I am not fooling you if I tell you that Rich Snippets, also called enriched formats , are a topic that has been relevant since they began to become popular, back in late 2013.
Yes, it has been more than three years since that, but even so, most of the websites have been resisting; not so much because it is something complex to implement, but rather because of ignorance.
Precisely that bar of ignorance is what I dare to break today, thanks to the loudspeaker that Berto lends me to talk to you and, as today’s post is going to be loaded, we’re going to start right away.
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What are Rich Snippets?
The Rich Snippets (or enriched formats), are pieces of information that we give to the search engine (yes, to Google) so that it can contextualize and taxonomize our content in a more effective way.
In other words: it is information that we write so that Google understands us better and, with it, positions us better.
There are many types of them and there are also many forms of implementation that we will see later in this article, but right now I want to focus on telling you a little more, not only about Rich Snippets, but also about their history, which is already having.
When do they start to emerge?
In September 2013 a new algorithm called Hummingbird comes into play in Google , doing something that has rarely been seen: an algorithm change that affected more searches than any other algorithm before, but that nobody could detect effectively and that did not penalize any domain.
This algorithm was, so to speak, Google’s first approach to a truly semantic web.
It was based precisely on the fact that, since understanding a language perfectly and a text of hundreds or even thousands of words is complicated, a webmaster could give clues to this new algorithm thanks to information capsules specially designed in meta tags.
Yes, meta tags such as the meta title or the meta description , to give you two examples, that is, tags specially built for the search engine, not for the user to read as part of the text.
The fact is that they became fashionable and the big players in the market (Google, Facebook and Yahoo, mainly) began to release their labels, so that in a few months everything became little less than chaos.
And then Schema.org came along , which I’ll tell you more about just below.
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Schema.org came to put order
In the midst of the chaos, for once Google, Facebook and Yahoo agreed to normalize the labeling of Rich Snippets and a body like Schema.org was created , which was joined by other companies.
Basically what Schema.org does is the repository function so you can see what tags you can use to tag content with rich formats, so that bots , crawlers and other information-grabbing bugs can understand it.
Today Schema.org has a completely dominant position in this regard and, if a rich formats tag is not in this portal, you can assure that it does not exist .
What role do rich formats have in current SEO?
Today they have such a role that, although they are not predominant, such as links, they are of vital importance to position better in SEO On Page , since Google’s ultimate aspiration is to be able to become a true semantic search engine.
For a few years, you will have already seen a lot of rich formats and you have not even noticed. I am going to give you an example, although we will see more later:
This example is a Google result with Rich Snippets , of the type of list in a recipe and you will have seen that, for a few months, they are flooding the Google SERP, right?
As you can imagine, a result like these in Google makes your CTR (Click Rate) increase a lot and, with it, the visits to your article; and that is precisely where its strength lies, together with the fact that not all domains (far from it) have them implemented.
Types of rich formats
There are classifications that speak of up to 20 different types of rich formats, but in reality we could say that the classification is of three main types , with several possible presentations. I detail them below.
1. Rich Snippets “clásicos”
They are all the rich formats that have the same format as a normal search snippet, but with some additions such as little stars, a photo on the left side, which tells us if a product is in stock, or even its price.
They are of this style:
As you can see, in addition to the title and description that the metatitle and metadescription tags usually give us, we also have a rating, a number of reviews and a price: from $739.00 to $769.99, and we give all that to Google thanks to rich formats.
Sometimes we also have an image on the left, as in the case of YouTube videos (among others) and we may have some more data, but they all usually have this format.
This type of Rich Snippets was the first format that Google showed, back in 2013. A few months ago, the ones I tell you about followed.
2. Rich formats, type Carrousel and Knowledge Graph
Some time after these first ones, webmasters began to adopt metadata markup as something more and more normal and giants like Wikipedia got into the game.
Thanks to this, Google launched the rich formats Carousel type and Knowledge Graph type.
Knowledge Graph (or Knowledge Graph) type formats are like what you can see on the right side of the image below:
And you’ve seen them a thousand times, especially in music groups, movies, plays, museums, paintings and endless information of the kind.
Carrousel type formats are similar but, instead of on the right side of the search engine, they appear in the central part, on a black background and Google usually uses them a lot for hotels and restaurants and, on the other hand, also for live results of sports competitions; that yes, in Spain I have seen little.
Google tends to get this information from really big sources like Wikipedia, YouTube, Spotify and the like, and it’s practically impossible for it to take your data and put it there.
One of the agreements that Google reached a few years ago was precisely with the NBA, in such a way that they began to show the results of live games in the search engine for related searches, with statistics and everything!
