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=”http://example.com/person 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=”http://example.com/#” 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 Schema.org
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.
Click here to learn more about Schema.org.