What Is A Rank 0 Result?
Rank 0, also known as a featured snippet, is the expanded result appearing above the number one ranking result on the page one results in the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Rank 0 results generally answer questions for a search query term. In addition, typically, they contain an URL and clickable display title but also may contain an image, lists or tables.
Of course, you can read what Google has to say about featured snippets here, https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6229325?hl=en.
What Are The Benefits Of Rank 0?
The benefits of Rank 0 are possible increased organic search visits to a site, higher positioning above the fold, thus pushing the competition down on the page and taking up a large amount of real estate on page one of the Google SERPs.
There is an older case study, though still highly relevant and informative, at Search Engine Land of the outcome of the loss of a featured snippet result. That case study is found here, http://searchengineland.com/swapped-losing-google-featured-snippet-case-study-228899.
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There is a more recent, though still dated, larger study performed by HubSpot indicating that they saw an over 114% in click through rate (ctr) on average. That study’s results can be found here, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-featured-snippet-box#sm.0001uqfiai6v3dslqth2nbja8y9f6.
Who Benefits From A Rank 0 Result?
Any website can benefit from a Rank 0 result. There is no specific evidence that any particular industry or type of website (educational, shopping, lead generation, etc…) is preferred for a Rank 0 result.
Why Is There A Rank 0 Result Position?
To provide an answer to a question based upon a search query term since a search query is actually a question looking for an answer.
How Do I Get A Rank 0 Result?
There are no set in stone rules for gaining a Rank 0, Featured Snippet result in the Google SERPs. In the two posts mentioned above there are some tips and links to other informational posts about this subject, but no hard evidence that these guidelines are the key to solving the question of “how do I get a rank 0 result”.
What Is Happening With Rank 0 Today?
A dated, July 6, 2016, but indepth article from MOZ can be found here, https://moz.com/blog/ranking-zero-seo-for-answers. This article brings in some of the history and evolution of Rank 0 in the paragraph titled, “Where do they come from”.
What makes this post dated you may ask? In the paragraph titled, “How do you get one?” It is mentioned that you must first have a page 1 ranking result for your search query term to have a chance at Rank 0. However, in a recent post by Search Engine Land found here, http://searchengineland.com/featured-snippet-googles-testing-dropping-web-listing-275088, by Barry Schwartz and posted on May 16, 2017, it is stated that Google has confirmed that they are testing dropping the page one organic ranking result if the site is already a featured result.
In a post over at TheSEMPost that was posted the previous day, May 15, 2017, by Jennifer Slegg, it is mentioned that Google has seemingly dropped the regular organic search query result, but it is not being seen everywhere. This post can be found here, http://www.thesempost.com/google-drops-regular-organic-result-pages-shown-featured-snippet/.
Why Is It Important To Have A Rank 0 Result?
There may be more than one reason that it is important to have a Rank 0, Featured Snippet result. I think more importantly, the Rank 0, Featured Snippet is now the new Rank Position #1 and should improve your customers’ click through rate, organic search query visitor traffic and possible improvements in conversions.
I do question the improvement in conversions from my earlier work with Google Adwords Pay Per Click campaign management.
There is always the ‘idiot’ or ‘wasted’ click. Ranking in position one in paid search can bring unwanted visitors to your site, increase your monthly spend, lower your quality score and drive your cost per acquisition through the roof.
Internet users browsing the web for information, products and / or services have been known to click on the first result presented to them, even if it is irrelative. This is the ‘idiot’ click.
I suspect that having a Rank 0, Featured Snippet result would yield the same result. We know through our conversion data that having a position one organic ranking result brings in more organic search query traffic but usually at a lower quality rate; higher bounce rates, lower average time on site, lower number of pages visited per session and lower conversion rates.
The benefit of the increase in organic search query traffic over the idiot click pay per click traffic is that the cost of the click is usually less expensive. The cost of idiot clicks from position one pay per click results can add up pretty fast.
The cost of having a Rank 0, Featured Result or position one organic ranking result are typically not seen immediately and, in most cases, can be averaged over time; providing actual beneficial return on investment (ROI) when figuring in the cost of your internet marketing search engine optimization efforts.
What Are We Doing To Gain A Rank 0, Featured Snippet Result?
We are actively engaged with our clients and our own web properties with testing of various tips as we have found on the web and that we are proprietorially developing.
As you will read in the linked posts, there is no guarantee of gaining a Rank 0, Featured Snippet result and once that you have one, there is no guarantee that it will stick.
Our work has seen us gain Rank 0, Featured Snippet results for our clients, some sticking on key terms and some quickly falling out of the Rank 0, Featured Snippet results for other key terms.
We continually examine our competition in our important keyword spaces and have noticed a trend that the Rank 0, Featured Snippet result often is replaced with a Wikipedia result from time to time.
In closing, while there is still some question whether the Rank 0, Featured Result snippet may not stay around, we feel that with the latest updates, as noted in the linked posts, we need to continue to work through the task of gaining a Rank 0, Featured Snippet result for our clients and is of utmost importance at this time.
One question in the upcoming future is going to be “how do we track the Rank 0, Featured Result in our ranking reports tools other than pulling the additional data provided for Featured Snippets in SEMRush.com?”
This reporting tool is fairly accurate, but I have found that you need to check each and every one of the results shown as the tool is not 100% accurate. It is a welcome tool and would eliminate the need for additional data collection if the Rank 0, Feature Snippet result could be incorporated with the overall domain ranking data instead of as a separate set of data.
Another question is going to be, “if Google drops the current core organic ranking result for a keyword search query term when there is a Rank 0, Featured Snippet result, will our keyword ranking tools pick this up as a number one result?”
Having been in this industry for 10 years, I, for one, look forward to the challenge of reverse engineering the algorithm to gain Rank 0, Featured Results snippets for all of That! Company’s clients now and in the future…at least until “the Google” changes its mind again.
Senior SEO Manager