Featured Snippets are bits of information, usually about a paragraph long, that are lifted from a webpage and featured at the top of a Google search result. Before they were called Featured Snippets, they were often referred to as Google Answers, because they tend to be in the format of an answer to a direct or implied question that is submitted to Google as a query. There is discussion in the search community about the relative value of a Featured Snippet – while ranking for a Featured Snippet will get you to the top of a search result, which is good for exposure, it can often cause users not to click through, because they get what they need directly in the search result, without a click. This was not always true though.
In the early days of Featured Snippets, they often represented an additional placement in the search result – the web page would be linked from the Featured Snippet, and from the traditional blue links in the result. Now, Featured Snippets count as Position 1, and this tends to be the only place that a web page will rank in that search result – there is no longer duplication. When there was duplication, some studies showed that it increased Click-Through Rate from a search result with an increase of 20%. When Google eliminated the additional listings, it decreased back to normal or even lower CTR.
This is why, in SEO, the Featured Snipped strategy must work with your main KPI – If that is traffic, the it might be better to rank just under the Featured Snippet, or have Featured Snippets that give partial answers, that still entice users to click through. Alternately, if brand positioning, exposure and awareness are key, then getting as many Featured Snippets as possible is a great strategy.