Why You Should Stop Ignoring Rich Snippets

If I told you that we could influence the way your search engine listing appeared to help it stand out from the crowd with pictures and reviews would you take us up on our offer? I’m not just talking about getting ranked for a keyword, but making your ranking appear as the authority on that keyword while leaving the other search listings cowering under your superior look. The practice is called rich snippets and boy, are they rich. The best part is major search engines like Google and Bing encourage you to make the upgrade, so why haven’t you? Stop ignoring rich snippets.

What is a rich snippet?

A snippet is the few lines of text that appears beside a search result and is designed to give those searching for you a sense of what they can expect on the page. This allows the searcher to see why it is relevant to what they are searching for before they ever take the leap and click through to your website.

It works like this, if Google can understand what the content on your pages is concerning they can create rich snippets, or detailed information to help searchers with specific queries.

Example: If you are searching Google for a place to get a pizza, the results that show will be restaurants who have properly optimized their content to your location. A rich snippet optimized listing will not only appear in the results but it will also give you the average review for the restaurant, price ranges and maybe a picture of their pizza with a recipe. Which restaurant will catch your attention more? 

Rich Snippets

How do I add Rich Snippets to my Website?

1. First, you need to pick a markup format to use. There are 3 different types to choose from and to help you narrow your selection, figure out who is the biggest search engine out there (Google) and use the markup format they recommend (Microdata).

2. Figure out what format of markup would work best for your listing. Note: You can only have one per page. Warning, there will be some minor HTML code ahead.

Google supports rich snippets for these content types:

The following HTML code contains a review of L’Amourita Pizza.

L’Amourita Pizza
Reviewed by Ulysses Grant on Jan 6.
Delicious, tasty pizza on Eastlake!
L'Amourita serves up traditional wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza, 
brought to your table promptly and without fuss. An ideal neighborhood pizza joint.
Rating: 4.5

Here is the same HTML code marked up with microdata:

  <div itemscope itemtype="https://data-vocabulary.org/Review">
    <span itemprop="itemreviewed">L’Amourita Pizza</span>
    Reviewed by <span itemprop="reviewer">Ulysses Grant</span> on
    <time itemprop="dtreviewed" datetime="2009-01-06">Jan 6</time>.
    <span itemprop="summary">Delicious, tasty pizza in Eastlake!</span>
    <span itemprop="description">L'Amourita serves up traditional wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza, 
      brought to your table promptly and without fuss. An ideal neighborhood pizza joint.</span>
    Rating: <span itemprop="rating">4.5</span>

Here’s how this sample works:

  • On the first line, <itemscope itemtype="https://data-vocabulary.org/Review"> indicates that the HTML enclosed in the <div> represents a review. itemscope indicates that the content of the <div> describes an item, and itemtype="https://data-vocabulary.org/Review" indicates that the item is a review.
  • The sample describes properties of the review, such as the subject of the review, the reviewer, and the date reviewed. To label review properties, each element containing one of these properties (such as <div> or <span>) is assigned an itemprop attribute indicating a property. For example, <span itemprop="reviewer">.

3. Test your listing after adding the appropriate code by heading to Google’s structured data testing tool. And that, as they say my friends, is that. Once you have added the appropriate code, tested the code with the rich snippets testing tool, Google will crawl your page and pick up on the new formatting.

  • It may take some time for rich snippets to appear in search results or Place Pages.
  • If rich snippets aren’t appearing for your site, see possible reasons why.
  • Marking up your data for rich snippets won’t affect your page’s ranking in search results, and Google doesn’t guarantee to use your markup.
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