While not new, since their launch in 2009, rich snippets have given many people a sneak peek into Google Search results. By adding additional information to search listings it helps searchers find what they’re looking for faster. This extra information depends on the page content; however it might include things such as movie information, TV information, customer reviews, event information, production information, recipe information and site navigation breadcrumbs.
While Google may not guarantee these snippets will appear in listings, incorporating these structured mark-ups allows for the search engine to display, parse and crawl the content in these areas. While they’ve been around for many years now, there’s still plenty of things you may not know about rich snippets. Let’s take a look now at what you may not realize about these snippets.
#1. Don’t Affect Website Rankings Directly
Rich Snippets Don’t Affect Your Website Rankings Directly. Google has made it known that rich snippets don’t have any affect on website rankings. However, while they don’t work for ranking signals, they have the ability to help generate an indirect source of SEO which can benefit the page. This additional SEO can provide a page with easier indexing ability and can provide more targeted and accurate meta data.
Rich snippets can also help you achieve higher traffic to your website by pre-qualifying visitors. If a visitor searches for a select thing and finds minimal information on one website listing, and another with more details via rich snippets, you have a higher chance of improving your click through rate, time on site, and bounce rate. The more information you have on your Google page listing, the higher the engagement you’ll have. Thus improving your chance for higher conversions and profits in the long run.
#2. Rich Cards Are The Same As Rich Snippets
Google Rich Cards aren’t the same as Rich Snippets as some may believe. While rich cards and Rich Snippets both use structured data mark-up to enhance SERP displays and to help present page content more appropriately, they both sit at different levels in the areas of SEO.
Rich Cards are designed to be presented in a carousel at the very top of the search results page. Generally, you see rich cards when conducting:
- Movie and Recipe Searches
- Mobile Searches
- English Searches
Rich cards are designed to enhance the user experience of mobile users by allowing the most popular previews at the top of the search results. Rich snippets are different entirely in the way they’re displayed in the same order as search results. They’re also more based on content types.
#3. Rich Snippets Can Be Disabled By Google
In Some Cases, Rich Snippets Can Be Disabled By Google. Google loves structure and will disable rich snippets that are spammy in their data mark-up. They may also give you a manual penalty as well if you’re not careful. In order to avoid getting a penalty and having your rich snippets disabled by Google you need to work on using the most appropriate structured data mark-up. To make sure you’re using the correct structure you can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. It will also help you by giving you tips and hints on how to use it to your advantage.
Once you have determined whether your code is structurally sound you can then work on seeing as your viewers see it. If you see there’s some keyword stuffing or the snippet just doesn’t look right you may need to rectify this situation.
#4. Three Helpful Rich Snippet
Google Has Three Helpful Rich Snippet Tools For Structured Data. It isn’t easy to build and mark up your structured data. This is why Google has some helpful tools that can help you. These include:
- Data Highlighter – Data Highlighter allows you to highlight tag data fields with your mouse to help Google understand your site’s structured data. By understanding your data better, Google can then present it in a much more efficient way in SERPs through the use of rich sippets.
- Structured Data Report – The Structured Data Report is offered through Google Search Console and identifies the different structured data which is found on your website. The report is designed to help you determine which site has errors, missing ratings, missing fields, and more, and will give you details and insight into how you can fix these errors. It’ll also give you an indication as to whether your current mark-up is the correct one.
- Structured Data Testing Tool – This data testing tool is designed to help webmasters to develop, modify and test structured mark-ups. The FETCH URL function can be used to test the existing structured data mark-up on a given URL. You can also use the CODE SNIPPET function to easily test any mark-up codes you’ve developed to see whether it passes. This tool enables you to modify the code as needed.
Rich Snippets can work to your advantage when the structured data mark-up is right. In order to do this, you can simply use the tools given by Google to your advantage. So did you know any of these things about rich snippets?
Caroline Kastner is a SEO expert and digital marketing blogger who loves to write about anything Google or Google related. She loves to learn the tricks of the digital marketing world and sharing it with others. She loves to spend time with her young son and dogs when she isn’t working.