Google Search is all about satisfying user intent. Google’s efforts to improve search results have resulted in SERP features such as Knowledge Graph and Featured Snippet. As these SERP features came into being, many webmasters were concerned that they would lose a substantial amount of web traffic.

But, over the course of time, they learned how to leverage these SERP features to enhance traffic inflow to their websites. Our goal is to help you optimize your website’s content so that it can appear in Google’s Featured Snippets and Knowledge Graph. So, let’s get started.

Featured Snippets And Knowledge Graph- What Are They And How Do They Work?

What Are Featured Snippets In SEO?

Basically, Featured Snippet is Google’s way of providing a quick and direct answer to a user’s query. Google may show it at the top of its organic SERP (known as position 0), in the “People also ask” segment, or alongside Knowledge Graph data. This SERP feature made the use of Google Search on mobile really easy and helpful.

You should know that Google doesn’t generate text for Featured Snippets. It simply obtains data from the most relevant web page it found in its database (index). Plus, for the user’s reference, Featured Snippet displays the link of the web page from where that particular piece of content was obtained.

What makes this SERP feature so interesting for webmasters is that it pulls data from a wide range of websites including local ones. So, if you want to enhance the authority of your website and drive some extra traffic, then optimizing your web page content for Featured Snippets is the way forward.

What Are The Types Of Featured Snippets?

At the most basic level, featured snippets are of four different types namely: paragraph, list, table, and video. Let’s take a brief look at each of them so that you can get a better understanding.

Types Of Featured Snippets

Paragraph snippet

This type of Featured Snippet usually appears in response to search queries starting with “Wh questions”—especially when Google thinks the user is searching for a straightforward query and wants a direct answer for the same. This type of snippet typically contains about 40 to 60 words.

List snippet

List snippets are displayed by Google Search when it finds that the user is looking for a list of items or step-by-step instructions. The list snippet has two sub-types: ordered and unordered lists.

Table snippet

Google Search will display this type of snippet if the query gives the impression that the searcher is looking for a comparison. This type of snippet generally appears in a tabular form; hence the name.

Video snippet

This type of Featured Snippet typically appears in response to search queries starting with “How to“. Google Search will display a specific portion of a highly relevant video if it senses that the searcher is looking for a step-by-step guide for something like “how to throw javelin”.

How Google Determines What To Display In Featured Snippet Box?

For a particular search query, Google considers a number of factors to determine if a web page is a good candidate to be displayed as a Featured Snippet. And, if you know Google, you know that it tends to be tight-lipped about how its algorithm work. Here’s what Google has to say about “How featured snippets are chosen”;

Featured snippets come from web search listings. Google’s automated systems determine whether a page would make a good featured snippet to highlight for a specific search request.
— Google

In all honesty, after extensive research on the internet, we have finally come up with a few factors we believe help Google’s automated system identify quality web pages for featured snippets. Read on to know more about those factors.

What Is Knowledge Graph In SEO?

First of all, Knowledge Graph is a huge database. As with Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graph provide the searcher with accurate, related, and easy-to-read information about things, people, and places in a box, known as Knowledge Panel (or card). So, how exactly Google Search generates Knowledge Panels, and how it determines what to display in these panels? Let’s find out.

The data displayed in Knowledge Panels (and Knowledge Cards) not only comes from public sources such as the CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia, and Freebase—but also from licensed data obtained from content owners through various means. For instance, a user can claim a particular knowledge panel and suggest changes.

Here’s what Amit Singhal (then SVP, Engineering) had to say about Knowledge Graph;

Google’s Knowledge Graph isn’t just rooted in public sources such as Freebase, Wikipedia, and the CIA World Factbook. It’s also augmented at a much larger scale—because we’re focused on comprehensive breadth and depth. It currently contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects. And it’s tuned based on what people search for, and what we find out on the web.
— Amit Singhal

Featured Snippet Vs. Knowledge Graph- Key Differences

Featured Snippets and Knowledge Graph have many similarities. Because, they both serve the same purpose: to provide the searcher with direct, factual, and accurate information. But, there are many differences between them. Let’s converse about them in detail.

