Rich snippets are used within search results to display additional data from a webpage and are generated through structured data. Rich results allow search engines to provide more useful information to users, to encourage them to click-through to the site. To find out more about how rich results are generated and best practice recommendations from Google, our SEO Office Hours recaps below cover these key insights and guidance.
Rich Snippets Spam Report Tells Google About Manipulated Structured Data
Use the rich snippets spam report form to inform Google about instances of manipulated structured data.
Valid Structured Markup Is Not Necessarily Sufficient for Rich Results
Rich results won’t necessarily appear just because Google’s testing tools say that the structured markup on that page is valid. John recommends reading the relevant developer documents to find out about other requirements for specific rich results.
Google More Cautious Displaying Rich Results When Unsure About Structured Data Implementation
Google has algorithms which decide when it makes sense to display structured data as rich results. If Google is unsure about a website or the way structured data has been implemented, then it will be more cautious in displaying structured data as rich results.
Provide Last Modified Date in Content & Structured Data For Rich Snippet
Providing the last modified date within the page’s content and as structured data makes it easier for Google to show this as a rich snippet in the SERPS, especially if both dates match.
Google Displays Different Date Types Depending on Which is Most Relevant
Google’s algorithms decide to show the last modification date or the original publication date depending on which is deemed more relevant. For example, the last modification date might be more useful if something has significantly changed on the page.
Rich Results Won’t Always be Shown in the Search Results
Pages will sometimes have a variety of markup and rich results available which would be visually overwhelming, so Google will select which rich result to show from a site depending on the query e.g. a video result for one and a review for another.
Rich Snippets Will Better Match Page Content on Mobile After Mobile-first indexing
John suspects the most visible impact of mobile-first indexing on the search results will be that rich snippets will better match the content seen on the page for mobile devices.
Google Has no Explicit Character Limit For Snippets
Google have no explicit limit for the number of characters included in a rich snippet. The snippet length varies from result to result, sometimes including structured data rather than the meta description and this can also vary over time.
Google Search Doesn’t Use Ratings as a Ranking Factor Like MyBusiness Listings
Google doesn’t use the content seen in surveys as a ranking factor in organic search because they don’t know what ratings mean e.g. a lower rating might actually be better. Organic search is different to MyBusiness listings, where reviews and ratings are important for rankings.
Quality is Assessed Differently for Featured Snippets & Rich Snippets
Quality is assessed in a different way for featured snippets and rich snippets. So your site can be showing for rich snippets but not featured snippets, and the other way around.