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What are rich snippets?

Ecommerce store owners can use additional markup language to make rich snippets in search engines. A typical snippet in a search engine will show the title of the page and a metadescription. By entering some additional code, business owners can include more information. These rich snippets provide additional information in search engine results that make it easier for consumers to find what they are looking for and often increase click-thrus as a result.

Using metadata, ecommerce store owners can tell search engines how to display their data. This enhanced display gives Internet users a better idea of what the rest of the content on the page will look like and what it means. Using code, store owners can emphasize certain page elements and tell the search engine how to display them more effectively.

The rich snippets can only be created for certain types of content, including products, video, authors, businesses and organizations. For example, a product rich snippet may include the price of the item, as well as any ratings customers have given in the online store. A rich snippet for a video will show an image of the video. A rich snippet for a recipe might include the length of time it takes to prepare it.

Markup formats

There are three different approaches to rich snippets: RDFa, Microdata and Microformats (1). Google recommends using Microdata. Schema markup is the most common way to incorporate rich snippets using Microdata. is a collaboration between Bing and Yahoo! to set up language that can be used across these different search engines. The Schema Creator allows store owners to create code quickly and easily and insert it into their website. Users can then test their snippet using Google's tool.

Why are they beneficial?

Rich snippets give customers information they need more quickly, and they often increase click-thrus because they provide immediately relevant content that is more visible in search results. Click-thrus also increase because the additional information is eye-catching. Many companies have seen click-thru rates rise 20 to 30 percent after introducing rich snippets (2). Rich snippets also reduce bounce rates because visitors have a better idea of the page's content. They are less likely to click away quickly because they can't find the information they're looking for.

Both click-thrus and bounce rates contribute to search engine optimization, so using rich snippets can increase your ranking over time.

1. About rich snippets and structured data

2. A Visual Guide to Rich Snippets

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