Schema to Write Answer Passages for Featured Snippets


One question that has generated enormous curiosity among marketers and business owners alike is whether Google uses Schema to answer passages for featured snippets. Although this question has generated a lot of hype, there still seems to be no concrete answer. The role of Schema in Google's selection of featured snippets was quite ambiguous until now. Google was recently granted a patent that stated: "That an answer passage might be selected based upon a score that shows that there is structured data (such as Schema) and unstructured data (such as prose passages) to provide an answer." The patent describes how Google search engine queries are processed differently when it comes to answering a question and how Schemas are a relevant factor when it comes to Google selecting the content (or in this case Answer Passage) that is featured as an answer to the user’s question.

When users ask Google a question, they are essentially looking for a particular answer rather than a list of resources. For instance, users may want to know the current conversion rate for a currency, the temperature or what the capital of a particular country is. Search engines are most likely to perform specialized search operations when responding to a query that is in a question format. Search engines may, for example, provide information as a response to such queries in an answer-like format such as information provided in a paragraph placed in a box (top position snippet), something akin to Google's dictionary results that were a saviour for many of us.

More about Candidate Answer Passages and the role of Schema:
Google's new patent elucidates the concept of ‘Candidate Answer Passages.’ Candidate answer passages are essentially answers to questions that need more than a one word answer. To illustrate, your Google query on 'what is the currency of Canada?' can be answered with 'Canadian Dollar or CAD.’ But if you are asking a question like “Why is the earth rotating?” you need a paragraph worthy explanation.

Such an answer passage will be selected from resources that include text or paragraphs, which are relevant to the question and the answer. These sections of the text will be scored by Google and text that receives the maximum score will win the prize - AKA a paragraph answer spot, making it the most relevant answer for the user's question. One of the best ways to make sure that your answer wins when Google is searching is to create the right Schema for your website.

Schema markup can be defined as a form of microdata which once added to a webpage, creates an enhanced description which appears in the search results. Schema markup helps to create context and enhance comprehension of your webpage for a search engine. When it comes to selecting the most apt response for a question, the search engine naturally selects the answer passage that is most relevant and provides an easy contextual reference for the asked question. Schema removes ambiguity and provides enhanced context. In this day and age of Hummingbird and RankBrain, the importance of having the right schema markup for your website gives your business the winning edge.

Why businesses need to know about answer passage:
If you are a local Toronto, Vancouver or Winnipeg business, you may be wondering why knowing Schema design for your webpage is relevant to you? As Toronto’s best SEO agency, BreezeMaxWeb has created several exemplary Schemas to make sure that our client’s web pages are ranked successfully for any and every type of question and query. Whether it is getting featured for answer passages or other kinds of snippets, our expert SEO team creates the most relevant and contextual Schemas to make sure that Google finds the relevant information passages (read answers) on our client’s pages easily. If you are a business looking to enhance their Google Ranking, emerge as a resourceful website or simply improve your web traffic and bottom line results, drop us a line at and we will get back at you.

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