This portion of the training revolves around answer targets or snippets. These are a key part of nearly every article. You’ll watch all of the videos, read through the good and bad examples we provide, and then practice writing your own.

1. Intro to Snippets

2. Snippet Types

3. Snippets on the Web

4. The Value of Snippets

5. How Snippets are Generated

6.The Multi-Answer Post Recipe

7. Teeing Up the Answer Target

8. Don’t Make These Snippet Mistakes

9. Paragraph Answer Targets

10. List Answer Targets

11. Video Answer Targets

12. Table Answer Targets

13. Win With Snippets

Snippet Examples and Practice

We want you to take the time to read through the examples below. We show you the search query, a poorly written answer target, the reason it is poorly written, and then the answer target we would write.

Look through the examples and practice identifying the different elements we explained In the videos.

Once you feel comfortable with those examples, take 5-10 minutes for each practice answer target and try to write the BEST answer target possible. Do this in a note or Google doc so you can send it to Nathan to look over.

Go ahead and get started.

How much can a regular nail in drywall hold?

  • POOR EXAMPLE: A nail in drywall is not a good way to hang heavy items.  In fact, without a hook and anchor system, a regular nail will only hold up to about 3 pounds.
  • EXPLANATION: The answer of up to 3 lbs is the only specific advice in the answer, and it’s pushed to the very end of the answer target.  The fact that someone searched this question already signifies that they understand that a regular nail isn’t a good way to hang heavy items, so the first sentence of the answer target is obvious information.
  • GOOD EXAMPLE:  On average, 3lbs (1.4kg) is the max hanging load on a plain nail in drywall; however, thicker drywall and heavier gauge nail angle can prevent the drywall from tearing with loads up to 6lbs (2.7kg).  For max strength, insert the nail at a sharp angle and hang the weight close to the drywall.

Flower colors that attract birds

  • POOR EXAMPLE: Most bird feeders are colored red for a reason.  This color not only looks great, but is easily spotted amongst green vegetation.  The color white is the color of many birds’ tail feathers and under-wing plumage and thus may represent a color indicating birds leaving under distress, so this color is not recommended.
  • EXPLANATION: The first sentence conveys only that red is a common color in bird feeders, but that isn’t necessarily the question being googled.  Further, the first sentence merely says red is popular–not that it effectively attracts birds.  The last sentence is arguably off-topic.  While this information may be interesting later in the post, the answer target should focus 100% on what colors attract birds, and not those which deter birds.
  • GOOD EXAMPLE: Red, yellow, and blue flowers attract a wide variety of bird species and are easily spotted amongst green vegetation as a bird flies past.  To attract a specific bird species, use vibrant colors that mimic the bird’s own plumage or their primary food sources.   

What is the scrolly S symbol at the start of a music staff?

  • POOR EXAMPLE: The swirly character on music that looks kind of like an S is actually a stylized G.  It sets the key the music is in so that the musician knows what each note on the staff is.
  • GOOD EXAMPLE: The treble clef is a stylized “g” symbol at the beginning of a music stave which anchors the base note of G on the second line up from the bottom, and sets the scale of all of the other notes.  A treble clef is generally used for higher-pitched notes and instruments such as the trumpet, saxophone, and the right hand of piano music.

What’s the difference between a modem and a router?

  • POOR EXAMPLE: The modem is basically what reads the signals from the internet cable and puts it in a readable format for a computer.  The router is the thing that sends the signal to your computer.
  • GOOD EXAMPLE: A modem modulates digital information into the format required for transmission over cable wires from the end user to their internet service provider; a router takes that demodulated information from the modem and distributes it to the end user’s devices either by creating a Wi-Fi network or through an ethernet cable.

Do extras in movies appear in the credits?

  • POOR EXAMPLE: Extras aren’t mentioned in the credits of movies because their role in the movie is quite short and basic, and they aren’t paid for their appearance.
  • GOOD EXAMPLE: Extras in movies are uncredited roles, and as such, are not included in movie credits at the beginning or end of the film.  Generally, on-screen talent is only credited if they have lines, a character name, or play a significant individual role in