Thought that you wanted to rank #1 on Google for your relevant search phrases? Take a look at the new king of the mountain: Position Zero.
In their quest to deliver information as seamless and user friendly as possible, Google has added several SERP Features over the last 6 months that have actually raised the bar for where you need to be.
Google dev has created answer boxes and various other features that end up usurping the previously high coveted numero uno position. What is the cause of this superb answer to your Google queries? Wait for it… Featured Snippets.
Structured Snippets are associated with the Google AdWords platform that allow you to highlight elements of your business listing and stick out with an extra line of text. Featured Snippets deal with your organic listings which extract info from the most relevant website with a link.
And there you have it.. Position zero.
Why does this matter?
This matters because the higher you are on the page the more visibility and higher click-through-rate thus more organic traffic. The catch with this display format is that in many cases you likely won’t even have to click through.
Let’s take a look at a few of these:
The Knowledge Graph:
The knowledge graph is perhaps the most common in topping the top spot. From Google:
The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about—landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query. This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.
Yes, another pull for the big G for a better user experience. Let’s take a look at what a search for The Cleveland Indians pulls up:
Actually technically a couple of position zero’s above. The main knowledge graph appears on the right hand side which pulls from wikipedia as well as the roster. Top Stories (previously called “In the News” until a huge trend of fake news started appearing in the results) is pulled from Google News. Another notable SERP feature above is the Twitter drop downs that appear with recent tweets from @Indians.
Position Zero Lists:
These seem to be in development and actually throw me off just a bit. The list shows up for searches like “Best Web Hosting Companies shows the below list. This list is pulled from b2evolution below and displays the #1-4 lists for whoever has “made their list.”
Now when you do the same exact search for Best SEO Companies here is what you get:
This one throws me off because it is choosing to show #24-27 as opposed to 1-4. It’s almost like being #24 on this list is better than being #1. It definitely feels like this will evolve over time.. I mean should the #24 Rank be at position zero above the #1 Rated SEO Agency?
If you’ve ever been in the kitchen and looking for some last minute directions you’ve probably seen these before. Google is looking for the most relevant page that answers this “how to” question with a list:
Featured snippets are still rolling out and Google is obviously looking to answer a question predictively to be the best in the business and continue to evolve. It is very safe to say that top spot is going to be position zero for more and more search queries. It also gets Google away from the stagnant text SERP that they seem to be actively making progress against. Just check out what’s happened with Ecommerce and Product Listing Ads over the years. Now more for content sites.. Will lead generation be next?
Time will tell more of these ranking factors for the tip-top spot but very safe to say that position zero is a real thing and should be paid attention to moving forward.