Google Rich Snippets (Schemas)

In this post I wanna give you some brief info about Google Rich Snippets which later became “schemas” (schema.org).

Let’s start by defining Snippets. A snippet is a small sample of content on a webpage that is displayed on google search results.

Sample Snippet
Sample Snippet

Google Rich Snippets were introduced on Tuesday, May 12, 2009. In one sentence Google Rich Snippets were : ” A new presentation of snippets that applies Google’s algorithms to highlight structured data embedded in web pages”.

Which meant Google Rich Snippets was a new way to display snippets with a richer content/style than before.

Sample Rich Snippet
Sample Rich Snippet

Above is a sample Google Rich Snippet that was introduced for displaying rich snippets for reviews.

The aim of implementing rich snippets on your pages was to help google provide more helpful and richer previews of your pages in their search results. Using Google Rich Snippets (or “schemas” as I will mention below) DID NOT increase your SEO score but you could still benefit from using them if you had quality content to show.

To be eligible to display Google Rich Snippets you had to mark up your pages in one of three supported formats.

  • Microdata
  • Microformats
  • RDFa

These were the formats (mark ups) that google understood and knew how to display. What you needed to do was to wrap the content on your page, which you wanted to expose with the power of Google Rich Snippets, using one of the mark ups listed above. Although it sounded complicated at first, it was really not that hard to implement them.

While Google was working on their own standard (Google Rich Snippets) for marking up important information on web pages, other search engines were developing their own mark up languages for the same purpose.

Finally on June 2011 Bing, Google and Yahoo announced a collaboration between them to create and support a standard set of “schemas” for structured data markup on web pages and created schema.org.

Search engines including Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right Web pages.

To get more info on the schemas and how to implement them refer to schema.org.

Once you have the mark up in place you can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to see if it works.

Structured Data Testing Tool
Structured Data Testing Tool

All you have to do is paste the url of the page you wanna test and click “Preview”. Don’t forget, it will take some time for your rich snippets to appear on google search results.

References/More info:

Introducing Rich Snippets
Update on Rich Snippets
Rich Snippets Guidelines
Rich Snippets Google Supports
Schema.org

Hope this helps.
Good Luck,
Serdar

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