Going into 2018, “Rich Results” is the fresh term coined for rich snippets, google cards and enriched results collectively. These are a part of Google’s special search result features and enhancements.
As a Digital marketer and Search Engine Optimization professional, you probably are well versed with these terms. You should know that google rich results are making the search results stand out. Now Google is providing the users much needed additional information in the form of images, review stars, price & so on.
Here I will disclose all that you need to know about Google rich snippets, google cards and other enriched results. It’s indeed going to boost your performance as a Digital Marketer or SEO professional in the year 2018.
Below are the 11 facts about Google Rich Results that every SEO/Digital Marketer should know.
1. What Features and Services are Shown as Rich Results?
The first question is that which features, services & products of websites can be shown as rich results on Google. Rich Results, earlier known as rich cards cover a wide variety of enriched search categories. According to Google, it shows enriched search results of websites that have implemented structured data properly. Rich results include Breadcrumb, Corporate Contacts, Carousel, Logo, Sitelink Searchbox, Social Profile, Article, Book, Course, Dataset, Event & Fast Check. Job Posting, Local Business, Music, Podcast, Product, Recipe, Review, TV & Movie and Videos are also classified under enhanced search results.
2. Structured Data is the Key to Get Rich Google Search Results
Rich Google search results are enabled through the structured data which is coded in the page markup. Structured data is used by webmasters to provide information and classify a page & its content making them easily searchable.
Schema Markup (marking up the page content with structured data provided by schema.org) improves the chances of a web page getting rich snippet, google card or other enriched search results in the SERPs. Although all structured data are not capable to produce a rich result but certain kind of schema markup like recipes, articles, reviews, videos, events and products microdata have a better chance of producing a google rich search result on correct implementation.
Thanks to the developers, implementation of structured data is a painless process. WordPress site owners get a number of plugin options for schema markup and structured data implementation.
Tools to create and test schema markup: Structured Data Testing Tool by Google, Schema Generator for SEO & Structured data markup helper to name a few. Non-wordpress site owners can use these tools to create and test structured data page markup.
3. Structured Data in JSON-LD Format is Preferred by Google
RDFa, Microdata and JSON-LD are the three formats of structured data which are supported by google. However, Google shows an inclination towards the JSON-LD format and recommends website publishers to use it.
4. No Matter How Hard You Try, Rich Results Can’t be Guaranteed
Like we said earlier also that implementation of structured data or schema markup to web pages is the most essential thing to do for obtaining rich results on google SERPs but still there is a possibility that they won’t show up on search pages for your site on Google. There can be many reason for that and few explanations provided by Google for the absence of rich results in its Structured Data General Guidelines are mentioned below:
- Structured data does not guarantee that a feature will be present in a web page, it only enables it. The Google algorithm is complex and it tailors the search results to provide the users a better search experience, the results are based on many variable factors like device type, location, search history etc varying from user to user. Google can show the feature it thinks is more appropriate or even a plain hyperlinked text if it considers it to be the best as per the user’s history.
- The Structured data doesn’t represent the main content of a web page and hence there is a possibility that it is misleading.
- The structured data failed to pass the rich results testing tool and is incorrect in some way.
- Hidden content from the user that was referred to by the structured data in schema markup.
- The web page doesn’t fulfill the requirements for structured data or it doesn’t follow the guidelines.
5. Your Ranking in SERPs May Not be Affected by Markup Implementation
Are you planning to take advantage of rich results to improve the position of your web pages in the Google SERPs? Hold on, that’s not going to help you as it is yet to be a reality. The structured data is still not a ranking factor, however Google is considering to include schema markup structured data in its SERP ranking factor.
Some studies by experts and also Google has confirmed that there is no boost to the search rankings from the structured data. Some case studies suggest that certain rich results and snippets like articles, videos, reviews and events increase the CTR (click-through rate) which simultaneously increases the traffic on that website.
6. Google Has a New Rich Results Testing Tool
Google recently launched its new testing tool for rich results, the tool is in beta phase and supports only the rich results for the types Recipes, Jobs, Movies and Courses as of now. Google’s rich result testing tool (RRTT) is an upgraded version of the Structured Data Testing Tool aimed to make the testing and diagnosis of page’s structured data easier.
