Until very recently, the ultimate goal was to get to appear in organic position 1, but in recent years Google has proposed a new goal, appearing above the result 1.
Google is committed not to take us to another page when we enter a query in the search engine and answer our questions directly on the “zero position” search results page. Currently, position 1 would mean getting a gold medal, but zero is to get a platinum one.
In this article we will talk about Google’s position 0; what it is and how to get to it.
What is Google’s zero position
Google’s position 0 is occupied by search results that appear after ads and previously to classic blue links, which would be Google’s first organic results.
Google’s goal with these results is to provide a response to the user’s query directly in the SERP,without having to click on any of the results or access any other website.
It should be noted that the results of the zero position are important to the Google Assistant, the main companion of voice searches,since users do not need to click on any results to get answers to their queries.
Who occupies the zero position on Google
Mainly, there are three types of search results that occupy the zero position:
- Featured Fragments
- Knowledge charts
- Answer boxes
If a website is prominent on Google’s first page of results, it can be selected for Zero Position. In most cases the zero position opportunities on google come from organic search results of the first four positions.
Featured fragments are text excerpts that appear at the zero position in search results and are extracted from relevant websites in response to user queries. In addition to the text extract, the snippet includes the website from which the response was extracted, including its URL.
Google selects the text extract that you think responds to the user’s query. Featured fragments are usually presented in three forms:
The GoogleKnowledge Graphis a database of facts and entity relationships that Google extracts from website content.
The results of the Knowledge Graph are pieces of information that respond directly to specific user queries. They aim to be an encyclopedia of universal knowledge organized according to thematic and semantic criteria, re-classifying information and contextualizing it.
Google response boxes are results of the zero position that most worry brands.
There are answer boxes of all types: for song lyrics, definitions, hotel reservations, flight schedules, calculators, currency and time slot converters, etc.
The source of the content of these widgets is:
- Google (flight schedules and calculators, among others)
- Sources of information that Google considers trustworthy (definitions, song lyrics, etc.)
- Multiple websites that use rich data markup (job listings)
The drawbacks of position 0 on Google
Featured snippets, response boxes, and Google Knowlege graphs are very useful for users because they provide immediate information about queries of all kinds:mobile, voice searches, Google Assistant searches and also by desktop. But at the same time, many websites are losing visits,even having managed to position themselves on the first page of results!
Online businesses that have invested efforts in SEO have been clearly undermined by the results in Google’s zero position. Although your ratings are good and your impressions in Search Console are increasing, your traffic has decreased, and your CTR decreases worryingly. Through their content,these websites continue to answer the questions of their users, with the difference that Google now makes them available to its users without having to click on the website.
As Google improves its knowledge graphs and develops more widgets to place them in the zero position, more websites will see the organic traffic they receive decrease. But there are some methods to deal with this situation.
How to get to Google’s zero position
Here are some tips for making use of these new search features:
Make the most of your Content strategy
Google’s response boxes don’t get all the clicks, they get the clicks of those users who weren’t going to spend too much time on our website either.
If a user gets a basic response at Google’s zero position and still clicks on a result, it means they want more information.
Our job as SEO experts is to determine what is the following information that users will need and deliver it to you. Then it’s time to invest the maximum efforts in our content strategy and create deep, unique and quality content,you’ll see how the user won’t have enough with the basic response of the zero position and click on your website.
Optimizing the most profitable keywords
As we already know, keyword study and analysis is essential in any SEO strategy. Use your SEO tools to research keywords based on SERP features.
Ahrefs, for example, allows you to exclude keywords where the SERP has response boxes.
Get to the featured excerpt
To take advantage of Google’s zero position, the best search function is the featured snippet.
Optimization for featured fragments is like on-page SEO on a smaller scale. Here are some tips:
- Limit paragraphs to approximately 50 words
- Include your keywords in them
- Answer your users’ questions
- Use questions in your headings (headers)
- Find out the most frequently asked questions from users and answer them
Forget Google’s knowledge charts and response boxes
Featured snippets are a very powerful source of website traffic with a large attribution link, but on the other hand, Knowledge Graph sources and response box results don’t get good attribution.
Google gets the data for its knowledge charts and response boxes from multiple sources and often doesn’t say the source or indicate any URLs.