Rich Snippets

What are Rich Snippets?

Snippets are a type of web markup. They are the small blocks of text that appear beneath a search result in Google.

Rich Snippets are snippets that have been customized and augmented to maximize a page’s attractiveness in a list of search results.

They can include rich snippet reviews, shortcuts to particular pages, “breadcrumbs,” specialized information, and other features.

Certain types of pages can also appear as a “featured snippet” at the top of the search results, boxed off and with a photo or video.

Recipes, events, videos, applications, google reviews, people, and organizations are just a few of the types of pages that can have a featured snippet.

Why are Rich Snippets Important?

Rich snippets draw the eye of users and noticeably increase click-through rates over regular snippets, so a strong rich snippet can greatly increase traffic to a website.

Because users can see more detail before clicking, they also click on the most relevant results and this reduces bounce rates, as well.

Furthermore, SEO and rich snippets are intrinsically linked: search rankings are at least partially based on click-through rates, so by strengthening the click through rate, you can also raise your site’s rank so it appears higher in search results.

Common Features of Rich Snippets

  • Reviews: Rich snippets enable ratings in google search results. You can embed legitimate user generated ratings and reviews on your website and Google will convert them to a five point scale, which displays as up to 5 stars in your site’s rich snippet.
  • Photos: For bloggers or authors, rich snippets can show a professional headshot or photo if one is linked to their google account.
  • Bread Crumbs: These are the short paths at the top of a rich snippet which show where a page lies in a site’s link paths. Users are able to click to other pages within a website by clicking on parts of a bread crumb. For example, something like News site -> World News -> Middle East, might appear, with all terms linked to the appropriate sections in the news site.
  • Videos: Videos can appear in a rich snippet, especially if they are ranked highly enough to be a featured snippet at the top of search results.

How to Use Rich Snippets

Rich snippets are embedded in the code of a website, which is possible through a number of different formats; Google recommends JSON-LD (Javascript notation), but microdata and RDFa are also accepted.

Rich snippet generators are third party services and applications that allow users to input basic data about a website or feature and receive back structured data to be embedded in a site’s code.

There are also rich snippet testing tools, or a structured data testing tools, which check that a site’s structured data is formatted properly for use by Google’s search engine.

There are a variety of testing tools available with a range of features.

Remember: the goal of using rich snippets and structured data is to attract more clicks by providing accurate, concise information.

Rich snippets are not meant to be gimmicky or misleading, and Google regularly removes snippets which do not meet its quality standards.

Also, it can take a few weeks for search engines to find, analyze, approve, and display markup such as rich snippets, so patience is necessary.

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