The zero position is the result offered by a search engine above the first result of the SERP and that appears in the form of a featured snippet or featured fragment. This is a boxed content located next to PPC ads and above organic searches. Its main feature is that it responds directly to a certain query from the user.
The importance of the zero position has grown in parallel with the generalization of voice searches, as virtual assistants generally offer this result highlighted as the only answer to a query. For this reason, experts have verified that appearing in the zero position can increase the CTR by more than 100%.
Utility of zero position in search engines
It is a format widely used in cooking recipes or in information about economic results and is usually formed by a summary or extract, the SEO title of the page along with its URL and an image. It includes a ‘send comments’ option, which Google has activated to improve the content of these fragments.
One of the curiosities of the zero position is that search engines can reward a page that later does not even appear among the top ten organic results, although this is not usual. Different studies show that websites included in the top three positions of the SERP and with good domain authority are more likely to appear prominent.
How to get a zero position
Getting a page to appear in the most privileged place of organic answers is one of the biggest mysteries for SEOspecialists. Although there is no magic formula that ensures the zero position, there are certain actions that can be applied on the website itself and that Google interprets as direct responses to a query. Among these actions, we can highlight the following:
- Attempt to respond to the 6W journalistic rule in the text of our website. That is, it is necessary for the content to indicate what, who, when, how, where and why.
- Intuit what the possible question of the user would be and try to answer it in the first paragraph.
- Do a keyword study and include the relevant ones.
- Use a colloquial language that simulates the one used by the user: with words of habitual use, but always correct.
- Take care of the structure of the page to facilitate the search engines as much as possible. In this sense, lists, titles and images are very useful.
Types of featured snippet
Although most of the featured fragments have the same appearance, there are different types of featured snippet depending on their elements and their distribution.
- Paragraph. They are the most common. They contain an excerpt from the page along with an image and usually respond to a more informative query the most informative. In this type, it is common to find Wikipedia entries directly.
- Video. They are very visual and useful in the case of tutorials or how to do something concrete. Its biggest drawback is that competing here with Youtube becomes almost impossible for SEO experts.
- They are often used to explain ‘step by step’ processes or to compare economic outcomes. Its main quality is that it is the search engine itself that elaborates these tables from the information found on the page. Hence the importance of making it easy for the ‘bots’ to get the featured snippet.
A study published by Moz in January 2017 showed that paragraph-type fragments accounted for 81% of the total, tables 12% and lists 7%. Video results were not taken into account in this analysis.