Knowledge Graph Is A Database, Featured Snippet Isn’t:

This is the key difference that exists between Knowledge Graph and Featured Snippet. Knowledge Graph, in itself, is a huge database that knows about 5 billion entities and the way these entities are related to each other. Whereas, Featured Snippets come from Google’s organic search listings.

A Person/Entity Can Claim Knowledge Panel But Not Featured Snippet:

Yep… if a Knowledge panel is about you or an organization you run, you can claim it and suggest edits to Google but only after you’ve been verified on Google. However, as far as Featured Snippets are concerned, you can’t claim or edit them.

Google’s SERP Display Them Differently

The appearance of Knowledge Panel and Featured Snippet on Google’s SERP is different. A Featured Snippet is usually displayed at the top of an organic search result (also known as position 0). The Knowledge Panel, on the other hand, appears on the right-hand side of the screen.

Here’s What Different Studies Found About Featured Snippet And Knowledge Graph

Below we’ve gathered some statistics about Featured Snippets and the Knowledge Graph—two important Google SERP features—to give you a broad idea of what you’re dealing with.

Facts About Featured Snippets

According to a study conducted by SEMRush and Brado;

  • 19% of SERPs have Featured Snippets.
  • 3% of SERPs have double Featured snippets.
  • 70% of Featured Snippets are paragraphs (on average- 42 words and 249 characters)
  • List Snippets account for 19.1% of all Featured Snippets (6 items and 44 words on average).
  • Table snippets account for 6.3% of all Featured snippets (average of 5 rows and 2 columns).
  • Video snippets account for 4.6% of all Featured Snippets (video length 6 min. 35 seconds on average).
  • 50%+ of a mobile screen is covered with a featured snippet.
  • Industries that have the biggest number of Featured Snippets are: travel (62%), computers & electronics (62%), art & Entertainment (59%), and science (54%).
  • 6% of queries started with ‘Why’ have a featured snippet.
  • 70% of articles in Featured Snippets were published no later than 2-3 years of age.
  • In 80.4% of cases, Featured Snippet contains URLs with 1-3 subfolders.
  • 98% of web pages that appeared in Featured Snippets contain HTTPS.
  • 66% of articles use structured data.
  • Articles that appeared on Featured Snippets use 14.5 headlines (H1, H2, H3, etc.), 1100+ words on average, and 8 images with ALT tags.

Facts About Knowledge Graph

  • Zero-click Google searches have grown significantly since the launch of the Knowledge Graph (2012).
  • Google business profiles have a lot of similarities with Knowledge Panels- but, they are not the same.
  • You can use Google’s Knowledge Graph Search API for various purposes.
  • Entities, after being verified by Google, can suggest specific changes to Knowledge Panel such as Featured image, title, subtitle, description, and social profile.
  • Knowledge Graph and Knowledge Panels are not the same. Knowledge Graph is a huge database that has information about 5 billion entities and 500 billion facts about them.
  • Whereas, Knowledge Panels and Cards are Google Search’s means of displaying information derived from Knowledge Graphs.

Myths About Featured Snippet And Knowledge Graph

There are a number of myths about Featured Snippet and Knowledge Graph that are all too commonly reported as facts. Some of them are listed below;

  • Knowledge Panels and Google Business Profiles are the same thing.
  • Knowledge Panels present biased and inaccurate data.
  • There is no difference between Featured Snippets and Knowledge Panels.
  • Wikipedia is the only source from where Knowledge Graph obtains data.
  • Featured Snippets can be claimed.
  • Information within Featured Snippets come from Knowledge Graph.

How To Optimize For Featured Snippet And Knowledge Graph?

Tips To Optimize For Google’s Featured Snippets

1. First, determine the type of Featured Snippet you want to target:

Featured Snippets, as we already have discussed, are of four different types such as- paragraph, list, table, and video. There is no way to optimize a web page for all of these types of featured snippets at once. So, before anything else you should first determine what type of Featured Snippet your content should be optimized for.

