What is a rich snippet?

If you are like me, you have been noticing some new things happening on Google, Bing and other search engine result pages. Many of these changes are related to the use of rich snippets, which is html code markup that improves the display of search results and makes it easier for people to find the best web content.

Why do I want my listings to have rich snippets?

  1. To increase your organic traffic! Your traffic will increase for two key reasons: Differentiation from the Competition – When your listings have the added rich snippets features they will stand out more with the added photos or other features. This will increase the clicks your search listings receive and long-term will improve your SEO efforts by increasing rankings and overall traffic.
  2. Help Search Engines Better Understand and Value your Content - Improve content relevancy and weighting for search engines by providing more structured data. It will improve your local search marketing results. You will also get better quality visitors since the visitors will have more information about your page before they click on your link.

More details and screen shot examples here.

I was thinking that we could make use of that big time with all of the questions, answers, authors, and votes.

Is there any reason to not make use of rich snippets?

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Which specific markup do you envisionyou envision SE could use to get rich snippets? I can't think of any, but I hadn't looked much into them. –  Rarst Oct 3 '12 at 19:45
    
Could use authorship markup for profiles, or questions/answers. Although, this would require implementation of Google+ for user accounts. If you wanted a full list of available options, click schema.org/docs/full.html –  Michael Ecklund Oct 3 '12 at 20:13

1 Answer 1

Rick snippets or "schema" is first and foremost meant to improve search results from the perspective of the end-user and not just vague "SEO". Schema makes Googebot's™ life easier as it slaves away for cold hard cash.

With that in mind there are some caveats.

As far as I can tell only these snippets are actively being returned via results

  • Reviews
  • People
  • Products
  • Businesses and organizations
  • Recipes
  • Events
  • Music

Many publishers have not adopted snippets for fear of Google aggregating to much of their content. Imagine Google returned the top answers directly in the results, that would certainly hurt WPSE.

So I will answer with a question, what would Google return via search from WSPE that would make it useful?

The author ? Possibly, but honestly, would seeing a random username make you click all the more? I doubt it.

The amount of answers? Probably but can they even do that, or more importantly will they, who knows.

Rep ? I doubt Google would add this to schema, but maybe you can ask them.

I can't think of anything else that would be actually useful.

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