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Google Rich snippets – latest Updates

As the most used search engine on the Internet Google is constantly working on delivering the most relevant and useful search results to its users. The whole idea of rich snippets is to give users a short summary or a piece of your website giving them all the relevant information. These snippets appear on the search results page making it easier for user to decide which one to click.

Rich snippets help users find what they are looking for in an easy an convenient manner. Supposing I was searching for someone named Tom Brown, if I Google it several results would appear, but the little summary under each result option would help me decide which website I want to check out. This little summary is called a snippet.

Being the webmaster, you obviously have a better idea of the webpage and hence can easily annotate your pages with structured data that is embedded in the standard format. Google applies it’s algorithms to these highlighted data and forms rich snippets

Screenshot at 2013-03-04 10_27_14

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There are basically three ways in which you can make your website “rich snippet ready” – microdata, microformats and RDFa.

Here’s how you can enable rich Snippets for your website.

Three easy steps to creating rich snippets:

1. Choose a markup format.

Google requires you to have either microdata, microformats or an RDFa code to be included in the markup of your web page. However, Google is known to prefer Microdata over the other two.

  • Microdata – This is an HTML specification which is used to label content that describes a specific type of information. It uses attributes in HTML usually <span> or <div> to tag data(brief description, names, properties, etc.)

  • Microformats – They are entities or convention that are used to describe any specific information. Each of these entities have their on properties. They use the class attribute in HTML tags usually the <span> or <div>.
  • RDFa – Again used to label specific type of information. These data are called entieties and they have a number of properties each. RDFa also use the attributes in XHTML tags – <span> or <div>.

2. Content – Mark them up!

Currently Google has been supporting Rich snippets for the following contents:

  • People

  • Products

  • reviews

  • Authors

  • Recipes

  • Events

  • Music

  • Video

  • Software applications

  • Breadcrumbs

  • Weather (the latest addition)

3. Test the markup.

In 2012 Google released the Structured Data Testing Tool (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.in/2012/09/structured-data-testing-tool-webmaster.html) to enable Google to read and extract the mark-up. Add and test your rich snippet markup and then Google will pick it up when it crawls your site.

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update-google-snippet-esparkinfo

Another method that can be used is the Data highlighter, it’s a tool used to explain the contents and the pattern of event- related data on your website to Google. One just has to tag the data fields using the mouse and Google will use this data in its search results to display them in a more attractive and relevant fashion.

Google has definitely made search results more useful and easy to comprehend. Rich snippets give users a summary of what to expect based on the keywords that they have entered and helps them decide which website to click. So use this opportunity to present your Web Pages in the most relevant and attractive manner as possible on Google search results.

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Posted by on March 8, 2013 in Google Updates

 

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