What are Rich Snippets?
Rich snippets give additional information on your page on SERPs that helps in increased click-through rate. It appears between the URL and description.
Let me take an example to make it better.
The other day, I was looking for a pancake recipe on Google, and this is the result that showed up:
The highlighted part is called rich snippets. It helped me with the image, star rating, number of votes given to the recipe, key ingredients, and calories intake.
Let me show you another result on the exact search.
Do you see the difference between the highlighted result and the results below that?
Yes! That’s precisely the difference between a regular snippet and a rich snippet.
Google tries to improve its user experience and interactivity constantly. You can see the visual enhancement here.
Rich snippets have just made that more straightforward!
But before you proceed, let me clear the terms that are often confused with each other. These are rich snippets, featured snippets, and rich results.
With so much being available on SERPs, it is pretty natural to be confused between the terms.
Let us understand them with examples:
Featured snippets: These results appear at the zero position on SERP for direct question-type queries. For example: if I search for boiling temperature water, my query will be solved would answer my question without clicking on any page:
The above is an example of a paragraph snippet.
Sure, both featured snippets and rich snippets give add-on information than the regular blue link to the page.
In featured snippets, content is derived from the content on-page and highlighted on SERP. Whereas, for rich snippets, data is derived from Structured Markup (Schema) from HTML codes of a web page.
Featured snippets appear on the zero position on SERP, whereas rich snippets can appear all over the SERP.
Featured snippets are not industry-specific, but rich snippets are. Like I showed, the rich snippet for a pancake recipe had the key ingredients too. Do you think that would go with a business that organizes rock shows? Surely not!
So, what’s the difference between rich results and rich snippets?
There are no two separate terms. Rich snippets are a part of rich results.
As you saw in the beginning, rich snippets are the regular search results having an URL, meta title, meta description, and some added information. Simply, a regular snippet giving further details.
Rich snippets were the first to get introduced before rich results.
Rich results are a combination of these rich snippets and rich cards. Rich cards have information presented in a more visual format.
Rich cards usually appear for movies, recipes, music, local business, and videos.
It is an example of rich cards that appeared for Rock Music. It is added above the natural regular snippets or rich snippets.
An item or product type website can have only rich snippets, but articles and blog posts can go with either rich snippets or rich cards.
Above is an example of rich cards for “latest news.”
Let us see an example of rich results:
Just like featured snippets, rich results also appear at the zero position on SERP.
So, even when your page doesn’t rank at the top position, you still have a chance to make it to the zero position.
Above is one form of rich results where it is shown in a box showing various breweries in New York along with the timings, star ratings, and location.
These results can be in carousel form or even a complete interface like booking flights, events, finding a job, some local business detail, etc.
Below is a rich result for “digital marketing jobs.”
I searched for SEO training and my website, as shown in the first position!
Critical features in rich results include:
- Contact information
- Contact information
- Social profiles
It was all about rich snippets, featured snippets, and rich results.
Let’s hark back to our main topic, Rich Snippets.
How does Rich Snippets impact SEO?
Ranking high on SERP doesn’t guarantee high traffic to your site. Before clicking the URL, people see what’s there on the snippet.
Rich snippets give a better idea about your page, just like a good meta description or meta title.
Out of the three results above, which one do you prefer?
Of course, the first one, right?
They have used more snippets, and the essential details can be better understood than the snippet below.
It is the impact of rich snippets!
Due to the increase in visibility, they help in increasing the organic CTR drastically.
So, you now have a chance to increase traffic by remaining at the same position on SERP!
Though rich snippets are not a ranking factor, they can be an indirect ranking factor.
Think about it! When you provide bonus guidance, the number of visitors to your site will go up. It will tell Google that ok! People highly like this page. It will naturally boost your ranking.
They also send out a better message about your business, and visitors can know your key features just at a glance.
By now, you must be keen to implement them, right?
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in straight!
As I mentioned earlier, Rich Snippets are extracted from the Structured Data. This data is picked up and formatted so that Google can easily understand it and display it on SERP.
Schema is a language used to get micro-level information. It helps convert this data into a language Google can understand. It is called Structured Data.
Google uses structured data to upgrade your regular snippet into the rich snippet on SERP.
So, taking our first example of the pancake recipe, if you have a line like the pancakes made this way, have an average of 225 calories.
It will be changed into :
It will save Google’s time in extracting information as it is already formatted.
JSON-LD is a commonly used data format that helps in making rich snippets to organize the data.
From here, you can test the data in the structured data markup tool.
Types of Rich Snippets
To your surprise, there are more than 800 types of rich snippets. You have to choose the ones that best fit your business.
Let us quickly discuss a few major ones:
- Reviews: this is the star rating out of five. The more the stars in yellow, the better is their rating.
By now, you must have seen it in almost all the images I have put up! It is a majorly used snippets. After all, who wouldn’t want to highlight their ratings on SERP?
2. Recipes: Needless to say, this structured data is only relevant for cooking-related websites. You can connect this with our pancake recipe example!
That would include information like time taken to prepare, reviews and images.
3. Music: It lends all the add-on information your music enthusiasts would be interested in!
The following snippet gives all the details about the genre, release date, producer, and songwriter.
4. Product Markup: Gives granular details about a specific product.
As you can see, all the information like release date, batteries, rating and much more is so explicitly available.
5. Organization: Gives all the critical information about an organization. I looked up for Google, and this is the result:
That gave all the data, including their logo, CEO, founder, and much more!
6. Top stories: A site that appears in the “top stories” section uses this snippet. Though, this can only be used by the websites approved by Google news.
These results appear when a user types in a query that is news-oriented.
Video: Of course, there is no way you can watch a video right in there. But with the help of video markup, you can discover what the video is all about.
I wrote a blog on “keyword research” and added a video from my Youtube channel.
When I search for “keyword research AdSchoolMaster,” my video will show up on the top of SERP. It is precisely how the video markup works.
8. Events: Gives you all the details about an event. I looked up a show in Delhi, and this showed up:
It gave me ratings, prices, specifications like: without alcohol.
These were some of the most frequently used rich snippets that can immensely enhance the user experience and number of people clicking on the page from Google’s results page.