How to Extract Google Featured Snippets Using Python?

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The article begins by formulating a problem relating to website click-through rate and gives you an overview of solutions about how to extract Google Featured Snippets using Python. And the article goes into great detail about the solution for beginners.

At the end of this article, you will see the results of extracting featured snippets for a set of keywords.

Additionally, you may discover advice on how to have your content show up in Google’s Featured Snippet. To understand more and get the solutions, keep reading.

Problem Formulation

Backlinko has examined 4 million google search results to determine the organic click-through rate.

💡 Statistics: The first position in Google results has a click-through rate of 27.6%, followed by position two at 15.8%, and the click-through rate drops as the positions decrease. Additionally, their analysis reveals that the top 3 Google search results receive 54.4% of clicks.

Are you frustrated that no one is visiting your website? Have you ever had trouble identifying the keywords that drive visitors to your website? Your website is not in the top 5 results on Google? And you’re curious about how to benefit from Python programming to understand competitors’ SEO Strategies. You looked online but were unable to find an immediate and straightforward solution. Read on to address the issues.

Method Summary

Researching keywords in Google featured snippets is the best way to learn how to rank your website in the top spot and increase click-through rates. Before we go on to the solution, let’s first learn about Google Featured Snippets.

What is a Featured Snippet?

A featured snippet” is the section that shows up at the top of the search results page and contains information to quickly and precisely respond to your search, along with a website link.

What are the types of Featured Snippets?

This section describes the three primary types of featured snippets with images.

Answer Paragraph snippet

The answer is created by extracting content on the website that is directly related to the user query. It instantly responds to the user search query and increases the reader’s interest in discovering more.

The user already knows there is a better chance of finding the required answers. This answer paragraph appears in 80% of 

Google Featured snippets.

Image 1: Answer Paragraph Google Featured Snippet 

Table

You may use this kind of snippet to compare two things quickly.

Google may change the table format as per the search query from the original content. Focus on details rather than design if you want to win this sort of highlighted snippet.

Image 2: Table Google Featured Snippet 

List

The snippet provides us with lists that can be ordered or unordered. Simple listicle articles, menus, instructions, and feature lists are all acceptable for this type of featured snippet.

Image 3: List Google Featured Snippet

Why do you need to study Featured Snippets?

  • The Featured snippets appear in position 0 of the Google search results page.  This advantage allows an increase in the click-through rate of websites. According to Search Engine Land, approximately 8% of all clicks go to featured snippets.
  • An increase in no-click searches is a result of featured snippets. In short, no-click searches mean visitors do not need to navigate through search results because the information is already available in this snippet. If you are mentioned in this fantastic snippet, there is a greater likelihood that people will buy your services or goods.
  • When your website appears in featured snippets, it indicates that the consumers will find the content valuable and well-organized.

You now know about google featured snippets, how they work, and why they’re essential. Let’s continue now. 

Basically, if there isn’t much traffic to your website, finding competitors’ websites that do well in the SERPS is a wise move.

By paying close attention to the featured snippet area, you may learn more about the keywords and tactics your competitors are doing to increase their click-through rates. You are not obliged to perform the laborious task of manually searching for a term and looking for it. 

🐍 Python to the rescue!

Use the Python Selenium package to access the Google website and retrieve these three categories of featured snippets. To learn how to extract featured snippets using Python, continue reading.

Solutions

In this section, you can find step-by-step instructions on scraping featured snippets from Google search results. Let’s start.

Step 1: Install and Import the Libraries.

Install Python selenium and time modules as follows:

pip install selenium
pip install time

Import the Modules as shown below:

from time import sleep
from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.common.exceptions import NoSuchElementException

Import the time library to delay programming and prevent blocking.

Additionally, use the selenium web driver to extract the data from the google search results.

To avoid the NoSuchElementException problem and move on with the program, the selenium.common.exception is used.

In step 8, I’ll go into further depth about the usage of this module.

Step 2: Set up Chrome Driver.

First, you have to install the chrome driver from the website https://chromedriver.chromium.org/home and save it in your system.

Next, build a webdriver instance as follows:

driver = webdriver.Chrome(executable_path="/Users/mohamedthoufeeq/Downloads/chromedriver3")

This command will open the google chrome browser window automatically.

Step 3: Navigate to the google.com website.

