When we think about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), then we come to a conclusion that for the longest time, the SEO services or rather the result oriented SEO services was all about securing the highest ranking on search engine results pages or SERPs because that’s the best way to increase the click-through rates or CTRs.
People usually don’t have the patience to browse all the results pages in order to find what they are looking for. Most of the time, they limit their options to the first few items they come across. The similar pattern which snippets follow in most cases is as follows:
1. Title of the page
2. Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
What are Rich Snippets?
The extra piece of information of text, data or the visual content such as ratings, images or any other type of indicators for the icons that you notice in the summaries of the Google search engine results page are referred to as Rich Snippets.
The basic purpose of Rich Snippets is to “dress up” the search engine results page of Google so as to seem as appealing to the eye for the users.
The short and precise descriptions which accompany the search results so as to give users a fair idea of what each link has to offer without the user even opening it are termed as snippets. The phrase “Sneak Preview” which defines it all is used for rich snippets of Google Search results which add an extra dose of information to the listing of search results so as to help the searchers find what they are exactly looking for.
The above search result is an example of a Rich Snippet because in this you get additional information regarding the productivity, customer ratings, reviews and pricing. Now that’s rich!
The above description is an ordinary and a simple one with no set of additional information.
All this changed with the onset of Rich Snippets and the Structured Data. When it comes to an apt and user-friendly search result, Google seems to have served richer in SERP arena since 2009. This is exactly where Rich Snippets come into the picture.
To markup the content by using structured data, you are helping the machines to understand better what is it that you are looking for and the exact information can be displayed in the search results. Structured data refers to the extra piece of information you notice next to the website and the Meta description. In other words there is addition of structured data to the HTML markup of the page directly and this structured data is used by search engine for the generation of Rich Snippets. Let’s say, you are searching for a particular restaurant, not only will you see the restaurant’s name but also its operating hours, its public reviews in terms of ratings and so on.
Google or for that matter any other search engines have a hard time in deciphering the content on the web page. With the help of structured data, the search engines not only crawl on your web site but also make it a point to understand it. The moment you start using the structured data markup on your site, it will not automatically convert the major search engine to display richer results. Your markup will be first analyzed and assessed by Google in order to display richer results.
Google Responds to the Structured Data Markup in the Following Manner:
- When a new markup is introduced on a website, Google will start by taking 10-14 days to analyze the new markup.
- After the analysis, if Google feels everything seems alright then it will show Rich Snippets for some pages and not all but they will disappear after 5 days approximately.
- After several days, some of the Rich Snippets will reappear either for the same set of pages or for the set of new ones. This shall repeat for numerous times.
- Roughly after 8 weeks, you will be allocated Rich Snippets which are semi-permanent throughout your entire set with an assumption that Google’s analysis and an assessment on a repeated basis did discover errors.
Rich Snippets Gaining Popularity in today’s Scenario
The rich snippets are becoming more common these days due to the manner search algorithms and the user interface of SERPs are updated by Google on a continuous basis.
The conception of rich snippets aligns with the evolution of Google since its beginning. Google strives to provide the users with information that is of relevance.
Google always make it a point to feature you in SERPs, in the most vital yet enticing manner that too visually and not in terms of plain and simple texts. Isn’t this exactly what you want, too?
Application of SEO Services to Rich Snippets: What to Expect
Rich Snippets definitely stand out from the other snippets. They will appear likeable and will instantly grab all your attention in order to help you to know more with just a mere glance. Rich Snippets have a high click-through rate.
The chances of getting traffic are more from that search result with the increase in the click-through rate of a snippet. This happens not because your position has changed in the search engine but because there will be more people to click on your result.
Rich Snippets will definitely affect your rankings in the future. As more and more people will click on your result, Google will notice that your page is preferred by people over the other ones. Thereby, making you “rich” in terms of rankings in the long run.
There are no direct benefits of SEO as offered by best SEO services to rich snippets, however, there are indirect benefits such as:
- There is easy indexation in search engines as Rich Snippets lay full emphasis on the structured data preferred by Google.
- The visual representation of the information is strong which would thus make your result stand out from the usual listings.
- The information is relevant to the users as more contexts in terms of information is provided.
The above-mentioned qualities equate to a higher click-through rate along with which the bounce rates are lower.
Rich Snippets Impact Click-Through Rates in a Rational Manner:
- Rich Snippets aim to provide more information.
- The listings which support images and colors are rewarded by user click behavior.
- Reviews definitely matter and when the reviews are positive through Rich Snippets then they captivate us to the products and services.
Turn a Generic Snippet into a Rich Snippet
We can turn a generic snippet into a rich one by using “schema”.
