Very often we come across the term ‘rich snippets’. While SEO experts might be well versed with it, not everyone seems to know of the same, particularly newbies. For starters, a snippet is an outcome or result that Google displays to users in the search results. Now there are two forms of snippets- rich and normal. A normal snippet would be something that we see in the form of a blue title page; the URL marked in green and then at the bottom is a brief outline or description of what the page is likely to contain.
On the other hand, rich snippets contain the picture or a related one of what we are looking for as per our search; and then the rating and other details highlighting specific information. Since these snippets are ‘rich’ or replete with more details than the normal counterpart, hence the name.
How to obtain rich snippets?
It is only after you decide to add structured data to your site when Google will show rich snippets. Now that brings us to the next question- what’s a structured data? A piece of code in a certain format and written in a way that search engines can make sense of is a structured piece of data. Search engines read through the code and thereby create rich snippets.
But then adding structured data can be a complicated job for many; so one needs to master the strategies to get started.
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What type of content can have rich snippets?
The rich snippets can be used in the following type of content pages:
- Reviews: This includes an aggregate or sum total or simply individual, with varying properties meant for each.
- Products: With products and special offers from online stores and merchants, this can be used. Online marketplaces providing the same product from several merchants can also use low-Price and high-Price to display the price range for only one single item.
- People: Google and Bing have shown detailed information from LinkedIn when looking for a few. The results will much be the same for any kind of website that has staff profiles or names of team members and other people who are relevant to the context.
- Businesses and Organizations: Most organizations have vital details like address (physical and URL), telephone number, geo-location (latitude and longitude), logo and so on.
- Video content: This is applicable for embedded video content on the website and also used to indicate duration, Production Company or the creator of the video, its license, etc.
What’s the connection between rich snippets with SEO?
Compared to others, rich snippets stand out. Of course, they look better and of much use than other snippets, so you can easily understand the benefits you can have with them. These also have a higher click-through rate. As a result, the increase in the rate can result in generating more traffic in the search result page.
“This is not because the position in the search engine has changed, but largely because a greater number of people has clicked through the result. Naturally, this affects the ranking in the long run.”
It will be visible to Google that people have shown a greater preference for the page than others. So, you can imagine the improvement you will get in the rankings.
What can be expected after the addition of rich snippets?
Just because you have started using structured data markup on the website doesn’t mean that there will be an automatic translation into the search engines showing rich snippets in the content. Google has a particular way of analyzing and then assessing the markup before displaying richer results. Here’s a general pattern how Google responds to structured data markup:
- Analysis of the new markup happens about 10-14 days once it gets introduced on a website.
- If things work out right, Google shows rich snippets for a few pages, but they disappear 5 days after that.
- After a point of time, rich snippets reappear, which can be for the same set of pages or a totally different one and the entire process may get repeated.
- Roughly 8 weeks get over; you will be provided with semi or partially permanent rich snippets throughout the site; given Google’s analysis and assessment that might have unearthed few glitches.
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The Bottom Line
For starting out with any on-site SEO campaign, be specific about your requirements. If your approach is ethical, there’s no cause for worry. But only if you use rich snippets inappropriately, Google is likely to penalize your site.
This article is written by Veselina Dzhingarova. She has long experience in internet marketing and SEO. She is passionate about blogging to share her expertise. Veselina is a regular contributor at many online publishers. She is the co-founder of Blogforweb.com and others. You can get in touch with her on LinkedIn & Google+.