The following code uses a driver.get method to access the Google.com website.

driver.get('https://www.google.com/')

Step 4: Click the English version for Google.com.

This step is optional if Google.com is set to display in English by default. When I run the above command, the Arabic version of google opens in my case.

So, this is how I changed it to English.

English = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@id="SIvCob"]/a[2]')
English.click()

The xpath of the English link is [@id="SIvCob"]/a[2]

Image 4: HTML Tag for English Link of Google.com

👉 Recommended Tutorial: Refer to the article How to Automate Google Search using Python? to know more about xpath.

Step 5: Send the search query in the search box.

In this step, you will send a search query in the google search box as the following command after a 10-second delay.

sleep(10)
search_query = driver.find_element("name", "q")
s = "Best Machine Learning Tools"
search_query.send_keys(s)

The search query’s XPath is q in the name tag, as shown in the image.

The s variable stores the search query keyword. The keyword is Best Machine Learning Tools.

The send_keys function sends the search query s to the search box. I have explained this process in detail in the article “How to Automate Google Search using Python?“.

Image 5: HTML Tag name =”q” for Search Box

Step 6: Click the submit button.

The code below demonstrates how to click the submit button programmatically to continue and get search results.

google_search_btn = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@type="submit"]')
google_search_btn.submit()
sleep(10)

Set the sleep 10-second delay

You are entering the program’s major portion from the following step forward.

We’ll demonstrate how to extract data from three different kinds of featured snippets.

Step 7: Extract the list type of featured snippet.

View the code below, then read the explanation below:

list_desc= driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="di3YZe"]').text
print("Description: " + list_desc)

list_link = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="yuRUbf"]/a[@href]')
print("Website Url: " + list_link.get_attribute("href"))

list_title = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="LC20lb MBeuO DKV0Md"]')
print("Website Title: " + list_title.text)

Code Explanation

  • Code 1 – The driver locates the list of elements within the class= di3YZe HTML tag as the description of the featured element (Refer to Image 6). Additionally, the text methods merely extract the text from the description while removing the HTML tags.
  • Code 2 – Prints the description of the search query.
  • Code 3 – Extracts the featured snippet’s URL (Refer to Image 7).
  • Code 4 – Then, prints the URL of the website by obtaining the attribute of the href tag
  • Code 5 – The driver uses the xpath shown in image 7 to locate the element for the Website Title.
  • Code 6 – Then, prints the title of the website.
Image 6: HTML Tags for Description of List Google Featured Snippet.

Image 7: HTML Tag for URL and Website Title

Step 8: Extract table type of featured snippet.

The code for this step is as follows:

table_desc= driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="webanswers-webanswers_table__webanswers-table"]').text
print("Table:" + table_desc)

table_link = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="yuRUbf"]/a[@href]')
print("Website Url: " + table_link.get_attribute("href"))

table_title = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="LC20lb MBeuO DKV0Md"]')
print("Website Title: " + table_title.text)
Image 8: HTML Tag for Table Google Featured Snippet.

The above code is the same as in the previous step. The only change is in the class tag for the table type featured snippet.

Step 9: Extract Answer paragraph type of featured snippet.

Read the below command for the answer type featured snippet:

and_desc= driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="hgKElc"]').text
print("Answer : " + ans_desc)

ans_link = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="yuRUbf"]/a[@href]')
print("Website Url: " + ans_link.get_attribute("href"))

ans_title = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="LC20lb MBeuO DKV0Md"]')
print("Website Title: " + ans_title.text)

Similarly, only code 1 differs from the above code. The tag for the answer type of snippet is [@class="hgKElc"]

Image 9: HTML Tag for Answer Paragraph of Google Featured Snippet.

Now that we have gathered all the data from the three different featured snippet kinds.

However, if we include the phrase “Best App Builder” in our search, we cannot predict the type of snippet that will appear. So, we will encounter three problems if you have run the code.

  • Firstly, the HTML page for the particular search result does not support the class tag like class="di3YZe" as you can see in the code. As a result, you’ll get a No Such Element Error.
  • Second, because there is no text in the specific tag, you may receive an empty string for the HTML tags you have entered.  The Tag class="di3YZe" for lists and table types can be found there. However, you won’t find any text for the table tag. Thus it will produce an empty string.
  • Thirdly, there won’t be any featured snippets for some search terms.

