Better than first place: How to get to position zero

Featured snippet, highlighted snippet, ranking zero, position zero – the search result that appears at the top of Google even before the paid ads has many names. But what exactly is it and more importantly, how do you get to position zero?

Article by


Christoph Kappler

Marketing Manager & Product Owner
4 min read26 Feb 2024

What is Position Zero? 

The search result that is prominently placed above the rest of the search results is referred to as "Position Zero" on Google. In short, Google delivers exactly the information that users are actively looking for, making all other organic search results virtually superfluous. The search result at position zero is displayed in the form of a featured snippet, a summary of what Google considers to be the "best" result for the search query.

The content for a snippet is not taken from the top of a web page, nor just from a paragraph. Google has developed a program here that "crawls" over the full page and answers the search query in the most relevant and effective way possible. The program is even able to display the content of a page in the form of a self-generated list, for example, based on subheadings.

Why is it called Position Zero?

As you may have guessed, the zero in "Position Zero" comes from the position of the top search result. Usually, the first result of Google search is a paid ad. This is referred to as rank one. The featured snippet is still displayed above rank one, at rank or position 0 that is.

How does this affect users and website operators?

This search result at position zero is not only ranked at the top, but is also larger than the others and is therefore seen better and faster by users. While a featured snippet is extremely convenient for searchers, there is a disadvantage for website operators: users no longer have to visit a website to get the information they are looking for, which means fewer clicks.

Nevertheless, it is worthwhile for website operators to strive for position zero. If you succeed in bringing your website into this range as part of your SEO measures, you will attract a great deal of attention to your content. This not only affects your visibility, but also increases trust in your content - and all this without paying a single centime to Google.

How do you get to position zero?

Google SEO placement

In order for Google's algorithm to consider your website for the Featured Snippet, it is necessary for your page to be ranked in the top 10 of the best search results. Rank 1 is not at all necessary. The better your page fits the particular search query, the better. To be ranked well on Google, the following points are also crucial:

  • Technical SEO like speed of the website and design for mobile devices

  • Preparation or readability of the content

  • User metrics such as time spent on the website

It's all a question of content

Only certain types of content are suitable for the Zero position. For example, pages that contain hard facts or concrete numerical values are preferred. Processes, instructions, cooking recipes, financial information or health questions, for example, can be excellently presented as a Featured Snippet. Meanwhile, information with a subjective character also makes it into Position Zero, such as best-of lists and overviews.

Address the 6 W's

An important point to get to Position Zero is the six W questions: who, what, how, where, when, and why. Simple questions like "Who is..." or "What is..." are often searched for and Google likes to display them succinctly as a featured snippet.

Keyword Research remains central

To increase your chance of reaching position zero, you should start with good old keyword research. Several studies confirm that the majority of displayed Position Zero are triggered by long-tail keywords. The more words in users type into the search box, the higher the likelihood of a featured snippet being displayed.

Keyword research is essential for successful content, and if you're aiming for Position Zero, even more so. So find out what questions your users are typing into Google and make sure you answer them to the letter.

Pay attention to the "Similar Questions" section

A look at the "Similar Questions" section should not be missing from any proper keyword research. These are questions that have actually been asked by other people in relation to the original search. You can often find good suggestions for questions that you can answer on your website to generate traffic and be referred to by Google as a Highlighted Snippet.

Use a meaningful image

Most featured snippets contain at least one image. It's best to add several high-quality and meaningful images to your page. Also, give the images you use meaningful names and add alt text.

Keep an eye on Google Trends

Which terms are frequently searched for in which time period? Google Trends is very well suited for this and at the same time helps you to find the appropriate content for a Google Snippet. Hereby you can find out the search volume of various topics, read out seasonal fluctuations and directly compare the popularity of search terms.

Conclusion: Many factors play a role

In addition to the tips mentioned here on how to get to position zero, there are countless others. So if you want to successfully optimize websites, you need to pay attention to a few things and regularly follow trends. Google is constantly adapting to the ever-changing world of devices and is gradually implementing features to make Google even easier and faster for users to use. It pays to gear up for this, especially if your business is looking to grow in the future.