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December 29, 2017

What Are Rich Snippets & Why Are They Important?

Understanding what a rich snippet is can be a little more complicated than you may think. Maybe you’re well versed in the world of SEO, or maybe you’ve never heard of the term before – either way, rich snippets are important. Understanding their importance in SEO can prove to be very important for all levels of SEO’s, experts and newbies alike, so to give you a helping hand, we’re breaking down what rich snippets actually are, and why they are so important.

So, What Are Rich Snippets?

To put it into simple terms, a snippet is what Google will show the user in search results, and a normal snippet will compromise of:

  • Page Title
  • URL
  • Upload date if the search result is a blog or article
  • Meta Description

For example:

NEXTScreenshot

 

 

 

VOGUEScreenshot

 

 

 

A rich snippet, on the other hand, shows additional information between the URL and the description. This is also known as Schema data, and can include numerous aspects depending on the purpose of the post – for example you may want reviews to be shown, breadcrumbs to direct users to other parts of your site etc.

ALLRECIPIESScreenshot

 

 

 

 

As you can see in the image above, a picture is added to the search result, as well as the review rating and how long the recipe takes to create. A rich snippet simply contains much more information than what a regular snippet contains, and this can be extremely useful for SEO purposes.

How Do Rich Snippets Impact SEO?

As mentioned above, a rich snippet looks much nicer and contains much more information than what a standard snippet contains. Any visitors looking for your specific product or service will be able to know that they are going to find what they’re looking for on your site, as your snippet will provide them with all of the information that they need to know before they make that decision. Generally, rich snippets have a much higher click through rate, and if the click through rate of your snippet increases, the amount of traffic generated will be higher.

This won’t necessarily be as a result of your rich snippet impacting your position (you’re not guaranteed a top position just for having a rich snippet), but simply because people are preferring to click on your result due to the aesthetic and informative nature of it. As a result, in the long run, Google will begin to notice that more people are preferring to click on your result, which will ultimately impact your search rankings in the long run.

How Do You Get Rich Snippets?

Obtaining a rich snippet is simple. All you have to do is add what’s known as structured data to your site, which is a piece of code that is written in a specific way. Search engines will read the code that has been inputted into your site, in a specific format, and this will then ultimately generate rich snippets.

There are three main mark-up specifications that are generally recognised by major search engines, and these include:

  • Microdata
  • Microformats
  • RDFa

Microdata is generally the most widely supported, as a result of Schema.org.

Once you have entered this code, and it is correct, then Google will begin to show the data after a certain period of time. There are a number of different benefits when it comes to adding microdata to your site and having this shows up in search results:

  • Your site will become eye-catching and draw users to your site as opposed to your competitors
  • Potential CTR increase
  • Offering results that are closer to user specification and are higher in ‘quality’

Things To Remember When Adding Rich Snippets

There are a number of things that you should ensure you remember when adding rich snippets to your site. Firstly, Google will only start analysing the new mark up data around 10-14 days after it is implemented. However, while Google will start to show these rich snippets on some of the pages they have been implemented on, if all the coding is correct, they will disappear within around 5 days.

They will then reappear and disappear repeatedly a number of times over consecutive weeks. After around 8 weeks however, semi-permanent Rich Snippets will be produced for your site. According to Rich Benci, who initially observed this pattern, it is best to leave your initial coding for your rich snippets for approximately 2 months prior to making any modifications in order to ensure this particular cycle is not delayed.

Rich snippets and their implementation is still somewhat in its infancy, with a large number of businesses not having implemented them yet. However, if you are one of the first out of your competitors to implement this, you may find that your business will begin to thrive in search results.

And…..just to finish off,  within the Google Maccabees update which occurred earlier this month, Schema data appears to be playing a key part of Google’s plans for the future. By investing into Schema, through key features like rich snippets is only going to help increase your overall site visibility.

If you’re looking to implement rich snippets for your site, then get in touch with a member of our expert team on 01245 287 864 to discuss your options, today.

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Author:

Steve Plummer

Steve’s role at Absolute Digital Media sees him tackling a multitude of tasks on a daily basis. Whether it’s managing the SEO strategies for our clients, liaising with them on a regular basis to keep them informed on how their campaign is progressing or making sure our in-house teams are delivering to our clients’ expectations, he plays a big role in making sure everything runs smoothly.

Having worked in marketing for 8 years and within SEO for 3 years, as well as being qualified in the Google Analytics IQ self-study assessment, Steve brings a lot of valuable experience to the role.

When he isn’t actively researching new SEO methods and keeping abreast of the industry as a whole, Steve regularly attend the gym and is a keen supporter of his local football team, Southend United.


Email s.plummer@absolutedigitalmedia.com

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