Is this a bug or am I tying with Briggs for a featured snippet? It seems odd. The picture can be clicked and leads to DenGarden
I've seen this with my Hubs as well - my article with an image or video from another site. Not too happy, but I don't know that HP can do anything about it. Google does what Googles does.
I didn't click so I didn't realize the image still led to my Hub. At least that's a good thing.
This should also be a tutorial : How great images put you up on the top spot on the Google search engine.
Eugene, I see you have a link to Briggs & Stratton in your comments. I wonder if that is what’s causing the problem. I imagine Google picked up on that link and used the data from their site to create the snippet for your hub.
I just tested doing the same search and now clicking the image on the snippet no longer goes to your hub.
This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to avoid links to other sites in comments.
By the way, your hub is tremendously well done. You put a lot of effort into covering everything that has to do with lawnmowers. I also like your use of the animated gif. That shows how this new feature of HubPages can be used professionally.
Thanks Glen. I had split that hub into two guides a couple of years ago because it had become quite long. So there was a basic troubleshooting guide and an advanced one. I don't know whether there is really any advantage in that because maybe it just splits traffic into two and the cumulative result is the same. Anyway as regards the featured snippet, it's confusing for users seeing info about a webpage and also a photo from another page. I was wrong about clicking the photo sending the user directly to DenGarden. For me it displays an image on a black background (like what you get when you click an image from a display of images produced by a Google search), plus the option to view the image or visit the page. Clicking on 'visit' leads to the hub on DenGarden.
On the subject of animated GIFs, I wonder is the load time something we should be overly concerned about when using them? Also maybe it would be a good idea if low res images could be displayed as a page loads which would then be replaced by higher res images when all the low res ones have loaded. I've seen this done on lots of web sites and it makes for a better user than experience rather than just being presented with loads of blank image placeholders.
Yes, you do have to consider load time with animated gifs. It’s best to keep them short—meaning with few images making up the animation.
If you have a long one that you’re concerned about, you can always keep an eye on your Google Analytics to see if you have any load time alerts. I had a few alerts from Google, and it turned out I had images that were way too large, in the megabytes range, taken with my high def camera. Now I always make sure all images are well under 100kb, especially if I have many images in one hub. It’s worth taking to time to work on image size when publishing hubs.
As for the issue with the snippet, I would recommend you delete that comment containing the link to that other site so Google doesn’t continue to use it. It will take time, but after a while they may update their snippet so that the main link goes to your hub. Most people won’t follow the two or three steps of links from the image, they’ll just go to that other site and you'll lose the view—as is happening now.
It never ranked at position 0 as a featured snippet for the search term in the image. I think it was always at position 2 below B&S or sometimes position 3 below FamilyHandyman (Can't seem to beat those guys!). Anyway maybe I'll wait and see what happens. Traffic is up 50%, so I'm not complaining.
Some hubs have 30 or more images so there's a lot of work involved downloading, compressing and re-uploading images. There's never really a need to reduce image resolution. Using a higher JPG compression ratio suffices.
This is a common practice with Google to have a Featured Snippet and the photo be from different sources. If you don't own the text portion of the FS, it's better for you to have the image as you'll get traffic from it.
Couple of notes on acquiring Featured Snippets:
1. You can see if you are eligible for a FS because your snippet (or description under your title) will have three or four lines. If you only have two lines, you aren't eligible and you should edit your article. Notice in the image below that the Dengarden article has three lines below the url. It is eligible for a FS. However, the Jacks Small Engines article only has two lines, so it is not eligible for a FS.
2. Do a -site search of the article that is owning the FS to see who is next to gain the snippet, e.g.,
-site:www.briggsandstratton.com lawn mower won't start When you do this search, Eugene, you own the snippet, which tells us that you are close to getting it and should be editing, updating, and adding to your article to win it!
3. It is easier to go from #5 in SERPs to #0 than it is from #5 to #1.
4. There are only 12 million FS. They are still in their infancy, so keep optimizing for them even if your main query doesn't have a FS currently.
5. Paragraph FS are the most common today.
6. 30% of FS rank #1 (that means that 70% do not and you have a good shot at getting one even if you aren't #1 in SERPS.)
