What are rich snippets?

Maybe you’ve heard about the concept of rich snippets. SEO experts seem to think everyone knows exactly what they are. But, for SEO newbies, a rich snippet is a really vague term. What is it exactly? Time to explain what they are, why they’re important for SEO and how you can get them for your site.

What is a rich snippet?

A snippet is a result Google shows to the user in the search results. An example: I was searching for a good recipe for homemade ice cream and googled it. Google showed me a results list with normal snippets and rich snippets — or rich results as they are now called. A normal snippet usually looks like this:

A simple, run of the mill snippet in Google

Google shows the title in blue, the URL in black and a description of what the page is about. This is what we call the snippet, the thing Yoast SEO helps you to optimize with our snippet preview.

A rich result or snippet shows extra information between the URL and the description. It looks like this:

A recipe rich result for the same query as the one above

In this snippet, a picture of the ice cream is added, you can see the rating of the recipe, the time it takes to prepare this type of ice cream and the number of calories it contains. As you can see, it contains much more information than the normal snippet does. That’s why we call it a rich snippet.

Some topics, like recipes, also come with other types of rich results like the caroussel:

A recipe carrousel on desktop — you’ll see these even more often on mobile

Why are rich results important for SEO?

Rich results or snippets stand out from the other snippets. They look much nicer and you’ll instantly know more, just by looking at them. You’ll know whether other people liked the homemade ice cream and how long it’ll take you to make it. Take it from Rich, he knows all about snippets!

Hi, my name is Snippet. Rich Snippet. Rich snippets are snippets that have a higher click-through rate. People just prefer to click on the results that give them more information.

If the click-through rate of a snippet increases, you’ll get more traffic from that search result. Not because your position in the search engine changed, but just because more people click on your result. They just stand out, like me!

In the long run, rich snippets will affect your ranking as well. As more people click on your result, Google will notice that people prefer your page above other ones. That’ll definitely improve your rankings in the long run!

So, be awesome like Rich Snippet in his snazzy suit and work on your rich results!

How do you get rich snippets?

Google can show rich results or snippets if you add structured data to your site. Structured data is a piece of code in a specific format, written in such a way that search engines understand it. Search engines read the code and use it to create rich results.

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