Which popular websites use rich snippets

Rich Snippets: What They Are And How To Get Them

Would you like your website to look like this in search results?

Instead of like that?

In this guide you will learn:

Rich snippets are more visually appealing results with additional valuable information displayed alongside the title, description, and URL. The additional information comes from structured data on the page.

Evaluation and FAQ extensions in the SERPs.

When do rich snippets appear?

Rich snippets can only appear for certain types of information and they can be further limited by a device type. For example, “How-To” snippets can only be viewed on mobile devices:

What is the difference between Rich Snippets and Rich Results?

You may have stumbled across the term "Rich Results", which is often used analogously to "Rich Snippets".

SERPs are pretty complex these days. Just look at the poll results when I asked what people think like that is called:

Vote here:

- Michal Pecanek (@michalpecanek) March 31, 2020

There is definitely no consensus on that.

The “SERP thing” in the picture above is officially called Interactive Rich Result ...

... or is it an "enriched search result?"

Google's lack of consistent terminology certainly doesn't help here.

Here is our take on the terminology:

  • Rich snippets: Traditional search results with additional information displayed alongside the title, descriptive snippet and URL.
  • Rich Results: Any kind of visually-enhanced results with information drawn from relevant structured data. Rich snippets are a type of rich result.
  • SERP features. Anything that is not a traditional “blue link” search result. Featured snippets, PPC ads, twitter boxes, and knowledge panels are all different types of SERP features.

How Rich Snippets Improve SEO

Ranking well on search engines is great, but what ultimately gets people to click on the page is the content of the snippet. Rich snippets help make your website look more appealing in search results.

The first snippet is arguably the most stimulating as it uses the schema markup to its fullest potential. It builds trust and encourages people to click through the ratings and the price.

You can use these attributes such as prices, number of ratings or cooking times for recipes as another competitive layer in the SERPs. They give you more space to stimulate clicks with information that is relevant. For example, I can imagine that more people click on a product result that ranks second but is cheaper than the first.

Anyway, let's be clear about this:

While visually appealing snippets can lead to more clicks, rich snippets are not a ranking factor.

How to Get Rich Snippets

Rich snippets are formed on the basis of structured data that are available for certain types of content. The data is organized in a way that makes it easy for Google to understand and use it for the SERPs and other purposes.

So instead of having Google extract the following as key information ...

It will take 20 minutes to make the pancakes. Better yet, they're low-calorie pancakes — around 80 per meal.

... have it available in a structured format that shows the following:

Cooking time: 20 minutes Calories: 80

You can see how the second example is easier to read for machines like Google.

Well, when we talk about structured data in SEO, we usually mean the schema.org vocabulary, which is used to mark up your content. Google can then decide to use this markup to enrich your search results.

So how do you implement this markup and what types of content can you use for this?

Here's how to get the most out of Rich Snippets in 4 steps.

1. Check which rich snippets are right for you

First of all, it should be said that standard search results or their snippets can already give a good overview of the content. For example, with most of our articles, there isn't much that could add value to users.

For example, what else would you need besides the title, description and URL for a blog article like this one?

The process of getting rich snippets is very well documented by Google. This includes the types of content that are valid for search result extensions.

Here is the list of the most common use cases for rich snippets markup:

There are so many more options than this, but they refer to fairly specific categories of websites, like recipes, that you saw in the beginning. The rest are:

  • News, media, and entertainment
  • Books
  • education
  • Events
  • Records
  • Job-related content

If a category seems relevant to you, go to the official documentation, check the possible extensions and features for your content type and decide whether it is worth implementing.

For the rest of us, let's take the FAQ markup as an example and go through the implementation process, which can result in something like this:

Implementing FAQ rich snippets is a pretty modern SEO tactic to take up more space in the SERPs. Even if it is listed under the product type, it can be used for any page that has an FAQ section.

2. Implement structured data

It's easy to create and roll out the markup, no matter how your website is set up.

Let's start by introducing the easiest way to roll the code into the email area of ​​your website.

You will want to use one of the many schema markup generators for this. I took this one and chose the FAQ page markup creation:

<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Ist es schwierig so ein Markup zu implementieren?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Nein, keineswegs. Es gibt eine Menge Plugins und Markup-Generatoren." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Ziehen SEOs Vorteile aus dem FAQ-Markup?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Ja, es ist eine recht beliebte Taktik. Während es eine Menge Mehrwerte in den SERPs liefern kann, tendieren SEOs dazu, es zu häufig zu nutzen und gegen Googles Richtlinien zu verstoßen." } }] } </script>

You can also use the Google Tag Manager to publish this code.

Just remember to only add a scheme for content that is actually visible to the user and follow Google’s guidelines for the selected scheme type.

For example, you shouldn't use FAQ markup for promotional purposes and it must have been written by the site itself.

But what if you are using a CMS where it is difficult to publish custom code?

If you use WordPress then everything is well covered with plugins. Structured data is supported in SEO plugins with multiple purposes such as Yoast or Rank Math, or there are even plugins that are made purely for the implementation of schema.

Yoast is well suited for the standard implementations like FAQ and How To schema, but you will need a plugin with more specialization when it comes to the wider range of schema types. After going through the free versions of the most popular plugins, what I liked most was Rank Math's user experience and markup options.

Let's stick with Yoast and our FAQ example, because here the process is very simple (and actually identical to Rank Math). You choose an FAQ block when you create a page ...

... and fill in the questions and answers:

Delivery processes depend on the plugin and the schema type, there are no magic shortcuts or complete instructions for it. Just go through the documentation of the plugin of your choice and see how it works with your chosen schema type.

3. Validate the markup

The use of markup generators and plugins makes the publishing process almost error-free. However, it is recommended to run the results through Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool. This will immediately show you whether your code or page is ready for rich results.

“Ready” is to be understood literally, as rich snippets or their display cannot be guaranteed.

You can also enter a URL if the markup is already in production. This is useful for sampling but useless for page-by-page monitoring.

4. Monitor excellent pages for performance and errors

Google isn't even holding back here. You can find everything you need to do this in the Google Search Console.

You can filter your performance reports by type of rich result:

And all the available markup types that Google discovered on your page:

Clicking on a rich snippet extension will take you to a report showing valid, invalid, and URLs with warnings.

If you've already validated the markup, you shouldn't have any problems. The great thing is that you don't have to put anything on. It will appear in the GSC as soon as you publish the rich results markup and Google has captured it by crawling the pages.

Final thoughts

Getting more attention and clicks with rich snippets is great, but don't forget that the structured data behind it is part of something much bigger.

Google uses structured data to help create the knowledge graph. That's what helps Google deliver more relevant search results and it feeds other types of SERP features like knowledge panels.

Understanding how the Knowledge Graph works and how to use it to your advantage is an important SEO skill for now and for years to come.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me on Twitter.

Translated by: Sebastian Simon. Sebastian Simon has been dealing with SEO since 2009, currently at seven-bytes.de and heine.de.