Haven’t heard of rich snippets? You’ll hear about them a lot this year as Google continues to roll out enhanced search results using microdata that you publish. Microdata is data that is hidden or indicated within the code of the page that has additional information about the topic… but it doesn’t change how your page appears. Historically, Google has supported three different standards for structured data markup: microdata, microformats, and RDFa. Rather than supporting competing formats, Google is encouraging one standard from schema.org. Bing and Yahoo! also accept the standard.
I’ve always been a fan of microformats, but they just didn’t catch on so it wasn’t worth the effort to integrate them into your content management system. However, now that sites are scraping previews based on your microdata and search results are enhanced by them, this year they’ll be mainstream. Of course, Facebook and Google differ on the standards… Facebook selected the Open Graph Protocol and Google selected Schema.org. In my opinion, Schema.org seems to be a lot easier to implement and more capable since it can be inserted right in your current tagging structure.
Perhaps the most obvious rich snippet that folks have implemented this year is the author snippet… which allows you to publish your author image and name in search engine results pages:
We’ve incorporated that microdata in our site by:
- Generating an author link that goes to an author page:
<a href="http://www.marketingtechblog.com/author/admin/" rel="author">
- Generating an author page that points to a Google+ Profile:
<a href="https://plus.google.com/117892288416322141592/" rel="me">
- And having a Google+ profile page that lists the site under the contributor section.
That’s not the only one, though! Google also accepts microdata posted for Application Rich Snippets:
Microdata for Event Rich Snippets
Microdata for Movie Rich Snippets
Microdata for Music Rich Snippets
Microdata for People Rich Snippets
Microdata for Product Rich Snippets
Microdata for Product Rich Snippets with multiple offers
Microdata for Recipe Rich Snippets
Microdata for Review Rich Snippets
And even Microdata for TV Series Rich Snippets!
You can read all about Google’s use of Rich Snippets as well as test your own microdata to see if they’re working properly! If you’re looking to fully leverage search and increase your conversion rates off of your search engine results page, rich snippets are a great way to do it.