Rich Snippets is a Google’s term to display enhanced search results (snippets) with information form microformats from pages enabled with structured data markup. Google launched Rich Snippets in May 12, 2009 when Rich snippets was about rolling in and supported only two markup data for Reviews and People in search results. After that Google developers added more possibilities in rich snippets including Review, Product, Recipe, Article, Event, Video, Software application and more.
Google rich snippets can be easily configured with WordPress installing and activating a simple plugin (All in One Shema.org Rich Snippets) that can enable structured markup data tags with your pages and display enhanced search results.
In this tutorial I will discuss about Rich Snippets and Snippets types and Rich snippets configuration with WordPress.
What is Rich Snippets?
Rich Snippets is a structured data markup embedded in a webpage helps Google algorithms to better index and understand your content and display detailed information about your products and services in organic search results in response to user’s specific search terms.
Google introduced Rich Snippets in May 12, 2009 through an announcement on their official webmaster central blog when Rich snippet was about rolling in and supported data for reviews and people only. The purpose of displaying Rich Snippets in search results is to provide more convenient summery information to the users also increase Click through rate to the website that is enabled with structured markup data.
When searching for product or service, users can easily see information like reviews, and ratings about the product and when searching for a person, they’ll get help distinguishing between people with the same name.
To display Rich Snippets, Google always looks for structured markup data (microformats and RDFa) that you can easily embed on your webpage at the beginning <head> section of your page with some additional tags.
For example a Yelp’s review page for “Drooling Dog BarBQ” can be shown adding following markup data in HTML page:
Now this with microformats marup
Or alternatively in RDFa markup data
Integrating standard annotations in your pages, you can make your structured data available to Google’s search results in addition to any service or tool that supports the same standard.
Types of Rich Snippets
To display Rich Snippets in search results your pages must be eligible for Rich snippets with appropriate structured data for your content. Your structured data must be validated and comply with any policies that each type has regarding Rich snippet display.
Google supports following Rich Snippets data types:
Google Rich Snippets for products help merchants to provide detailed product information (regarding price, availability, and review ratings) that Google can use to display in Rich Snippets right on their search results. Using markup to enable rich snippets lets you attract potential buyer while they’re searching for specific product to buy on Google and control your product information.
You can maintain the accuracy and freshness of your product information so that you can grab targeted customers attention by providing relevant and current items they’re looking for.
With Rich Snippets for recipes you can markup your recipe content with appropriate structured data, providing detail information such as review ratings, cooking and preparation time, and nutrition information.
Enabling Rich Snippets for reviews and ratings provide Google two ways to express an evaluation about a range of items. A review means evaluation described in text, and a rating is an evaluation described in numeric scale (ranges in 1 to 5). A rating can be marked up in conjunction with and as part of a contextual review.
Google supports both review and rating for a wide range of schema.org, regarding businesses, products and different creative works on books, movies, software, digital products and services.
Event markup data describes the details about organized events, such as musical concerts or art festivals that people may attend at a particular time and place. To display event markup data your events must comply with Google’s policy guidelines may be eligible for Rich Snippets in search results as well as for display in Knowledge-Graph-powered features.
When an author mark up software application information in the body of a web page, Google can easily identify it and display the app information in Rich Snippets so that users can better understand the app quality, and price.
With Google Rich Snippets for videos you can markup your video content with structured data, providing details such as the description, video thumbnail URL, upload data and duration.
You can markup your news article with structured data, providing detail information such as headline, images, published data and description. Google may use your rich snippets data to power features like “in the news” and content carousels
Configuring Rich Snippets in WordPress
So you have learned about Rich Snippets and Rich Snippets types that Google support and display in search results to provide more evolved and convenient summary information about products and services in different categories.
Now you will learn how to configure Rich Snippets markup data with WordPress and display more evolved search results to visitors and increase overall Click through rate.
To enable Rich Snippets in WordPress you need to install All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets plugin that is available for free in WordPress plugins stock
After installing and activating the plugin you will see a new section says “Configure Rich Snippet” right below your WordPress default post editor.
To check the plugin functionalities simply open a new post at Posts > Add New
Scroll down the page until you reach “Configure Rich Snippet”
The plugin supports configuring rich snippets for up to 9 items
Item review enables rich snippets on particular product that you have reviewed and rated. When you have chosen Item Review you have to provide Reviewer’s Name, Item to be reviewed (product name) and your rating (such as 1 to 5)
When Google will index your page they will also index and validate structured data markup and display Rich snippets in search results when it complies with Google Rich Snippets policies.
Event rich snippets markup can provide more information of organized events, such as musical concerts or art festivals that people can attend at a particular time and place.
In even – rich snippets you can provide Event Title, Location, Start and End Date, Offer Price, Currency and URL of buy ticket page.
To configure rich snippets for people simply choose people and enter required details like Person’s name, Nickname, Photograph, Job Title, Company/Organization and Address.
Enabling rich snippets for products can display your product rating, brand name, product name, product image, price, currency and availability.
Recipe markup data can display your recipe information in Google search results including Recipe name, Time required, and Recipe photo.
Displaying rich snippets for software app can provide additional information about your like price, operating system, application category, software image and URL to buy and download software.
Video rich snippets markup data can provide details about Video title, Video description, Video thumbnail, video duration, upload date etc.
Rich snippets for article can provide more information to Google regarding Article name, Short description, Author, Publisher organization and more.
Rich snippets for service can provide detail information about your service regarding Service type, Service served area, Short description, Provider name etc.
Testing Marked up Data with Structured Data Testing Tool
Once you have marked up your site’s content with Rich snippet data markup you can test it using the Structured Data Testing Tool. Google will discover the validated rich snippet the next time they crawl your site (although it may take some time for rich snippets to appear in search results).
Google algorithms discover technically correct markup on a page, they use a variety of signals to determine when to show rich snippets, in compliance with Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines and Structured Data Policies.
As a result correctly marked up content may not always trigger rich snippets in search results pages.
To test your rich snippet markup data simply open Google Structured Data Testing Tool
Click on “Fetch a URL” and type your marked page URL
Click “Fetch & Validate”
If everything is Ok, you will see below results
Google rich snippets can dramatically increase CTR of a website also provide relevant and useful search results to the users they search for. If you’re a merchant then you should use rich snippets for product page that describes a single product or a shopping aggregator page that lists a single product, along with information about different sellers offering that product.
I hope this article can help you to understand about rich snippets and snippets types, and configuring rich snippets in WordPress site. If you still have confusion then leave your response in comments section.