Google Rich Snippets and their Influence on Your Ranking
Google Rich Snippets feature was launched by Google back in 2009. The feature allows businesses to add a sneak-peek preview result. By adding relevant information to a search listing, Google can help web searchers find the exact product, service, or information they are seeking over the Internet.
Rich Snippets allow adding extra information, including:
- Customer Reviews
- Event information
- Navigation breadcrumbs
- Product information
To become eligible for getting web pages displayed as rich snippets in SERPs, webmasters markup one or several web pages using schema.org vocabulary. However, Google doesn’t ensure that your rich snippets will appear on result pages or not. Nonetheless, adding structured data markup in web pages allows search engines to easily crawl, display, and parse page content, thus affecting the overall SEO of a business indirectly.
Google Rich Snippets Don’t (Directly) Affect your Rankings
Though Google rich snippets don’t directly affect your rankings, the underlying use of markup might. Moreover, the structured data markup can generate indirect SEO benefits by virtue of making your content easily indexable and delivering accurate and precise metadata to search engines.
CTR (Click Through Rate), bounce rate, time on site, etc. affects search engine rankings; therefore, the more targeted traffic you get, the better it is. Higher user engagement with a webpage leads to higher rankings and more traffic. So attracting the right audience is important. The role of Google rich snippets is essential, as they help in attracting pre-qualifying visitors.
With rich snippets by your side, you can offer social proof like reviews to prospective users about the quality and services offered by your organization. Top websites and online businesses leverage featured snippets in search to better serve users and gain indirect SEO benefits simultaneously.
Free Tools by Google to Help you with Managing Structured Data for Google Rich Snippets
Like other skills, if marking up structured data doesn’t belong to your core skill set then chances of doing it impeccably slips down. Therefore, it’s important to add some dedicated professional or team to do the task when you aren’t able to do it on your own. Nonetheless, Google promotes the right use of rich snippets and structured markup content by offering comprehensive tools for testing structured data. You can find some of them in our post with free search engine marketing tools, and find out more information below.
With these tools, you are able to accomplish a lot of tasks related to structured data, ranging from viewing individual webpage’s structured data markup from a single place to testing the same for efficiency. Here are the three premium Google tools available for free:
1. Structured Data Report
You can access structured data reporting tool from Google via the Google Search Console. It helps in identifying the structured data present on your website. In addition to identifying structured data, the tool also provides assistance to developers by displaying a number of errors and insights and details on fixing them as well. On top of all, you can use Structured Data Report tool to verify the correctness of the updated markup.
2. Data Highlighter
The Data Highlighter tool from Google allows you to tag data fields by highlighting them. Doing so helps Google in understanding structured data present on the web resource. The better Google knows about your business, the better it will be able to present that data to relevant users in SERPs via the rich snippets.
3. Structured Data Testing Tool
Another free tool offered by Google is the Structured Data Testing Tool. It assists webmasters in developing and modifying, as well as testing the structured markup. It offers the flexibility in modifying the structured markup code as per the requirements. There are two functions available for testing structured markup data using the Structured Data Testing Tool, FETCH URL and CODE SNIPPET.
Even after seven years of existence, there are still many misconceptions about Google rich snippets. Several webmasters misbelieve that rich cards are an updated version of rich snippets. In actual, they both serve the same intent but in completely different ways. Here’s a brief about the issue:
Rich Cards are Not Google Rich Snippets
Often businesses confuse Google rich cards as the next step to Google Rich Snippets; however, this is not so. Both Google snippets and rich cards are distinct parts of the same search engine optimization system. Despite having the common purpose of producing enhanced SERPs displays with the use of structured data markup, roles and functions of both features vary from each other.
Unlike featured snippets, rich cards are designed to enhance mobile user search experience. Moreover, rich snippets are displayed along with traditional search results. Rich cards allow for a small group of content that can be displayed. On the other hand, rich snippets support a wide range of content that can be added to make the offerings more convincing or rich literally. Even if you’re not in the few top rich snippets in SERPs, optimized rich snippets can assist you in increasing traffic and make your business specifically targeted.
NOTE: Google can disable Rich Snippets for Your Sites in Some Cases
No doubt about the fact that Google Search adores structured data. Google Search and other search engines perform algorithmic and manual quality checks to ensure that structured data meets relevancy standards to be qualified for displaying on the SERPs.
For businesses that rely on spammy structured data markup content, not only Google Search disable rich snippets but it also imposes a manual penalty on the website. The thing that you need to consider is to use the right type of structured data markup for the right type of content you are using in the rich snippets section.
Depending on the page content, Google Search presents a specific rich snippet format. Google’s rich snippet testing tool allows businesses to see whether they are using the right code for the webpage or not. Additionally, it gives tips on how to leverage code for a better effect. As a rule of thumb, don’t use featured snippets as just another place to stuff keywords; instead, use it for enhancing search experience of your users genuinely.