What Are Rich Snippets (How Do You Get Them)?


What Are Rich Snippets?

Rich snippets are Google search results that display extra data, like ratings or reviews. 

Google pulls this data from special code (“structured data markup”) you can add to your webpage’s HTML.

A typical Google search result looks like this:

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A rich snippet can look something like this: 

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In the second example, Google expands the search result to include an image, a rating, and a time estimate.

These visual enhancements draw attention and encourage clicks.

Rich Snippet, Rich Result, or SERP Feature?

You might see “rich snippets” and “rich results” used interchangeably. According to Google, they mean the same thing

Google says “rich results” is now the preferred term. 

All rich snippets (or rich results) are a type of SERP feature. 

Rich snippets (or rich results) are any type of search listing that displays visual or interactive data. These include ratings, event info, data sets, FAQs, and more. They can appear on any search engine results page

SERP features are anything that is not a standard organic listing. Featured Snippets, map packs, and image carousels are just a few types of SERP features. 

Do Rich Snippets Help SEO?

Google says rich snippets aren’t a ranking factor.

But, studies indicate that users are more likely to click on rich results than non-rich results.

Rich snippets show more of your webpage’s content, which can help users determine if your web page is relevant to their search.

They also stand out among ordinary search results on a page.

This can improve your organic CTR, leading to more clicks.

Let’s review two search results again—one regular snippet and one rich snippet. 

Your average search listing:

how to roast chicken serp result

And a rich snippet:

YCeOYGv7oMWSXoXbi_Ch3Olu0D4uK1nE7Ry4Q53T1NwYWRf3gupGQBUSM3g3yrJsnSy11O6QJtbn0clCkITCWJ7xIqz0kNXDLI2qglk5nR4vjw2132tGH3A9YFN7glPSR3rzqZ0uh-TsAAlD_A

The impact is obvious: the rich snippet’s review stars and thumbnail images make the search result more visually appealing. 

The rich snippet also tells the user more about the recipe than the non-rich snippet.

Let’s do another pair. Here’s a non-rich snippet for a search for the movie The Batman:

RnqJHJ5w8sV-BJvRyKCE6MFfOYcuZvzJvMCEeCnHqom97xSzhPMpcX1TwtclySi9iw4cjhMMNUHTYODVB8WNFhxSd3-vgQhY01_UQC1T4dKJUIlCCMPocAJMTCwBJsKilkKVkNMgw9W3pfPxHg

And here’s a movie rich snippet from Rotten Tomatoes:

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Once again, we see a larger snippet with more information, including the movie’s rating, runtime, and release date.

A user interested in the movie might be more motivated to select the second snippet since it offers more valuable information right from the SERP. 

Types of Rich Snippets

The most common types of rich snippets are:

Let’s take a look at each of them.

Review Snippet 

The review snippet displays a star rating under the description. 

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Recipe Snippet

The recipe snippet markup displays features such as cooking time, ingredients, and even calories.

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Music Snippet 

The music rich snippet displays additional information about a song or album, like its release year or music video. 

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Product Markup Snippet 

Product markups display a product’s availability, price, and rating. These enhancements can benefit ecommerce sites.

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Movie Snippet

The movie snippet displays details about the movie’s release date, run time, and genre. 

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Events Snippet 

This snippet highlights essential details for events like the time, date, and location.

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For a complete list of types of rich snippets and SERP features that you can apply to your pages, refer to Google’s list of search features.
How To Get Rich Snippets
Getting a rich snippet to show on a SERP requires you to add structured data to the source code of your webpage.
 

What Is Structured Data?

Structured data is a type of standardized format that communicates information about your web page’s content to search engines. 

When present in a webpage’s code, structured data can look like this:

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Structured data is made up of two important components:

  • Schema is the vocabulary that tells the search engine about the entity elements on your page.
  • The format is the type of markup code that communicates schema to the search engine. There are three main formats of markup code: JSON-LD, microdata, and RDFa. (JSON-LD is Google’s preferred format.)

Schema.org is a site dedicated to the universal vocabulary for structured data. You can use the website to help you write and test your structured data snippets, regardless of format. 

