These special results are capable of taking many different forms. Some of the main ones to be aware of by website owners are:
1. Featured snippets:
When you search Google for a simple question, you will often see a box above the other search results that includes the text that answers your question – right there on the results page, so you don’t need to navigate away to get the information you need.
These are snippets featured, sometimes referred to as instant answers. This information is extracted from a webpage text that is linked directly below the answer. This means that in the list of links below you can be number one without being the first link people see on the page.
These appear in a couple of different formats. Usually it’s a bit of text and an image with the link below pulled from the web page. Occasionally, the pulled information appears in a bulleted or numbered list.And you will sometimes see a number of “People Also Ask” options opening up their own featured snippets.
2. Map snippets:
Whenever a search term comes up, the map snippet suggests to Google that you are looking for something for which you would probably go to a physical location. The map cluster sometimes appears below other ads and results, and it is sometimes at the top of the results page.
In either case, you see a map with multiple locations marked with red pins, with three locations below it. The results below the map usually include an address, ratings information, photos, contact information, and business hours (if relevant).
Note that these listings don’t provide links directly to the website of the business or other location listed. When you click, you go to an expanded result for the location you clicked on, with a larger map of other relevant results. There you can find the link to the website.
3. Rich Ads:
While advertisements have always been part of the search results of Google, many searches now include advertisements that provide visuals and the same kind of rich information that increasingly appears in natural results.
Sometimes these rich ads appear above the other results and sometimes side by side. They include pictures, information on pricing, information on ratings, and company name. They sometimes even include additional helpful information such as “free shipping” or “in-store pickup” for a product.
Of course, these are not spots you can capture with SEO, but if you want an easy way to stand out in the SERPs, you can pay for them with Google AdWords.
4. Video Ads:
Videos do not appear frequently as featured snippets, but they do for some searches.In these cases, without navigating elsewhere, you can click to watch the video on the search results page.
More often than not, in the search results, you see video thumbnails alongside links.They open the page where you can watch the video when you click on them (usually on YouTube).
5. Rich Snippets:
Besides the flashy snippets and visuals at the top and next to the page, you will also see rich results in the list of links for some searches. What kind of information you will see with these may vary greatly, but it may include thumbnail images, information on ratings, number of reviews, and things like recipes calorie counts.