Standalone Content

Standalone content is a necessity when optimising for the featured snippets.

Google pull snippets of content to answer the questions searched in the search engines.

When Google pulls this answer summary it has to make sense as standalone content in the SERPs.

Take the question away and does the answer summary make sense as a standalone snippet of content?

The sentence structure is a crucial part of content optimisation and in July 2024 it has never been more important.

What is Standalone Content?

Standalone content is designed to be used alone and not requiring connection to something else.

The intended purpose of standalone content is the ability to be used separately and function independently.

For featured snippets standalone content on individual pages is important, but for domain-level expertise, you want to build topical authority with clusters of content.

Why Is Standalone Content Important For Featured Snippets?

Standalone Content is important for featured snippets because it stands alone as an answer (without the question stated) in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

The content needs to make sense in isolation and not be dependent on the question being shown.

Check out the video which shows 3 Tips for Standalone Content for Ranking in Google’s Featured Snippets:

Google is paying attention to how that particular text that you make as an answer target is formatted to decide whether this is the best result to place in position zero.

One wrongly inserted word or sentence structure can be the difference between winning or losing the featured snippets.

Common Mistakes

You can make easy mistakes that can just absolutely destroy your answer targets.

Here is a list of content mistakes made with standalone content.

Answer Yes or No

When removing the question how can a sentence start with Yes or No?

Plus it depends on how we phrased the question if it should be yes or no.

Why limit your content to just one question being answered.


Here is an example where you could have made this answer standalone by not including “No there is not”.

Answering No is Not Standalone Content

The reason why making this content standalone is that without the start of “No there is not” the answer summary then could be used if someone asked the correct answer in the question. i.e. Is there 3 racecourses in Wales? The answer to this is Yes!!

So removing Yes or No and just stating the facts allows your content to rank for more answers to questions.


Here is an example where you could have made this answer standalone by not including “Yes”.

Answering Yes is Not Standalone Content

It seems very picky and can you still win position zero answer summary – Absolutely.

But now think about all the secondary questions below that “Yes” won’t grab the featured snippets on:

  • Is Rainbow Riches Slots on Microgaming?
  • Does Playtech Power Rainbow Riches Slots?
  • Are Rainbow Riches Slots powered by Big Time Gaming?
  • Is Rainbow Riches Slots on Dragonfish Software?

Without starting with “Yes” makes the answer standalone content that can be used for all the questions above.

We Need The Noun

The noun is a term used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things.

Some common mistakes are replacing the noun with:

  • It
  • They
  • He
  • She

What does “It” mean on standalone content? Absolutely nothing.

What does “They” mean on standalone content? It makes no sense.

Who even is “He”? With standalone content “he” does not explain anything.

Who is “She”? The queen, your wife, your daughter? No one knows who “she” is on standalone content.

Make Sense In The SERPs

The content is being pulled into the SERPs (search engine results page) so does this standalone content make sense on Google Results?

Some common mistakes of content that absolutely destroy your chances of winning featured snippets are:

  • As you can see above
  • Carry on reading below
  • So keep reading for more
  • As mentioned above
  • As previously stated
  • Check the image

Google does not want to show these on the results page, as they make zero sense.

Popular Questions

Is it standalone or stand alone?

Standalone is one word.

Standalone is an adjective meaning “independent”.

Rendering standalone as unhyphenated words (i.e. stand alone) is just a mistake.

What is another word for stand-alone?

Other popular words for stand-alone are:

  • Isolated
  • Self-Contained
  • Independent
  • Self-Supporting
  • Lone
  • Secluded
  • Free-Standing

Can an answer standalone?

An answer can standalone using the correct sentence structure.

A featured Snippet answer summary cannot be dependent on other words being added to it as there is a character limit.

Answers without showing the question making no sense will never stand the chance of securing answer box feature snippets.


Within Content SOPs make it part of the content writing rules to create standalone content.

The copywriting created needs to read and make sense in Google Search Engine Results to get the best chances of securing the answer summary boxes.

Position zero drives a lot of traffic and optimising your content can assist you to jump the line.

It is also worth looking at passage ranking which shows the importance of treating each header and the content under this as its own mini article.