What is a Rich Snippet?
A rich snippet is a specialized form of snippet result that seeks to provide information and deliver answers to inquiries directly in the SERP. Rich snippets are generally considered more reliable and engaging compared to regular blue links. These snippets can be interacted with and provide a variety of differing functions. While these snippets are more convenient and useful, they can also be more complicated and require some work to implement them. Often times, they may require structured data markup in order for a website’s content to appear in a featured snippet.
How a Rich Snippet differs from a Regular Blue Link
While the standard blue links can be found all over the SERP and contain little more than a title, URL and meta-description, a rich snippet provides much more specialized results. They can feature more information, a longer description, pictures, ratings, sitelinks and more. Rich snippets almost always appear at the very top of the SERP, even above the first blue links results. Rich snippets are more engaging and appealing to users as they both deliver queries directly and are more trusted by Google compared to standard blue links.
Types of Rich Snippets
There are a wide variety of rich snippet types and even more variations of these types to perform different functions. There are a few primary ones that carry over into many subcategories and varying types. Among these include:
- People Also Ask – A Question and Answer type that asks commonly inquired questions from other users and answers using information from third-party websites.
- FAQ – A Question and Answer type that provides questions and direct answers from a specific website.
- HowTo – A box providing a step-by-step instructions to a problem, commonly provides technical answers and advice.
- Knowledge Card – A card displaying the entity of a search query from the Google Knowledge Graph. Applies to people, brands, companies, organizations, sports teams, events and media properties.
- Carousel – A selection of scrollable cards displaying entities of people, locations, dishes, or other objects tied together by a shared entity or piece of information.
- SiteLinks – Links to different sections on a single website.
There are also many, many more types of featured snippets for more specialized functions. Examples can include: Movie Carousels for movies of a specific genre or feature the same actress, Recipes to display different online recipes for a specific dish, or Flights which display a series of flights to a specific destination or similar destinations. Each have their own use and their own requirements for your content to be featured on the SERP.
The Relationship between Rich Snippets and Structured Data
While some content can be featured on it’s own or through information from existing entities, others require structured data in order to be utilized. In the latter case, a specific type of structured data must be added using the required markup from schema.org. You can do this with WordLift, which makes things far easier than having to code everything yourself.
Different types of rich snippets may require different markup for structured data. Some types may match the name of the rich snippet, like the HowTo snippet uses HowTo markup. However, others may use less obvious types or multiple markup types at once. What you need depends on the kind of content you want to provide and what rich snippet you want to feature. You can search for different vocabulary types on the Schema glossary.
If you would like to learn more about rich snippets and how to implement them using the schema markup on your website using WordLift, check out our spectacular guide here on the WordLift blog.