3. Rich formats type Rank#0
They are the newest; They usually appear at the top of the search results and, since they are usually above the number 1 result , they are often called Rank # 0.
They have been with us for a few months and are divided into paragraphs, lists and tables.
Basically, this division “doesn’t matter”, since the format is very similar to this:
And I’m sure they’re already ringing you, right?
Tell me how they are implemented, please!
After reading this far, I’m sure you’ll be wanting to implement them on your site, if they don’t already have them. Don’t worry, there are several ways to do it.
Personally I am going to teach you how they are implemented by the two most common ways: For a solvent implementation, or for an advanced implementation.
1. Implementation of Rich Snippets via plugin (or similar)
To make a valid implementation of rich formats, the simplest thing is that you have a WordPress site and add a plugin that allows you to add them simply by typing.
There are many, I definitely recommend All-in-one Schema.org Rich Snippets, which has been in the WordPress repository since the beginning and works very well.
In addition, it is a free plugin and you will not have any problem, since it is totally visual; If you don’t believe it, here’s a screenshot of what the configuration looks like on my blog:
In addition, you can choose the type of rich formats you want (if it is a review, an article, an event, a person, etc).
This implementation is ideal for blogs and magazine-type media, even for eCommerce, as long as they are medium, small, or do not update the range very frequently.
But of course, what happens if you have a giant eCommerce or one that changes products non-stop? What happens if I have a comparator for shoes or video games? Ultimately, what if I have something too dynamic to enter data by hand?
2. Implementation of rich snippets automatically
If this is your case, I have to tell you that there is no other option but to support you in a programming and development team .
The process is as follows:
- You study your project and see what concepts you want to show; for example, prices, availability, or a long etcetera among the thousands of concepts available.
- You study Schema.org to know what tags you should offer to the search engine.
- You work on a system to automatically label each time this concept appears. To do this, the most normal thing is to always put the fields you want to capture in the same place and launch a script that captures them one by one and puts them in the corresponding Schema.org tag.
I assure you that the complicated part is the study, the implementation falls into the field of “no big deal”
3. How to see if they are well implemented
Before you go any further, I have to tell you something important: Google doesn’t show your rich formats all the time, far from it!
But he will always take them into account to position yourself, since it is information that you give him.
Therefore, looking for yourself to check if they are okay is a very bad idea .
However, Google has a rich format tester; For this you have it very easy, you just have to go to your Google Webmaster Tools account (the link goes to the full tutorial I did on my blog) and:
- Enter the property you want (that is, the site you want).
- Go to “Appearance in the browser”.
- Click on “Data Marker”.
- At the top right you will see a red button that says “Start Markup”.
- Click and put the URL you want to test.
- And now you have it.
How to get a Rank#0? Moz tells us in this study
It was so interesting that it is the main reason why I am writing here since, when Berto proposed it to me, I couldn’t help but think: let’s do something nice.
The study, roughly speaking, was based on studying many Google SERPs and their enriched formats (14 million, neither more nor less), all of them of the Rank # 0 type, that is, those that position themselves at the top.
The conclusions of the study are that:
1. They work great for questions
That is, if a question begins with:
- And many others, a total of 16 different particles.
There is a high probability that this SERP result contains a Rank#0 enriched format that is going to eat up a good part of the visibility (and visits, of course).
What they detected in this case was that, normally, the result of that Rich Snippet was of the “paragraph + image” format, except for the “how” particle that moves more or less in the middle of the paragraph and list probability.
If you think about it, it’s totally logical; when someone searches for “How + something else” it is normal that the best result is a list on how to do precisely what the user is asking.
However, in the rest of the particles “Who+something else”, “What+something else”, it is normal for most of them to appear in paragraphs.
What’s the catch here: “Copy” the winning format into your rich formats, for more opportunities.
2. And also with some prepositions
They list these Rank#0-type enriched formats with lists more times than any other study group, but even so, the majority continues to be the paragraph format.
The trick is here: search before writing the rich formats tag and copy the format of whatever Google is rewarding for that search.
3. Finally, comparisons
Finally, I would like to talk to you about everything that has to do with comparisons, from the typical “Against” to “Vs”, “Versus” linked to the particle “price”.
Once again the paragraph wins but, as you can imagine, the tables also have a high prominence , to define that comparison even better.
4. How do I make my rich formats long?
The study goes further and even gives the average and maximum data for each of the three; would:
- For a paragraph, it is best to move between 40 and 50 words; the study maximum is 97 words.
- For a list, the average is around 4 items and a maximum of 8. As for words, a maximum of 11 words per item.
- For a table, the average is 3 and a half lines, a maximum of 9 lines x 3 columns.