09 Mar Rich Snippets: What Are They and How Do They Work?
Rich snippets are everywhere on Google SERPs. They show us everything from reviews to recipes, but what are they, exactly? And why should you care about implementing markups on your site in order to utilize rich snippets?
In the Search Results
Rich snippets are the blurbs that appear below search results; their purpose is to provide better, more informative results on SERPs. Tweet This As Google explains it, “Snippets . . . are designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query.”
You can see in the search for “Super Bowl Tickets” below that the SERP shows a couple of different rich snippets. First, you can see the reviews for the different ticket retailers. This gives you an idea of which site might be the most reliable. Further down the page, you can see that the result for www.stubhub.com lists the dates and venues of several events that are occurring during the week of the Super Bowl.
This information provides searchers with exactly what they need to make quick decisions about potential purchases and which sites to visit to make these purchases. It can also quickly draw users’ attention to your site instead of your competitors’.
Implementing Rich Snippets on Your Site
There are three acceptable formats to use when implanting markups on your website to employ rich snippets. These are:
The Google-recommended format is Microdata, but all three are acceptable and can be used to mark up your site by simply adding the markups to your sites code. With these markups, you can not only add reviews and events like we illustrated above, but you can also highlight products, recipes, and even music. You can also use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to help you implement these onto your site. This tool allows you to preview what that code would look like in the SERPs before you ever have to make any changes to your site, preventing an unnecessary issues. You can also us Google’s Data Highlighter Tool via Google Webmaster Tools to specify what certain parts of your site mean so Google can provide those rich snippets in the SERPs. This is a simple way to mark up your site if you don’t feel comfortable editing your site code with one of the formats above.
If you do decided to edit the code of you site with markups, then you should review this site before proceeding. The site is the product of collaboration between Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Its purpose is to standardize the type of markup that is utilized by the search engines. Using a shared vocabulary across the three major search engines makes it easier for webmasters everywhere to have their snippet show up correctly in the search results. For more information check out Schema.org.
Rich Snippets can be summarized in one simple word: information.
Rich snippets provide users with more information in the SERPs that can be helpful in making a quick decision with regards to your business. Tweet This Utilizing site markup, the Structured Data Markup Helper, or the Data Highlighter Tool, you can make your site stand out in the results from you competition. This will draw more traffic to your site, increase your CTR (Click-Through-Rate), and ultimately generate more conversion for your business.