Rich Snippets

What are Rich Snippets?

While a snippet is the small sample of content shown to users on the search results page, rich snippets are used by site owners to provide a convenient summary about a search result in Google.

Examples of rich snippets are:

  • Number of business reviews
  • Photos of the product
  • Cook time for a recipe
  • Dates of events
  • Description of a person

In the example below, I searched for Empire State Building on Google and the search result displayed two types of rich snippets: images and the number of reviews.

Displaying Rich Snippets

To display rich snippets, search engines looks through HTML documents for markup formats: microdata, microformats, and RDFa. Site owners can only choose from the three supported options and add the markup to their content.


Microdata uses HTML tags like <span> or <div> to format and describe the data.

Lets go over the above example.

Itemscope in the first line informs the content is an item and itemtype=” clarifies that the item is a person.

Itemprop in the second line describes the property of the person. In this example, “name” defines the person’s name.


Microformats use “class” attribute in HTML tags like <span> or <div> to format and describe the data.

Lets take a closer look at the above example:

Within the <div> in the firs line, class=”vcard” defines the data as a person.

In the second and third line, the person’s property are described as “fn” for full name and “title” for job title.


RDFa uses attributes in XHTML tags like <span> or <div> to label and describe the data.

Lets examine the above sample.

<div xmlns:v=”” typeof=”v: Person”> indicates that content is a person. The property of the person is confirmed through the term “property”, as demonstrated in the second line.

The Creation of

Google, Yahoo, and Bing came together and adopted a standard set of schemas for every search engine. Now it is simpler for site owners to markup data on their pages and create rich snippets.

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Rich Snippets Resources

Introducing Rich Snippets