If you look at the search engine result pages (SEPRS) today, you notice they have received a lot of “competition”. On the one hand, AdWords ads take up a lot of space in commercial search queries. Depending on the type of search query, shopping ads with pictures or a block of four spots with text ads are also placed in front of the organic search results.
Your other “competitors” for the top rankings are:
- Local Packs
- Knowledge Graph
- Featured Snippets
- “People Also Ask” Boxes
- Google News
- Google Images
- Youtube Video Pack
Here is an example for a featured snippet. In this case, the image on the snippet comes from a different website than the one supplying the text.
Featured Snippets will continue to play an important role in 2019. They satisfy the user’s need for simple answers to a question. The displayed excerpts come from websites that Google interprets as suitable for answering the user’s question.
However, it remains to be seen how Google deals with the trustworthiness of the pages used. Google has already started to create a knowledge graph for many queries, using data from Wikipedia to do so. In the English-speaking world, Google is far ahead when it comes to answering questions. This is where the search engine shows its “People So Ask” Boxes, which can be clicked directly by users.
Practical tip: In 2019 it will be even more difficult to be visible in the top positions of the SERPs. For the optimization of your website, you need to be even more strategic about which goals you want to achieve and which are achievable.
If you want to be top-ranked with your content in Featured Snippets, especially when it comes to knowledge questions, consider putting question & answer sequences on the page. Tables with structured information can also provide a listing above the organic results. Even if the competition for the top positions will become more fierce, with regard to featured snippets, “smaller” sites also have a good chance of high rankings if they provide well structured answers that Google can use.
So in 2019 you should increasingly ask yourself what your target group wants to know when searching the web or what they want to cover with their search. The more you meet this need with your content, the better your ranking chances will be.