2. Things to keep in mind while optimizing a web page for Featured Snippets:

Once, you have decided the type of Featured Snippet you want to optimize your content for, you should choose the keywords you want to target and then develop the title accordingly. Here are a few things that you can take into consideration to make a web page optimized for different types of Featured Snippets;

Paragraph Snippet:

  • Start the title with Wh-questions such as “What and Why”.
  • The article should contain 1,100 or more words.
  • Leverage the power of structured data.
  • The freshness score of the content plays a vital role as far as Paragraph Featured Snippets are concerned.
  • So, update your content from time to time with noticeable changes.
  • The URL of the page shouldn’t contain more than three sub folders.
  • Add relevant and unique images with suitable alt tags.
  • Optimize the header tags.

Listicle Snippets:

  • Start the title with “How and which” and/or a number.

E.g.- top 10 friendly dogs,

What are the top 10 Hollywood movies? etc.

  • Content should be descriptive and unique with relevant images and with alt tags.
  • Content freshness also matters here- so, write content that can stand the test of time.
  • If you want to optimize your content for ‘ordered list’ use number in header tags.

Table Snippets:

  • Content, based on the numerical comparison, usually gets ranked for table snippets, such as-

What is the #1 searched thing on the Internet?

What is the most searched on the web? Etc.

  • You don’t have to worry about the word counts of the content while optimizing for table snippets.
  • The authenticity of the data is what matters the most.
  • Also, the authority of your domain matters.
  • Authentic well-researched numerical data in tabular form is your way forward.
  • Also, title and header tags play a crucial role.

Video Snippets:

  • Videos (mostly from YouTube) get ranked for this type of Featured Snippet.
  • Start the title with “How To” like- “how to tie a bow tie”.
  • The content should be a step-to-step guide.
  • The use of relevant and unique visuals is a plus.
  • Make videos more than 7 minutes long.

3. Target low-competition and long tail keywords

Even if you follow all the above tips, there is no guarantee that Google Search will pick your web page to display in its Featured snippet. Because the competition is simply too high. But, if you target low competition and long tail keywords, there is a good chance that you may land your web page in a Featured Snippet box. To get the right keywords, you will have to do a lot of research.

4. Improve your web page’s organic search ranking on Google

Google Search is most likely to display the first organic result of the SERP in the Featured Snippets section. So, if you want to see your web page in the so-called position 0 or Featured Snippet box, you have to work on its organic search rankings.

Tips To Optimize For Google’s Knowledge Graph

Knowledge Graph, as most of you probably know by now, is an enormous database that gathers data from various sources including publicly available ones. Google Search relies on this database to display direct and factual information about entities on Knowledge Panels and Cards.

It is necessary for Google’s Knowledge Graph to know about your business from a highly credible and trusted public source, like Wikipedia, if you want it to appear in Google Search’s Knowledge Panel.

Tips To Optimize For Google’s Knowledge Graph

1. Get your business listed on Wikipedia

Knowledge Graph, usually, gathers information from Wikipedia- so that Google Search can display it in the Knowledge Panels and Cards. So, if you want your business to be a part of Knowledge Graph, create a profile on and develop a Wikipedia page for it. Creating a Wikipedia page is not easy… but, it’s the only way forward.

2. Optimize your website for Google Search

The next thing that you should do is to make sure that your website is properly optimized for Google Search. Some of the major things that you should incorporate in your website to make it properly optimized for Google Search and Knowledge Graph are meta tags and schema markup.

3. Increase your website’s credibility

Knowledge Graph only gathers data from credible sources such as the CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia, and Freebase so work on improving your website’s credibility. One of the easiest ways to do so, is to obtain certification and badges from well-known institutions. Publish articles on Forbes, The New York Times, and other platforms that Google considers trustworthy.

Wrapping up

If you want to generate tons of traffic to your website, you should go beyond traditional SEO efforts. You should optimize your website content for Featured Snippet and Knowledge Graph. And, to do so, you can take above-said factors into consideration.

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