A good article over at Moz about getting that "zero" spot and keeping it.
At MozCon 2015, Dr. Pete delivered a gem that perked up my ears when he discussed Google's featured snippets during his talk, "Surviving Google: SEO in 2020":
"Let's say you're No. 5 in a competitive query, and you're trying to get from No. 5 to No.1. That is incredibly difficult; that takes a lot of money, a lot of links, a lot of authority. You might be able to jump past No. 1 to No. 0 with this just by matching the question better. So it may actually be easier to get from No. 5 to No. 0 than it is to get from No. 5 to No. 1 ... Be a better match. Be a better answer to the question. It's good for users."
Something about those 98 words perked my ears up, especially the last two sentences.
"Be a better answer to the question. It's good for users."
Those words rolled around in my head for months, though their impact wouldn't be felt until even later, when I began to see how prevalent featured snippets had become.
More than a year later, I'm now more convinced than ever that most brands should be making the attainment of featured snippets a priority.
Try as they might, most sites don't stand a chance of making it to the No.1 position in the SERPs. And today, with so much priority given to ads at the top of the page, above the organic results — not to mention the fact that most people don't recognize ads from organic results — even those who do reach the coveted position have to feel as though they've secured a pyrrhic victory...