSTLY STABLE. @STATrob
  67. 67. The number of snippets continues to trend upwards.
  68. 68. A double–snippet SERP.
  69. 69. SNIPPETS ARE A CORNERSTONE FOR VOICE SEARCH. @STATrob
  70. 70. @STATrob TRACK THE FEATURED SNIPPETS IN YOUR QUERY SPACE. TWEETABLE TIP
  71. 71. Download the updated findings, volatility whitepaper, and presentation slides at getSTAT.com/searchlove.

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