Rich Snippets – improved ranking with more data
This blog post covers the topic of Rich Snippets. Find out what Rich Snippets are, how to create them and how to use them to improve your ranking. We will also introduce Rich Cards, which are closely related.
The mysterious Rich Snippet
Okay, a Rich Snippet is not as mysterious as all that. Rich Snippets are just snippets that have been enhanced with additional information.
What distinguishes it from standard snippets
Google search results often only show an excerpt of the Internet page. This excerpt does not necessarily reveal what the website is about. A Rich Snippet enhances this excerpt with additional information. In doing so, the person who is searching can detect whether the Internet page really contains the information they need.
In this example, Google was asked to provide ratings for the Rega Planar 1 record player. The first result has the Rich Snippet “Rating”. It immediately shows the corresponding rating and who gave it. Since the user is searching for a “rating”, this Internet page has exactly what the user wants. The second hit only shows a standard snippet. The person searching does not know whether it will be followed by a rating, or whether it will only be a standard descriptive test text. In contrast, the third hit has a Rich Snippet with a rating.
(Image: Screenshot Google)
Types of Rich Snippets
Google can interpret the following Rich Snippets:
- Companies and organizations
Appearance of Rich Snippets in the Google result list
Rich Snippets are generally plain text. However, they can be also complemented by an image or even a video preview shot. Short lists are also possible. Optical elements make the search results more attractive and invite the searcher to click on that result.
Will you lose visitors because of Rich Snippets?
„Since the Rich Snippet already displays what is being searched for,
the searcher does not have to click on the website anymore.“
This is a line of reasoning that some website operators follow. However, hardly all of the relevant information needed by the searcher fits into a Rich Snippet. Furthermore, because of Rich Snippet, you can be sure that visitors to your website really want to be there. Someone who is only checking to see whether he can find suitable information on your website will soon click away if he does not find anything. This might increase your traffic in the short term, but Google will notice it. Because if visitors often only spend a short time on your page, the search engine will degrade the page in the ranking because of irrelevance.
How to create Rich Snippets for your Internet page
A markup language in the source text of the relevant page creates Rich Snippets. The visitor of your Internet page cannot see it; the search engine detects it and inserts the information into your list of results.
There are three types of markup language for Rich Snippets: Microdata, RDFa and JSON-LD.
Microdata and RDFa add attributes to the HTML source text. This is what it looks like for a Rich Snippet “person”:
The search engine recognizes these elements and builds the snippet from them. Google also offers a tool to test and integrate the snippets code, see https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/testing-tools-links.
Simple Rich Snippets for static Internet pages
Go to the Internet page “//tools.seochat.com/category/schema-generators”. There you can easily create snippets for e.g.:
You simply have to complete the form at the top of the page and the code that must be integrated in the HTML-code of your Internet page will appear. This is particularly good when you have a static page, which hardly changes, for instance an Internet business card.
Rich Snippets on dynamic Internet pages
If you use a Content Management System (WordPress, Drupal, Typo3 etc.), writing directly into the HMTL code of the page is often not feasible. You will need the plugins that will do it for you.
For WordPress, the plugin “All in One schema.org Rich Snippets” is the easiest way to automatically create well-designed snippets. Tom Dupuis has put together an easily understandable tutorial regarding the use of the plugins. During the first minute of the tutorial, Tom introduces Rich Snippets in general; he then proceeds to the installation and use of the plugin.
If you have created your Internet page with Drupal 7, then you can use the “Schema.org” module. It works together with the modules Address field, Fivestar and Date.
“Good Relations Markup” is used for Drupal Commerce products. It supports the following fields: Title, price, currency (fivetstar / voting API).
Without modules and plugins
You can also fall back on the SEOprofiler if you haven’t been able to find a suitable module for your CMS or if you do not want to slow down your site with additional plugins. The SEOprofiler is an SEO tool. Its basic version is free of charge and offers a very simple way of creating Rich Snippets for:
- Local stores
The tool “SEOprofiler creates a markup in JSON format. This is the format that Google recommends. The great thing about it is: You can add it everywhere into the source code of your Internet page.
How can you create a Rich Snippet in JSON format?
- Simply register free of charge at SEOprofiler.
- Go to “Tools & Functions” and select “Page optimization”.
- Call up the item “Rich Snippet generator”.
- Select what type of Rich Snippet you want to create.
- Fill in the information in the form field.
- Copy the code generated by the SEOProfiler.
- Switch your CMS to HTML view and add the code wherever needed.
Rich Cards are the further development of Rich Snippets
In 2016, in the United States, mobile searches also revealed Rich Cards in addition to Rich Snippets. Rich Cards are a larger and more detailed version of Rich Snippets. As a rule, one sees an image with extensive information beneath it.
The search for a recipe for oatmeal rolls leads to a Rich Card, which shows almost the entire recipe.
(Source: Screenshot Google)
Google independently decides which Rich Snippet becomes a Rich Card. With regard to this aspect is therefore important to scrutinize the markup of Rich Snippets on one’s own website. This ensures that you can be at the forefront in the increasingly important mobile search.