How to rank in position zero

Some call it position zero, some call it the answer box, Google calls it a featured snippet; whatever terminology you choose, the fact is that it’s doubled in prevalence in 2016 and has increased fivefold since it launched in 2014. If you can secure position zero, you stand a chance at achieving a 114% boost in click-throughs from organic search for high volume terms. Clearly, this is something SEOs need to be focusing on for their campaigns. So let’s find out more about position zero and how to get there.

What is position zero?

As the name implies, position zero refers to an organic result that comes before position one. The result is in the form of an answer to a question (or implied question) the user has asked Google.

Direct question: position zero direct question

Implied question: position zero implied question

There are three formats for position zero: paragraphs, lists (numbered or bulleted), and tables. Paragraphs are the most common, making up 53% of featured snippets.

This is likely due to the relationship between position zero and voice search. Searchers are more likely to ask questions rather than use short phrases when performing a voice search. Digital assistants that use voice search technology generally provide a single result – this is taken from the featured snippet in search. Paragraphs provide the best format for this question-and-answer search.

There are three main benefits to achieving a position zero ranking:

  • Greater visibility in Google results. Only around 30% of pages at position zero also rank at position one; targeting position zero is a quick way to jump to the top of search results.
  • More traffic to your website. SEMrush saw a 500% boost in traffic to an article from 2015 after achieving position zero.
  • Greater impression of trust and credibility for users. Google shows a vote of confidence by choosing your website as the definitive answer to a search query; the implication is that you’re providing quality content for the user.

How can I rank in position zero?