Firstly, this practice directly contravenes the SEO code of ethics, and in my book, utterly unethical. So if that is what you have been sold or are selling, the truth is, the game has changed and the opponent is now a Google AI algorithm.
Let’s examine the Google “snippet review” or more accurately “instant answer” the new artificial intelligence algorithm that answers what appears to be fairly simple questions:
Nifty isn’t it? Especially for the consumer experience on Google right? And what about those mobile searches for the answer you don’t need to search for, fabulous for the consumer… But this means something totally different for us who operate in this market.
The anatomy of the helpful yet equally damaging instant answer is broken down like this:
2. The best answer for the query is determined by Google bots, and unbelievably they are not even closely related to previous metrics like DA, organic rank or SEO
3. Wikipedia is the unintended “provider” of the most information due to the structure of their content and the mass of content they have
You would be best advised to create key content pieces that provided useful information and “structured” information, and if done correctly your content could be selected by “Instant answers” and while no data exists yet for the CTR on instant articles, or the digital brand lift if any on the source sites, what I can tell you with certainty is that all things being equal if your social and site was optimised correctly, you had this valuable content I’m talking about, you optimised “everything” you posted, had a solid strategy, then ranking for number #1 would be obsolete as featuring in the instant answer box essentially means that you are the new #1.
In conclusion, and this is not a declaration, rather it’s a thought I can’t help pondering, let’s assume that Google Knowledge Graph and Instant Answers do have a devastating impact on Wikipedia traffic and manage to unintentionally squash the giant that is Wikipedia, what does that then imply about the power that Google has…. Or the ability for us to compete in an environment that is now clearly biased and of course Google answering the questions for us.
Content is the only answer, content is the very lifeblood of the internet, without that we have nothing but a newspaper insert section of useless advertising online.
In my next article I'll be discussing the next reason why you won’t be ranking in position number 1 in a hurry.