What are rich snippets?

What is a rich snippet?

A snippet is a result Google shows to the user in the search results. To give you an example: I was searching for a good recipe for homemade ice cream and googled it. After that, Google showed me a results list with normal snippets and rich snippets — or rich results as they are now called. To give you an idea of the difference, a normal snippet usually looks like this:

Google rich snippets
A simple, run of the mill snippet in Google

As you can see, Google shows the title in blue, the URL in black and a description of what the page is about. This is what we call the snippet, the thing Yoast SEO helps you optimize with our Google/snippet preview.

A rich result or snippet shows lots of extra information between the URL and the description. It can look like this:

Google snippet preview
A recipe rich result for the same query as the one above

In this snippet, a picture of the ice cream is added, you can see the rating of the recipe, the time it takes to prepare this type of ice cream and the number of calories it contains. So it contains much more information than the normal snippet does. And that’s why we call it a rich snippet.

There are lots and lots of different types of rich results, depending on your site and the content you’re providing. Some topics, like recipes, also come with other types of rich results like the carousel:

Rich snippets are enhanced search results that display additional information beyond the standard title, URL, and description.
A recipe carousel on desktop — you’ll see these even more often on mobile

Why are rich results important for SEO?

Now that you’ve got an idea of what rich snippets are, let’s discuss why you should have them. Rich results or snippets stand out from the other snippets in the search results. They look much nicer and users will instantly get more information, just by looking at them. This is great for the visibility of your site, but it can also increase your click-through rate. Take it from Rich, he knows all about it!

Hi, my name is Snippet. Rich Snippet. Rich snippets are snippets that have a higher click-through rate. People just prefer to click on the results that give them more information.

If the click-through rate of a snippet increases, you’ll get more traffic from that search result. Not because your position in the search engine changed, but just because more people click on your result. They just stand out, like me!

But that’s not all. In the long run, rich snippets will affect your ranking as well. As more people click on your result, Google will notice that people prefer your page above other ones. Which tells Google that your page is a good result for that specific search and that will definitely improve your rankings in the long run!

So, be awesome like Rich Snippet in his snazzy suit and work on your rich results!

How do you get rich snippets?

Rich snippets are enhanced search results that display additional information beyond the standard title, URL, and description. They can include star ratings, product prices, event dates, images, and more. Rich snippets are generated using structured data, a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying its content.

Here’s how to achieve rich snippets for your website:

  1. Understand Structured Data:
    • Structured data is code written in a specific format, so that search engines can understand the content on your page and represent it in richer ways.
    • Google recommends using JSON-LD for structured data. Other formats include Microdata and RDFa.
  2. Choose the Right Schema Markup:
    • The most popular vocabulary for structured data is Schema.org. Determine which types of schema markup are relevant to your website’s content. For instance, if you’re reviewing products, you’ll use the “Review” schema.
    • Examples include: Product, Recipe, Event, Person, Organization, and many more.
  3. Implement the Markup:
    • For manual implementation, add the necessary JSON-LD, Microdata, or RDFa directly to your web page’s code.
    • Use plugins or modules if you’re using a CMS. For example, WordPress users can take advantage of plugins like “All in One Schema Rich Snippets” or “Schema Pro” to simplify the process.
    • For e-commerce platforms, many have built-in features or apps/extensions that can assist with structured data.
  4. Test Your Implementation:
    • Use Google’s Rich Results Test tool to verify your structured data. This tool will notify you if there are any errors or issues with your markup.
    • Google’s Search Console also has a section called “Enhancements” which, once your site is indexed, will show if your structured data is being recognized and if there are any issues.
  5. Monitor Search Console:
    • After implementing structured data, regularly check the “Enhancements” section in Google Search Console. This will provide insights into how your structured data is performing and notify you of any detected issues.
  6. Stay Updated:
    • Search engines can update their guidelines or add support for new types of structured data. Regularly review updates from major search engines, especially Google, to ensure that your structured data is compliant and optimized.
  7. Be Patient:
    • Implementing structured data doesn’t guarantee that rich snippets will display for your website immediately. Google and other search engines decide whether to display rich snippets based on various factors, including the accuracy and appropriateness of your structured data, as well as the perceived relevance and quality of your site. It’s essential to be patient and ensure that your overall SEO strategy is sound.

By following these steps and ensuring your website provides high-quality and relevant content, you increase the chances of achieving rich snippets in search results. They not only make your search results more attractive but can also lead to higher click-through rates.

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