Schema.org is the most popular tool that helps in marking your web pages with microdata that will hint the search engines regarding what these pages are all about and what they aim to accomplish. The schema markup will vary and it will depend on the purpose of the page you want to optimize. The property ranges of the HTML can be influenced within schema to represent what your page is into and how you want it to be served as a Rich Snippet.
When Snippets don’t Show Up
Google conducts thousands of search quality tests every year and there is a high chance that your pages could possibly be included in a variety of experiments that would remove a Rich Snippet at irregular intervals or wholly.
Now that’s quite a difficult scenario, we know that. But for this matter, as long as you are using Google’s testing tools, your content is categorized properly and if you are optimizing for the on page quality then you are on the right path and there is no need to worry.
How to Add Rich Snippets to Your Content?
Using Rich Snippets play a very positive impact on search engine visibility, click through rates and user experience. If an organization is looking for improved client performance then Rich Snippets should be integrated into the work of search engine optimization and web development.
Adding Rich Snippets lead to more than content identification because when a search engine comes across a page without the structured data, it may not focus on the content you may wish it to focus on. As a result your page may not rank well among the search terms you wish.
By adding Rich Snippets you are indicating to the search engines what you want them to focus on. The search results with markup content have a higher click through rates.
With the help of markup we have given search engines very clear and specific information about the content. Let us look at the examples of adding Rich Snippets to your content:
Adding a Rich Snippet of an Event
- Go to the optimize menu and click on “Create Rich Snippets”
- Now select the events
- Enter the Event URL to the information of your event. Make sure you include the “http :// portion of the URL”
- Enter the name of the Event
- Enter the start date of the Event
- Enter the starting time of the Event
- Name of the city of the Event is entered
- Enter the State of the Event from the list
- Now enter the “Generate Snippet Code”
- HTML code needs to be selected and then copy it
- HTML code is pasted in your website where you want to display the event.
OPTIONAL – If you wish to email the Rich Snippet to the webmaster, then go to the email code section where the email address is typed along with the message and then send it.
Adding a Rich Snippet of a Local Business
- Go to the optimize menu and click on “Create Rich Snippets”
- Make sure you enter your business information in the text field box and then click on “Generate Snippet Code”
- Select the code which is for HTML and copy it
- Now paste the HTML code into your website where you want to display the address
- OPTIONAL – If you wish to email the Rich Snippet to the webmaster, go to email code section, type the email address along with the message and then send.
Now that you got a fair idea about what Rich Snippets mean, let’s discuss the various types of Rich Snippets prevalent.
The above rich snippet displays a lot of additional information such as the biography of the guitarist, the profession he chose and the mention of his songs.
The above shows the information related to the consumer goods as per the name of the product. There are ratings coupled with numerous reviews making it a perfect Rich Snippet.
This kind of reporting review by the customer is essential for online shoppers who want to make a thorough research before they buy a product online.
This type of rich snippet includes the name of the product which is reviewed, its image and the ratings assigned to the product.
Whenever it comes to making something, the first thing you would want to know is the time of preparation, the calories count involved and how is the response in terms of ratings of the food item after it is made. Also, a small photo included with the description serves more than a generic snippet. Such brief overview makes it a perfect Rich Snippet.
Events and Occasions
This rich snippet displays the information related to the upcoming events as per the image shown above.
Whenever you search for a place online whether it’s a company or a restaurant, you would want to know the location, the operating hours, the ratings assigned, images and the specialties of the place you searched along with the information of use. Such an additional set of information would definitely make the snippet look rich!
The aforementioned example portrays the ratings, the reviews by customers and the title of the song making it a Rich Snippet.
When you consider the software Rich Snippet, the information and the functionalities are more or less the same as that of the products we use.
The thumbnail preview along with the date on which it was uploaded is shown by this kind of Rich Snippet along with the name of the one who uploaded it and the description attached to it. This would be the exact piece of information you would find when making a video search on YouTube.
An End Note:
Therefore, no matter how different the above mentioned Rich Snippets are in their applications, they still share the same purpose of giving the users what they are exactly looking for by the content which is of prime importance directly on SERPs.
The click-through rate and SERP differentiation are impacted by Rich Snippets in the first place. Ten Rich Snippets can be featured by Google if it wills. If you wish to get your result to appear on top of a competitor’s result (knowingly for the fact that both of you have Rich Snippets) then you need to head back to the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and not resort to the additional tricks or hacks to make your snippet appear richer.
Best SEO services in India which are result oriented SEO services ensure that you use the structured data markup and just install the Schema WP plugin, it’s then when your pages will become eligible for being displayed as Rich Snippets.