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How have the recent Google updates impacted your search position?

You may have noticed that there have been some updates with Google search which have impacted your search position since the new year. One of the main impacts which we have observed is with regard to the featured snippet...

How have the recent Google updates impacted your search position?

The featured snippet box – sometimes referred to as position zero, appears at the top of the organic search results, below any adverts. This position has, for some time, been a highly coveted spot. There are innumerable articles online about how to best optimise your site to be able to get to position zero.

Occupying position zero meant that the content on your page was seen by Google as the best answer the search query. Above is an example of the featured snippet generated from a search for ‘What is position zero?’

What’s changed?

It used to be the case that you were able to occupy two positions on the front page of Google results. If you occupied the featured snippet, it was also possible to occupy another organic result on the page, and even a paid search position as well. Great if you were the recipient of all that Google love, not so great if you were not.

Since the new year update, Google has now confirmed that having a listing in the featured snippet position means that it will no longer be repeated on the first page of Google results. The reason for this is that it ‘declutters the results and helps users locate relevant information more easily’. The featured snippet is now shown as position #1.

If, as has been the case for one of our clients, you have become used to occupying both the featured snippet and another position on page one of Google, you may be feeling a bit annoyed by these changes – you may feel you will see a drop off in traffic or sales as a result.

Well, yes, we think that in this period of reorganisation some may find things are in a state of flux for a while, indeed, we are closely monitoring the results of some of our clients and it appears to still be a changing picture as updates continue to take effect.

What to do?

Like all search results on Google, appearing at the top of the page in a Featured snippet – the new position #1, is not something which there is a precise formula for. The SEO landscape remains the same. Search engine placement is primarily driven by having information on your website which is up-to-date, useful and relevant, in combination with a variety of other ranking factors like responsiveness, page speed and page authority. Google uses the result it thinks is best suited to answer the searchers query. The main takeaway from the reorganised page one of search results on Google is that their results are always about what provides the best information for the searcher. In short, it is still all about the content!

If you are interested in reading more about how content marketing drives traffic to your website, our blog has lots of useful articles:

The benefits of long-form content for SEO
How do you write SEO friendly web copy?
What are long tail keywords - and why should you be focussing on them?

If you are looking for more in-depth information, you can also download our ten top tips for effective digital marketing which has lots of actionable tips and advice.




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