Rich snippets are used to summarize the content they represent in order to make it easier for the user to understand what the piece is about. When you perform a search on Google, rich snippets are the small images and reviews that show up in your results.
In this week’s Ask An SEO Expert feature, Bradley Smith, SEO Consultant at Slingshot SEO, explains how to implement rich snippets and why utilizing them can help increase click-through-rates in the search engines.
So today’s question is about how to implement rich snippets and raise CTR.
So, back in June 2011, Google announced on Google Webmaster Central that they are now recognizing Schema.org rich snippet, and they also said that along with Bing and Yahoo!, they are collectively recognizing rich snippets. Now, they will recognize other rich snippets besides Schema.org, but Schema.org was their agreed upon standard.
So there are a couple of rich snippets, especially that play a role in the search engine result pages right now. There are authorship markups, there are reviews, there are audio clips, video clips that all play a role right now, in the search engine results pages. So when you see a rich snippet right now, as it shows on the search engine results page, it may look something like this. So you would have your regular page title, and underneath this you would have multiple other listings, but this would just be one listing. You would have the page title. You would have an object that is part of the rich snippet, and you would also have additional information, usually found from content on the page, or a meta descriptions.
So, this right here could represent any number of the rich snippets that are online, and recognized by scema.org. As I mentioned, it could be a review, this could represent an author, this could represent a video clip. If its a recipe, there are some other things that might show up.
You might see a set of stars right here that show 4 out of 5 stars, out of how many ratings, but basically the big benefit to rich snippets as we see it now, is that it can entice a user to click on this search engine listing. And a lot of times these listings, just because they have rich snippets don’t necessarily show up at the top. They’ll show up further down in the listings on the page, but that can entice a user to click further down in the listing. So that’s how it helps now.
How it’s going to help in the future is it’s working towards the whole idea of a web of objects. Instead of a 2D landscape of the web, it’s more of a 3D landscape. And that’s partially what Google is trying to accomplish with their recent roll out of the Knowledge Graph. Basically what that does, is it helps move a user further down the funnel to the final destination of the product that they’re looking for and it helps do that faster.
So these can not only play a role right now in search engine results pages, but these could also play a role in the Knowledge Graph, and product listings, etc. in the future. And right now, even if you put a rich snippet on your page and it doesn’t show up in the search result page, it may show up later as a different kind of object, or star, or review. So look forward to that in the future. Just keep an eye to to see how they’re going to use rich snippets in the future in their search engine result pages.