Consider the search engine results page for a moment. After you ask the search engine a question, it will provide a series of links to the answer and it will have ads related to the question at the top of the SERP. However, the most attention-grabbing aspect of this SERP will be the featured snippet that answers the question directly. Most search users rely on the information provided on this snippet and don’t even click on links below them.
So, What is Position Zero?
Position Zero, formally known as Quick Answers, is the box that contains the aforementioned Featured Snippet. It is a summary of the information mentioned in the link that directly answers the user’s question. For example, if you ask ‘who are the most popular singers of 2020’, the featured snippet will contain a list of names like Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Beyonce, etc.
This information is sourced from third-party websites and isn’t usually from Google’s databases. The snippet will have the summery, an image if there’s one included in the source article, the page title, and the source URL. Users can click on the URL if they want to explore the information provided further.
As this result is displayed just under the ads, it is the first organic link users see. That fact alone makes it very impactful and valuable. The Position Zero snippets come in three different forms:
- Paragraph – Paragraph snippet contains the answer in paragraph form. There are usually one or two paragraphs in the answer.
2. Table – The table snippet contains a table with multiple columns. There are a few size limitations, but two or three-column tables usually show up.
3. List – List snippets contains a bulleted or numbered list of subheadings, items, or points. The number of items is based on the size of the point.
All of these snippets provide information quickly so users can get what they need. If you play this well, you can get a lot of foot traffic and recognition from these snippets.
Facts to Know About Position Zero
The Position Zero link is different from any other organic search results so marketers or business owners must approach it differently. Here’s a look at some facts you need to know about it:
1. Not from the 1st Organic Link
The information in the snippet doesn’t often come from the first organic link. Google’s goal is to provide the most relevant and useful information. Sometimes that information doesn’t come from highly ranked websites. You can bypass important players on the first page if you frame your content well. The results are pulled from one of the top 10 organic links.
2. They Don’t Show Up on All SERPs
Google only displays snippets when the search engine detects that users want a quick answer. These boxes show up to ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘when’, and other such questions.
3. Connected to Smart Assistants
Many modern users have started to use smart assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri for a basic search. The position zero snippets work well with these technologies. The Assistant, Alexa, or Siri can read out the information in the snippet to give users a direct answer.
While there’s no guarantee that your content will show up on a snippet, structuring your articles to favor that outcome doesn’t require much effort. You just need to make sure the information is presented directly and you have all points organized in lists or tables.
According to a study conducted by Hubspot, being featured in Position Zero increased their Click-Through Rates by 114%.* That result alone makes the effort of optimizing your content for Position Zero worth it.
Amit Sharma is working as a content writer and blogger with Ranking By SEO for the last six years. He can be seen blogging about digital marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC, etc.