SEO is not like it was before. Why? Because now it’s a lot more challenging. Back then, you can get away with just optimizing your keywords on-site and making sure you’ve got a lot of pages. But these days, it takes so much more to rank. I’m talking about a mountain load of work and lots and lots of effort. This is why professionals like us exist; it takes passion and patience to rank for a single keyword. If you want your website to perform better, you’re going to need more than just a single ranked keyword too.
Bottom line is that in order for you to have a high-ranking website, you have got to be ready to put in the work. You need to have the right attitude towards doing it too. It’s not like you’re going to get good results if you lose your cool after all. The reason why SEO is getting harder in harder each passing year is that search engines keep switching up their algorithms. They continue to improve their ranking criteria which benefit users but not us very much. They also release new features and services that don’t really help with our SEO objectives. Check out the latest updates here: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-algorithm-history/ .
You see, most search engines are concerned with one thing and one thing only: User Experience. They make money because of users’ support so they do whatever it takes to make their lives easier in return. For one, it’s their way of giving back. Also, they don’t want their users looking around other search engines for better service. For commercial websites, search engines are friends. However, there are times when they also become foes – especially when they come up with a whole new way to sabotage the current SEO methods that work.
Take the institution of the Knowledge Graph, for example. If we are mere users, the creation of the Knowledge Graph is spectacular. It is definitely something that can help us out big time. But because most of us also put in backbreaking work on our respective commercial sites, the Knowledge Graph is also bad news. It shouldn’t have been too bad if it weren’t for one thing: Snippets.
What Is The Knowledge Graph?
The Knowledge Graph is a term Google uses but I’m pretty positive that other search engines have come to utilize a similar program as well. Anyway, a knowledge graph is a network data that aims to capture and establish relationships among individual information. In other words, it creates a link between one set of information to another. If we are to visualize it, the graph would look like a web with many intersecting and interlacing points. Imagine these points to be data. A single datum can never be isolated from the rest because at some point it will relate to another piece of data, creating a fluid network of information, all having something to do with one another.
For example, if a new celebrity has made his debut, his data will be indexed by search engines at some point – usually when his name creates a significant presence online (e.g. his interviews get publicized, movie press releases, his biography is published, etc.). Search engines usually “ping” new information as they run across it in newly uploaded data sources. The moment the new celebrity gets on the system, the Knowledge Graph’s work starts. It starts looking for relevant connections that may help describe this new entity.
For example, if this new actor has an upcoming movie, the Knowledge Graph links the new actor’s name to the movie, the movie’s director, future ratings of the movie, as well as his co-stars in the said enterprise. When the new actor’s biography is published online, the Knowledge Graph will link his name to every piece of available information about him such as where he is from and who his parents are, etc. This linking process continues on and on until such time that the Knowledge Graph cannot see any organic connections no more – which hardly ever happens since new data is uploaded in the internet on a daily basis. Whenever new information comes in, the Knowledge Graph simply has to do the process all over again (read more about this here).
While the Knowledge Graph is certainly a pretty helpful invention, allowing people to make sensible connections about one thing and another, it’s also quite troublesome for online marketers and entrepreneurs like you and me. Why? Again, it’s because of Snippets – Featured Snippets, to be exact.
Proof that the Knowledge Graph is working hard every day is the presence of Snippet content. By definition, a snippet would refer to “something small that’s taken from something large.” Like, a snippet of cloth or paper. So I think you generally get the gist of it when I say that the Knowledge Graph produces Snippets too. Anyway, allow me to explain in further detail.
What Are Snippets?
Before, when you’re searching for answers to a particular question or want to find information about something specific, you go to Google thinking “Oh, search engines may give fast results but rummaging through an entire article or research paper to find a single piece of information is such a hassle. Not to mention, there’s no telling how many pages I have to rummage through to get a satisfying answer.” Well, I guess Google heard humanity’s incredibly selfish pleas for more research convenience. It’s as if people don’t really want to invest any time in fact-finding at all. We all want to be spoon-fed with information at hyper speed. Thanks to the Knowledge Graph, humanity’s lazy dreams had just come true.
Using the information the Knowledge Graph has gathered and made sense of through relations and connections, it can derive or at least try to find the most ideal answer to every query. It studies the keywords that people enter to search as well as the types of content that is generated with every search and it looks for similarities amongst the content. When it finds the most ideal and frequently mentioned answer, it takes it from the website that best explains it and shows it in the top-most of the search page results for easy-viewing.
Well, guess what?
Most of the time, the snippet KG chooses to feature is accurate. It answers the user’s query in a direct and precise manner. No need to open links; no need to skim through content. It’s sitting right there in plain sight on the main results page. It certainly sounds more convenient, yes?
For users, it is. But if you’re running a website? No, this can be terrible news.
Are Featured Snippets A Threat To Your Website?
Featured snippets aren’t all that bad since they help users out big time and that’s what we should all really be aiming for. After all, users come first right? However, these little info snaps can also hurt your website traffic. Just think about it. If users are given the answers they seek right on the results page, then they really won’t have any reason to go in your website. They don’t have to rummage through the content you have prepared unless they’re looking for a longer and more elaborate explanation. If they’re just looking for a way to confirm an idea or validating a fact, more often than not, a snippet will suffice.
Therefore we can say that snippets can hurt your traffic. And without substantial traffic coming into your website, this may hurt your online authority too. This is what’s threatening about snippets. They’re helpful, yes, but they do commercial sites much favor. As I said, SEO has become quite a challenge in recent years – especially with all these new features entering the scene.
However, it is important to note that not all high-ranking keywords have featured snippets already. Many of them don’t, especially keywords that are commercial in nature like “shoe shops near me” or “pizza delivery 24 hours.” Most featured snippets are made for answering data-related questions like “When was the Earth formed” or “What Is SEO.” Still, it would be great if you can drive traffic for topics related to your products and services right?
So the only possible way you can beat featured snippets and increase your site visits is to make your content snippet-worthy as well. Featured snippets, after all, are still taken from websites. The Knowledge Graph tends to choose the best website out of all the websites that may possibly answer a certain inquiry. If your website is THAT website, then you have a pretty good chance of getting your content featured as a snippet – therefore increasing your web traffic astronomically. The people who click on featured snippets are numerous. It’s definitely going to be a game-changer.
If you’re tired of being a backdrop for featured snippets, then let us help you transform your content so that it becomes snippet-worthy. With the help of our Content Marketing and Management Services, your website can take on a whole new level of online marketing.