Rich Snippets: What Are They? Why Should You Use Them?

So you want to improve your visibility in the search engines. You've got a well-optimized site, so what else can you do to draw attention to your search result? Rich snippets may be the answer.

Introduced in 2009 by Google, rich snippets provide a way for website owners to share extra information such as ratings and review information directly in the search result listing. Surprisingly, however, many companies who are eligible to use rich snippets (because they have ratings or review data on their Web pages) are not currently using this capability.

Useful for Organic Search Results with Google

I always like to say that the more you can control in your organic search result the better. The organic search listing has to be compelling for the searcher to click, and rich snippets are just another way to draw attention to your listing over the other nine or more organic selections on the page. And given that so many websites still have not implemented rich snippets, there is still ample opportunity to help your listing be differentiated from the sea of ten through an added rich snippet.




To decide if rich snippets are appropriate for your website (or various pages within the site), first determine if you have the following types of information which can be shared via a rich snippet:

·     Reviews (such as third-party reviews)

·     People (add information, like location and title to a bio page)

·     Products (include price and inventory information)

·     Organization (information like address and phone number)

·     Recipes (review data and cooking time)

·     Events (list upcoming events, dates and links to them)

How to Implement Rich Snippets

Implementation of rich snippets is fairly straightforward. Google provides a guide on how to do it in Webmaster Central. Depending on the type of rich snippet you're adding to your Web page, you'll need to follow the specific code for that snippet type. Just add that information to the page as Google instructs.

To test if your rich snippets are implemented correctly, Google has provided a testing tool that previews the rich snippet. If the snippet is implemented incorrectly, the tool will also help you troubleshoot the problem area.

But, Do They Improve CTR?

There are many claims out there that indicate that rich snippets improve organic click-through rates. But is that really true?

Unfortunately, I don't have an answer to that yet! But I'm in the midst of a test for organic results to measure the effect of rich snippets on each. Look for more test results in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if any of you have quantitative data to share about your experience with rich snippets, I'd love to hear about it!

1 comment about "Rich Snippets: What Are They? Why Should You Use Them?".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Charl Hoffman from OnDigital, May 4, 2011 at 3:36 a.m.

    Great article guys, just wish more people would be creative with such simple things. My one client has 47 reviews and it looks great! real deal closer for them!

Next story loading loading..