Although Rich Snippets don’t have a direct affect on your page rank or search engine position, they are an effective search engine marketing tool.
What are Rich Snippets?
Rich Snippets are micro data, formatted HTML with pieces of information that make it easier for search engines to display useful information to users searching for things.
Take a look at the picture above, that is an example of our own snippets displayed in a search result.
Now, if you’d made that particular search, you’d be much more likely to click on a result with the stars & rating than one without.
Bingo! Increased CTR.
Sold? How do we add them?
When you’re marking up your HTML to include snippets, you can either use Microdata, Microformats or RDFa.
For this post we’re going to use Microformats.
Let’s take a look at some code before adding Microformats.
<div id="reviews"> <h3> <span> Web Design </span> </h3> <span> We had a fantastic experience using this service. </span> <span>5 out of 5 based on 17 reviews</span> <p><b>Steve Jobs</b></p> </div>
Now, to add Microformat data to this markup is straight-forward.
<div id="reviews" class="hreview"> <h3 class="item"> <span class="fn"> Web Design </span> </h3> <span class="summary"> We had a fantastic experience using this service. </span> <span>5 out of 5 based on 17 reviews</span> <p class="reviewer"><b>Steve Jobs</b></p> <span class="rating">5</span> out of 5 based on <span class="count">207</span> reviews </div>
Now, that wasn’t too hard was it?
As you can see, Rich Snippets are easy to add, look great in SERPs and have the potential to increase your click through.
A word of caution: If you intend to use rich snippets on your website, make sure you do not misuse them, i.e: marking up content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content, and/or other manipulative behaviour that violates Google’s Rich Snippet Quality guidelines.
Google will penalise websites for spamming structured data markup.