October 22, 2012

A visual guide to rich snippets [Infographic]

Rich snippets: Concert dates in Google.

This is the first of a two-part series. Also see:
Why Google Authorship matters to your business

Guest post by Selena Narayanasamy
Director of Strategy Development, BlueGlass Interactive

If you’re not familiar with rich snippets, they’re data, included in the code of a page, designed to summarize the content of a webpage in a way that makes it even easier for users to understand what the page contains.

We see rich snippets on tons of search engine results pages, with some verticals having a higher abundance of them than others. For the average searcher, these rich snippets help show us that what we’re searching for is within reach on a particular site.

A few benefits of rich snippets include:

• Drawing a user’s attention to your relevant result.

• Providing instant information as related to their query.

• Increasing click-through rates and lessening the amount of bounces due to not searchers not finding the content they were looking for.

Business uses of rich snippets

For companies leveraging content strategies, there’s an especially large benefit of having mark-up for authors being displayed in the search results with the emergence of AuthorRank. For instance, an informational search result that displays an author with a photo, name, and a link to other articles they’ve written creates a feeling of trust and authority. It can also encourage them to click through and read other articles they’re written, essentially making that author a new resource.

As another example, action-based queries, such as going to a concert or event, can end up displaying results from ticket sites that have a quick and instant snippet breakdown to help them in the purchasing process.

To consolidate and decode some of the information you need to sift through when learning about rich snippets, we’ve created this visual guide to walk through the basics, fundamental types, implementation, and benefits of using rich snippets.

Some food for thought: How do you see rich snippets evolving in the future?

Selena Narayanasamy is the Director of Strategy Development at BlueGlass Interactive. You can follow her on Twitter at @selenavidya. This post originally appeared at SEOmoz, which is not affil­i­ated with Socialmedia.biz. SEO­moz pro­vides the Web’s best SEO tools and resources.
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