7. The more the words in the search query, the higher the possibility of a FS. This makes sense because Google is pretty sure what you want out of the query the more specific and long tail that it is.
8. Avg. length of paragraph snippet is 45 words and max is 97.
9. If you are trying to get a FS for a search query, think about what FS is winning and what type of snippet it is and optimize your article to beat it. (In Eugene's case it's a paragraph FS, so he should optimize for this. If you notice the FS is a table and you don't have one in your article, add one!)
10. Optimize your graphics; the article of the featured snippet may have another image (like in Eugene's case).
11. Make sure your answer is close to the h2 title tag. All subtitles have h2 tags, so when you answer the query, do so right after the subtitle. (Avoid using callouts as subtitles.)
12. Use the People Also Ask feature to add content to your articles. Ask the query and answer it better than the competition.
13. Lastly, content needs to be updated and improved on a consistent basis. We should be trying to add more content to articles to make them the best and most in-depth on the web. If you need help trying to figure out what else you should write about around your subject, we've been using answerthepublic.com to see what else searchers are looking for around a topic. Pinterest also does a good job of showing you related topics.
Thanks Robin. Your detailed explanation is extremely useful and it’s a great guide to follow.
Thanks Robin, that's a lot to think about!
A couple of points:
Google extracts the 3 lines under my entry in the SERPS from a table in my hub.
I notice that another hub shows up as a featured snippet when I search for "steps to sowing seeds".
Immediately before the series of steps (that are in text capsules, complimented by photos for each capsule) is a callout. So if the callout isn't what's producing the FS, I wonder is there/are there "magic words" that Google looks for when displaying a list type FS for a tutorial guide, in this case the word "steps" at the beginning of the sub title? Or is it just that the word "steps" was part of the search term? Also using bulleted/numbered lists near the beginning of a hub seems to be a lucrative way of getting an FS (it's worked for a few other hubs).
I think many of the nuances of FSs are still unknown. For this query, they think a paragraph provides a better answer, so they prefer to pull from a table. You should test replacing the table with a text capsule. Hide the table and see if you can get the FS from the content in a text capsule. It's worth testing and trying out different options. Let us know if you get it!
I think Google knows that you are giving all of the steps and your formatting works in your seed article. I think Google can read structured data like bullets, numbers, and tables well, so it makes sense that the bulleted lists do well. Also, answering your questions in bullets right under the h2 title tag is helpful.
Again, the key is to not beat around the bush; answer the question of the query succinctly near your subtitle.
The answerthepublic.com site looks like a real find. Thanks for that, Robin.
Sure! Pinterest is quite savvy in their topic generation, e.g., if you type "bracelet" into pinterest you'll see a lot of suggestions to narrow your search. This is a great tool that I just discovered. We use it to give us ideas on how to add content to articles that readers will likely want.
by Susannah Birch 24 months ago
This morning I received an email from a Hubpages staff member regarding Google snippets (ie, Google Answer box) with this link. I would just like to say that this is something VERY worthwhile. I have been working on ranking this way for over a year, and so far am doing quite well with it. Remember...
by Oyewole Folarin 18 months ago
I'm so excited to see one of my hubs showing up in Featured Snippets. This is responsible for the sudden increase in traffic to the hub. A big thank you to editors and fellow hubbers.
by Eugene Brennan 8 months ago
Should the words making up titles of text capsules be capitalised if the text modules are steps in a tutorial type article? If the steps end up as an FS, all capitals looks a bit odd.
by Alison Graham 5 years ago
I am looking for some advice. I am trying to improve the quality of my hubs old and new. As part of this, I have been going through them, taking a snippet from the beginning of the hub, pasting it in "..." to Google search.This gives me one way of telling if my hub has been copied....
by Gary Anderson 3 years ago
I thought if a hubpage was listed in Google search it was featured. But apparently that is not the truth. I guess I will keep the hubs up and run my own check on them.
by Jacob J Morris 4 years ago
I'm in the process of migrating my content from my blog to HubPages and just transferred an article titled "Top 50 Men's Grooming Blogs for 2014." I just switched this article to HubPages a few moments ago (using a 301 redirect). I'm already on the first page of google for the key term...
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