You can follow the steps listed below to resolve this problem.

Step 10.1: Solve No Such Element Exception and Empty String.

Let’s first address the issues with the Table and List the types of featured snippets.

The No Such Element Exception problem can be solved using the try and except technique.

Here is the code:

try:
    list_desc = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="di3YZe"]').text
    if len(list_desc) == 0:
        table_desc = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="webanswers-webanswers_table__webanswers-table"]').text
        print("Table:" +table_desc)
    else:
        print("Description: " + list_desc)
    link = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="yuRUbf"]/a[@href]')
    print("Website Url: " + link.get_attribute("href"))
    title = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="LC20lb MBeuO DKV0Md"]')
    print("Website Title: " + title.text)
except NoSuchElementException:
….

Code Explanation

  • Code 1 – First, try method for combined table and list type snippets. 
  • Code 2 – Driver locates a di3YZe tag element to extract data.
  • Code 3 & 4 – Both snippet types contain the di3YZE tag. However, the tag included in the snippet is textless. So check that the text’s length is zero using the if clause, then locate the tag that belongs to the table and extract its content.
  • Code 6 – If there is text in the di3YZe tag, continue to extract the data from the list type, and step 6 explains each code individually.
  • Code 12 – if the program generates errors. It denotes the absence of tags for… and No Such Element Exception triggers. Continue reading the next step.

Step 10.2: Solve No Such Element Exception and Empty String.

We will discuss the code for the featured fragment of the answer paragraph in this second section of step 10. 

...    
    try:
        ans_desc = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="hgKElc"]').text
        if len(ans_desc) > 0:
                print("Answer : " + ans_desc)
                ans_link = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="yuRUbf"]/a[@href]')
                print("Website Url: " + ans_link.get_attribute("href"))
                ans_title = driver.find_element("xpath", '//*[@class="LC20lb MBeuO DKV0Md"]')
                print("Website Title: " + ans_title.text)
        else:
            print("There is no Google Featured Snippet in this query: " + s)
    except NoSuchElementException:
        print("There is no Google Featured Snippet in this query: " + s)

Code Explanation

  • Code 1 – Second nested try method for the third type of snippet.
  • Code 2 – Driver locates a di3YZe tag element to extract the answer.
  • Code 3 – Use an if statement to determine whether the length of the text string is larger than zero, which indicates whether or not the tag includes content. If it contains, then continues to extract information from the answer paragraph. The explanation of code is already explained in step 7.
  • Code 8 – If there are no tags, the content is not a featured snippet.
  • Code 9 – Prints the comment. There is no Google Featured Snippet in this query: with the search query.
  • Code 10 & 11 – If an exception occurs, it’s because the HTML page is missing the hgKElc tag. Then print the statement as above.

Results

The program’s output for the given set of keywords is available here:

Keyword: How to web scrape data using Python?

Image 10: Output of List Type Google Featured Snippet.

Keyword: best president in the world

Image 11: Output of Answer Paragraph Google Featured Snippet.

Keyword: best content writing tools

Image 12: Output of Table Google Featured Snippet.

Top Ten Tips for Appearing in Google’s Featured Snippet

  1. The primary step for featured snippets is on-page SEO optimization. You should provide relevant content with Seo keyword optimization.
  2. Perform keyword research, and ensure that your content is optimized using relevant, low-competitive keywords.
  3. The featured snippets that your competitors are now ranking for should be identified.
  4. You should monitor your website’s stats and keyword rankings to keep track of what your competitors are doing.
  5. With “how to” searches, people ask for precisely what they need. So, optimize the content with “how to” phrases. 
  6. Look through Google’s own “People also ask” sections to learn more about the relevant topics to your content.
  7. Always check that your website provides concise answers to search queries with a character restriction of between 40 and 50 words.
  8. To establish authority, strive for consistency in all of your content.
  9. The website should have a clear structure and employ appropriate heading tags.
  10. When giving examples, always utilize visuals such as infographics, images, videos, etc.

Summary

Obtaining a position in featured snippets in google is crucial to your website for increasing click-through rate, traffic, and branding. 

This article offered instructions on how to extract google featured snippets using Python. 

You have learned about google featured snippets, its types, and their importance in optimizing website content.

Also, you have discovered the top ten Tips for Appearing in Google’s Featured Snippet in this article. 

I hope you enjoyed the article.