Currently the tool doesn’t show schema.org syntax errors. However, it is capable of showing a more accurate demonstration of page’s appearance as rich snippet on SERPs. For dynamically loaded content, RRTT has an improved handling for structured data in comparison with the structured data testing tool.
To use the tool, please search “rich results testing tool” on google or directly visit the link given here :- RRTT
7. There are Plenty of Tools to Check Rich Results
Just like other SEO tools, there are some cool options outside Google to test your website’s rich results and uncover your featured snippets. SEMrush allows you to track the snippets with when and which snippet was used in SERPs. The feature can be found in the Domain Search section of SEMrush.
Of course, any web publisher or webmaster would love to know which snippets and information Google is featuring about their business / website in its SERPs as Rich Results. There are many sites and tools along with SEMrush which are enabling the webmasters to see in depth analytics on their rich snippets.
8. It Takes Time for Rich Results to Appear on Google
So, by now you must have understood that it’s completely on Google to display a content as a rich result. The google crawl bots or spiders first crawl & index the site after you apply the markup & ask google to crawl. The status for the same is trackable in the Google Search Console.
It often takes 2-3 weeks for a page content to appear as rich snippet in google search engine result pages. So, you got to wait till then and see if they do appear or not. Although once the pages have been recrawled & re-indexed by Google, there should be no more delay in updating the SERPs.
Tip: You can use “Fetch as Google” under the “crawl” section in Google Search Console to get your structured data markup or schema markup indexed faster. Some SEOs suggest that they get rich results in a matter of hours instead of weeks by applying this method.
9. Bypassing Guidelines Can Lead to Disabling of Rich Results by Google
We all are familiar with the content and links spammer. Sadly there are some webmasters also who try to deceive the Google’s Algorithm and SERPs system with spammy structured data markup also for short term goals. When Google identifies such data, it not just disables the rich snippets but also slams the website with manual penalty.
So never try to bypass the Google’s guidelines as it may lead to disabling of your rich results on SERPs. It can even lead to getting your website penalized. Make sure that the structured data in your content is being delivered in an ethical way. It must be in accordance with the Google’s Structured Data general guidelines.
10. Google is Capable of Showing Rich Results From Your Content Alone, Forget Structured Data
Yes, you saw it right. Structured data is not necessary to show the rich results. Google is capable of gathering the data required to produce a rich snippet from your content alone. No, not just me, Google’s John Mueller has confirmed this fact. Although the terms “Rich Snippet” & “Structured Data” are often in the same line, but you don’t necessarily have to use schema markup for getting desired results.
Yet, the recommendation to use structured data and that too in JSON-LD format by Google mean something. There is a rare possibility of enhanced search results appearing without implementation of structured data. So never miss to apply schema markup to content if you want Google to show rich results for searches.
11. Use ‘site: command’ Query to Check if Rich Results are Implemented Correctly
Are you not able to see Rich Results? There might be a case of quality or technical issue in structured data or rich snippet implementation.
I will suggest the SEO specialists & online marketers to use “site: command” on a site with structured data markup implemented. Don’t rely on the Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool which is still in beta phase.
There can be 3 possibilities while doing “site: command” on a site to find a technical or quality issue.
- If the rich results appear for the site, then the technical setup is correct.
- Rich results not appearing either for regular search queries or for “site: command” query. There is a possibility of both quality and technical issues.
- If the rich results are appearing in “site: command” query but not for regular search queries. The possibility for quality issue is more as compared to technical issue.
Rich results are the way forward for search engines. Google has nailed it by providing some excellent insights to the web searchers on the search results. Now the search results are more meaningful than a hyperlinked meta title and meta description (traditional search snippet). It answers the questions of searchers immediately and relevantly even before the searcher visits the website.
The facts & tips given in this blog will surely help every Digital Marketer and SEO specialist to use Rich Results & Snippets correctly on Google SERPs. Get more traffic through searches by improved CTR due to enhanced search display results.
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