Being the number one position on Google is the dream that every SEO company has for their clients. Reaching that position is like climbing to the top of Mount Everest; it’s finding the Ark of the Covenant; it’s the whole point of an organic search campaign.
For years, position one page one has been the aspiration of all online companies but as we all know, SEO and Google changes frequently, and most recently, Google has started to prioritise something called “snippets” or “direct answers.”
For example, when you search Google for “how do you make scrambled eggs,” the first search return is directions on how to make scrambled eggs. You don’t even have to click on any of the returns to get the full answer – it’s presented to you in full. Whilst this is great for users, it means the website, in this case, incredibleegg.org, isn’t being visited. However, more often than not, a user will click through to the website anyway for more information such as extra ingredients to put in eggs.
So what has this got to do with position one. Sometimes, Google pulls the snippet from the highest ranked search return, however, in some cases, Google pulls it from a lower ranked website. You can see that in this instance, the snippet was pulled from the third ranked search return with Google overlooking Jamie Oliver and BBC Food in favour of incredibleegg.org.
Because Google is concerned with finding the best answer to the question asked, it overlooks ranking and pulls the snippet from the website it thinks answers the question the best.
So what affect is this going to have on traffic? Well as you can imagine, usually the number one ranked return will have the most click-throughs and the most traffic. A lot more traffic compared to the number three ranked search return. However, the direct answer is now pulling traffic away from the position one ranked website.
Direct answers don’t occur with every search term and they’re a fairly new addition but they are occurring more and more. The fact that they could pull traffic away from the number one ranked return means they should definitely be on your SEO radar. It is possible to be the snippet and position 1 at the same time but as you can see from the example above, it doesn’t always work that way.
For more information on how you can reach the top of Google and improve your traffic, and to find out more about our SEO services, contact SEO Enterprise.