Rich Snippets and It’s Importance for SEO

Google Has recently introduce Rich Snippets on Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

As a webmaster, you have a unique understanding of your web pages and the content they represent. Google helps users find your page by showing them a small sample of that content — the "snippet." We use a variety of techniques to create these snippets and give users relevant information about what they’ll find when they click through to visit your site. Today, we’re announcing Rich Snippets, a new presentation of snippets that applies Google’s algorithms to highlight structured data embedded in web pages.


SEO Benefits of having Rich Snippets:

Google and Yahoo are just starting to index and use the meta data. Indexing and the relevancy of the Rich Snippets and Microformats in search results is set to gain traction is a very big way so it’s good practice to start incorporating the necessary meta data in websites and blogs now.

Well for instance, you might want to mark-up the "Contact-Us" page to help the search engines pick up the contact details and improve local business rankings. When optimizing websites selling or promoting products and/or services, you can use microformats to markup the product title, description, brand, price, review etc, or use them to markup reviews like most shopping websites already do.

Besides, some other standard are emerging such as the video microformats, and its RDFa equivalent based on the Dublin Core Meta Data Initiative. You won’t be surprised if such initiatives start spreading for images, and think about the potential of marking up social media profiles.

How to optimize with rich snippets:

We need to use Microformats for rich snnipets. With Google entering the RDFa game, the words "semantic markup" will get redefined. Every webmaster wanting to improve click-through rates, reduce bounce rates, and improve conversation rates, can no longer ignore RDFa or Microformats. Structured data is the new SEO.

If we are using structured data it means we are well optimized and with compare to same level of sites in term of off-page links our site will rank higher as well as this will increase CTR and User Experience of website.

Sample of Structured Data:

Say that they originally had:

<a href="">Jane Smith</A>

With microformats, you specify that you’re defining a person with contact information with the term "vcard." You use the div and span tags to logically group the information, with div used for multiple pieces of information and span used for single pieces of information.

Using Google’s "Marking Up Structured Data" documentation, they might change this link to:

<div class="vcard">

   <span class="fn">Jane Smith</span>

   <span class="nickname">J.J.</span>

   <span class="url"></span>

   <span class="role">Author</span>

<a href="">Jane Smith</A>


Now they’ve added the context of Jane’s full name, her nickname, her web site, and that she’s an author. To show this same information in RDFa, they might have:

<div xmlns:v="" typeof="v:Person">

   <span property="v:name">Jane Smith</span>

   <span property="v:nickname">J.J.</span>

   <span property="v:url"></span>

   <span property="v:role">Author</span>

<a href="">Jane Smith</a>


This evolution of the web to the semantic web will enable users to search through more and richer data, potentially being marked up by dozens of different tags referencing each others, inter-linking the web and therefore providing a new dimension called Linked Data.

The search engines are well aware of this, and the more they use these new dimensions, the more relevant their results will be.


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