For example:

Say you have a recipe for banana bread on your website. You could add structured data for the recipe’s:

  • Cooking duration
  • Nutritional information
  • Ingredients
  • Instructions, etc. 

The Recipe page on schema.org shows the different properties you can use in your code:

recipe schema on schema.org

That page also shows demo code for each format. You can copy and modify this code to create your own structured data, or use it as a reference. 

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How To Add Markup for Rich Snippets

If you’re comfortable working with code, adding structured data directly into the webpage’s source code will give you the most control.

You can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to generate the markup code instead of writing it from scratch. 

(Note: you’ll still need to review the generated code to make sure it’s correct before adding it to your webpage.)

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open the tool. Select where your rich snippet will appear (website or email) and the type of snippet you want to create:
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  1. Select “Start Tagging.” The tool will pull the webpage’s URL into the “Tag Data” view:
    do7--7VXJjwHSmgtl58fEa8gzdHZ8DE9e1fX2GboGuXzqTvPUX1hmvFtuadFbGqV3g29ITimxVgZomTiu7ipk0Xyvu6lJnSbyvCG0TRhUP-n9jOvxqmVCMRKeASUYDsV14BBypaF_qczclmGBA

In this example, this will be a product snippet for a MacBook Pro. So we’ll include elements like the product’s title, image, brand, and logo.

  1. Select or highlight different elements on the page while in the “Tag Data” view. The tool will prompt you to label the content element.

For example: 

To add the product’s name, highlight the text on the page, then select the “Name” element.

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To add the price, highlight the related text on the webpage and select the “Price” tag:

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The tool adds the tags to the panel on the right as you work. Try to tag as many elements as possible. 

  1. Once you’re ready, select the red “Create HTML” button on the top right. The tool generates a side panel with your JSON or microdata code:

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  1. Copy or download the code to add to your webpage’s HTML. You commonly add structured data markup between your HTML code’s <head> tags.

Not a coder?

Don’t worry.

You can still use structured data. Some CMS platforms offer plugins that add the markup for you. 

For example, WordPress has plenty of plugins that can implement structured data for you. Here are a few: 

wordpress schema plugins

(Just be sure you trust any plugins you install.)

How to Validate Your Structured Data

Once you have applied the structured data, you need to validate it so Google will read and display it the way you want it to.

Use Google’s Rich Results Test tool to see which rich results Google generates from your markup code.

Start by pasting a URL or code into the tool. Select whether to test for desktop or mobile:

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The tool will indicate if the page is eligible for rich results:

google rich results testing tool

If your markup receives a warning, select the rich snippet type under “Detected structured data” for details:

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The tool highlights any invalid items that need to be fixed: 
 

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How to Monitor Your Rich Snippets with Semrush

The Site Audit tool can help you monitor the rich snippets on your site. 

You can also use it to find pages that could benefit from a rich snippet. 

Start by running a site audit. Log into your Semrush account. If you don’t have an existing account, you can create a free account.

The tool will return the Projects view. If you don’t see your projects, select Projects from the main toolbar on the left. Then select your preferred project from the My Projects list below:

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The tool will display your project’s dashboard. Select Set up under the Site Audit widget:

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The tool will prompt you to configure your audit settings. Use the options listed on the left of the control panel to set the audit’s crawl scope, disallow URLs, or add additional website login information.

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Next, select Start Site Audit.

Once the audit completes, the tool will display the Overview report. Select the Markup report:

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This report indicates pages with markup and the number of pages with invalid structured data:

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In the “Structured data items” widget below, select View all invalid items to see the complete list.

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Next, select the tag button to the right to test your page in the Rich Results tool.

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This will open the Google Rich Results tool. The tool automatically beings to test the page’s URL:

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Then returns your results:

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Use this data to fix any invalid items or resolve any warnings the tool flags.

Note: for more information about what structured data items the Site Audit tool recognizes, see this table here.

Key Takeaways

Rich snippets can make your site stand out on a Google results page, attracting more clicks and traffic. You can create rich snippets with structured data markup. 

But you don’t need to be a coding expert to write your structured data snippets—you can use plugins too. 

Either way, you can test your setup with our Site Audit tool or Google’s structured data testing tools. 





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