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Rich Snippets


What is a Rich Snippet?

Rich snippets, otherwise referred to as rich results, vary from normal search engine results in a variety of different ways. Depending on the subject and content within the listing itself, these results are likely to show almost double the amount of information than a typical result, hence the name “rich” snippet. This type of search engine result is primarily for the user in that it provides much more information than a normal snippet plus average reviews, photos, or even ingredient lists. As an example, I googled “best brownie recipe” and these were the first three results:

Rich Snippets Example

Why are Rich Snippets Important for SEO?

Most importantly, rich snippets stand out in search engine results. This simple fact can lead to more clicks and a higher click through rate resulting in more valuable traffic to your site. Aesthetically, rich snippet results are pleasing to the eye and the user will instantly know more on the topic just by reading from the search engine results page. In the long run, having rich snippets appear within result pages could positively affect your rankings as Google begins to notice that people are clicking to your website more often than others.  

How to Optimize Rich Snippets for SEO

Rich snippets have historically been a mystery in the world of SEO. In the past, we knew that through the careful and methodical implementation of structured data, or code written in a such a way that search engines can understand, you may have a shot at producing a rich snippet in search engine results. Yet, even with the implementation of flawless structured data, you’re not guaranteed to produce any rich snippets. With Google Search Console rolling out a testing tool to determine whether a page from your site is eligible to become a rich snippet, we’re now able to take some of the guessing work out of attempting to produce these results and can now strategically choose which pages to add structured data to. Search Console is also starting to allow users to track which pages are being shown in search results as rich snippets through performance tracking with “search engine appearance” as a filter (see below example).

Rich Snippets Search Console

With Google’s introduction of these new testing and reporting capabilities through Search Console, we’re now able to strategically decide which pages would provide the most value as a rich snippet, track the clicks and impressions within search engine result pages, and provide information to us in terms of which structured data is truly working to produce rich snippets. Although Google has yet to provide a definitive guide to building the best structured data for your site, these new capabilities within Search Console are very valuable to any SEO campaign and should be added to your arsenal of reporting metrics.

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