What are rich snippets?
You do a Google search and up comes 10 SERP (search engine results page) results with a compelling title, a URL and a couple of sentences explaining what the page is about. You’ll also see results on the top of the page and the right hand side (the paid results). You might have noticed recently a star rating below the usual SERP results snippet or a little picture on the side of the SERP. They are called rich snippets. Lines of additional information, designed to give the searcher a sense of what a webpage may contain.
There are 9 kinds of rich snippets available. From web pages about applications such as an App, to displaying more information about an event such as a music concert with specific dates and whereabouts, to an online or offline shop or event showing reviews and a star rating.
What rich snippets do and how…
What do rich snippets actually do? It can help show you that what you’re searching for is within reach on a particular site. Saving you time, so you don’t have to trawl through pages and pages of different websites. The benefits of rich snippets include:
1) Drawing a searcher’s attention to the most relevant result for them. Results using rich snippets have higher visibility within the SERPs.
2) Providing instant information, which is related to their query. This could be a review, a star rating, a product or prices for that product.
3) Rich snippets increase the click-through rate and lessen the bounce rate due to searchers finding the content they were looking for. They are designed to help people make decisions before they click on a link.
The nine types of rich snippets
When can rich snippets appear?
For Events: Event name, date, time and the location.
A Businesses or Organization: Location and customer review (star rating) and price range (for a restaurant for example)
Applications: Customer review, image and price range.
Authors: The author of the web page’s photo, their name, a link to their Google+ profile and a link to more articles they own authorship of.
Restaurants: Average review, a star rating and price range.
Recipes: Star rating, a photo, how long the recipe takes and number of calories the recipe has.
Products: Ratings, picture and a price range
Music albums: Lyrics and a link to play the song(s).
People: Such as a LinkedIn profile when you search for a person. It could show a photo and phone number.
What rich snippets mean for websites
Some companies have seen a 20-30% rise in click through rates when using rich snippets. Rich snippets help you stand out from the competition. Visuals break up the lines of text and searchers are drawn to visuals on the screen. Bringing targeted users to the website. Because searchers have read the relevant information before visiting the website, visitors are more likely to stay on the site longer.
What it means for your websites’ SEO
Google have noted that “Marking up your data for rich snippets won’t affect your page’s ranking in search results, and Google doesn’t guarantee to use your markup.” Although we can’t disregard that all together – who knows, it may help rankings in the future!