Blue Highlight Feature For Google Featured Snippets
Updated on: 16 March 2023
Many brands and digital marketing agencies in Singapore are aware that beyond placing first in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), there is a sacred organic search ranking position known as position 0, also known as a featured snippet. If you are looking to rank top in Google search without making any significant updates to your content, a featured snippet is a place to look at.
Recently, Google has quietly rolled out their latest featured snippets update, which consists of a blue highlight feature. While not all featured snippets may yet appear with blue highlights, most do. Basically, Google may highlight specific text in the featured snippet that is related to your search queries. Additionally, the font size within the highlighted text may sometimes be larger than the rest of the featured snippet’s text.
Here is what it will look like:
This update is not entirely new, as Google has been testing it since September 2022. During the testing period, Google tried both blue and yellow highlighted text. However, it seems like Google has decided to go with the blue highlights.
What are featured snippets?
Featured snippets are selected key search results featured on top of SERPs just beneath Google Ads. Basically, they display instant answers to search queries and sometimes on voice searches too. They are, therefore, often regarded as “answer boxes”. SEO-related studies have shown that featured snippets are vital for an SEO strategy as they are able to earn an average Click-Through Rate (CTR) of 45%. Hence, every marketer and brand should leverage on featured snippets.
How do featured snippets work?
There is no sure answer to getting your page to appear on featured snippets. Google’s AI system displays featured snippets when they determine that a format helps users to discover search-related answers more quickly, both from the featured snippet itself and when they click on the link to explore further. Featured snippets appear more often when users search by voice or through their mobile devices.
Why does this new update matter?
While it may not seem like that much of a deal, the blue highlighted text feature will definitely improve user experience, as seen in some of Google’s latest updates, such as their New AI-enabled search ad tools. However, some of our concerns are if the blue highlighted feature will impact CTR in a positive or negative manner.
Still, you might want to audit and optimise the existing content if you notice that the update caused a change in driven traffic and keyword rankings.
How can I ensure that my page appears on featured snippets?
While there are no known methods to ensure success, there are a couple of tips you can utilise to boost your chances of appearing on featured snippets:
1. Start with good old keyword research
And not just any keywords, but long-tail keywords. Studies have shown that pages that appear on featured snippets are those that answer long-tail search queries. Hence, when conducting long-tail keyword research, consider the following tips:
- Question-type searches, such as what, how, and why.
- Target informational intent.
2. Identify search queries where you are ranking the highest
The most straightforward method to increase your chances of appearing on featured snippets is to identify search queries or critical phrases where you are ranked at the top. Using Google Search Console enables you to derive such vital information.
3. Scour through Google for questions
Targeting the right audience will help you increase your chances of appearing on featured snippets. And to do so, you need to provide answers to the right questions. Therefore, scouring through Google for common, popular searches related to your business can help you discover the right audience to target.
You may do so by looking through the “People Also Ask” section. Additionally, there are other search tools, such as text optimiser, that can help you extract terms and concepts from SERPs, displaying relevant searches that users made.
There is no fixed solution that will guarantee your page appears on featured snippets. It will take lots of research and planning and still may not assure you immediate results. While it is ideal to appear on featured snippets for your SEO strategy, it should not be your primary goal.
Consider this: Rather than focusing your resources and efforts on appearing in a section that has no guaranteed answers, why not work on ranking well in the SERPs? Keeping up-to-date with healthy SEO practices and tips will help you to avoid ranking for the wrong page. And if it still does not work, you might want to consider engaging professional SEO services to help you achieve your campaign goals.