What are Rich Snippets?
Rich Snippets are special markup tags that can increase the relevancy of content for users. They are also favoured by Google because they identify the different parts of a web page. If Google can clearly read that this part of a web page is a review, and that part is an author bio section, then it can show these distinctions directly in its SERPs (search engine results pages).
In Google’s own words:
Rich Snippets are markup tags that webmasters can put in their sites in order to tell Google what type of content they have on their site so that we can better display it in search results.
Google Webmaster Help have also released a series of Rich Snippet videos to help you get started. Here is a quick introduction:
Rich Snippets Example – Authorship markup tag
The authorship markup tag is Google supported, as it helps to identify different pieces of content across the web to a single author. This is beneficial for bloggers and guest writers who may appear on several different websites, as it always tells Google and visitors who created the page.
The authorship markup tag is created by simply using the rel=”author” attribute. For example:
This blog post was written by
<a rel="author" href="http://www.ewebstaging.com.au/site/blog/author/paula/"/>Paula Lay</a>
The href attribute links to the author page on the website. Google is able to pull name, image and linked content from the author page to display in its SERPs. See a live example with this search on writer, Steven Levy.
What will Rich Snippets do for SEO?
Rich Snippets have the potential to generate more and better quality traffic to any website. As the use of Rich Snippets spreads across the web, search page results will no longer consist of a simple optimised title and meta description. They will increasingly show more information to help users make better decisions on the sites they visit. When looking for food recipes, results with images and star reviews have a much larger ranking presence than web pages that are only text.
Building your site with the user in mind will always be a big hit with the search engines, so you should definitely incorporate them into your SEO strategy. Rich Snippets are a win-win for everybody!
For additional help on getting started:
- Rich Snippets Testing Tool: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
- Author Information in Search Results: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1408986
- Available MarkUp tags for Search Engines (Schema.org): http://schema.org/docs/gs.html