How to Customize Google Rich Snippets with Schema.org Microdata?

Dec 10, 2012   //   by Brian Taylor   //   Google, guest blogging, SEO Blog  //  No Comments

Do you know what Google Rich Snippets are? Even if you don’t know them by name, I am sure you must have seen them several times on the Google SERPs, as you browse through the Web.

What are Google Rich Snippets?

Google Rich Snippets are nothing but the additional lines of information that appear next to the Google search results. They are designed to provide quick information to users regarding what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query. These snippets encompass star ratings for the web page and other detailed information related to the query. Generally, you can find Google Rich Snippets in websites of restaurants, music, people, events, videos, recipes, products and businesses. Having a 5-star rating in your Google Rich Snippet encourages Internet users to click on your listing. This is the reason why Google Rich Snippets are considered to be the perfect addition to your online marketing strategies.

Now that we have seen the advantages of using Google Rich Snippets, let us move to the next step of creating and customizing Google Rich Snippets with Schema.org Microdata.

Defining Metaboxes: A metabox helps you to add content or scripts to any part of the website.First of all, to qualify for Google Rich Snippets, you have to define metaboxes. You don’t have to provide all the properties included in the specification, even though each content type has a minimum requirement. There are numerous custom metaboxes available and is indeed a great way to make custom fields friendlier to users.

Marking up your pages with Microdata: The specialty of Google Rich Snippets is its structured, semantic markup that enables Google to understand the content of the web page. So, it’s your duty to markup your content properly to describe the particular type of content on your website. When it comes to marking up your content, there are three types of formats – microformats, Microdata and RDFa. Google has always recommended the Microdata format for rich snippets as it allows search engines to understand your content a lot better and delivers more meaningful search listings for the user’s query. In fact, Microdata has no effect on your search engine rankings but it provides a richer and more useful browsing experience for users.

Use Schema.org vocabulary: All the major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex have launched Schema.org. Schema.org is a not a language but a Microdata vocabulary, that helps you to create common vocabulary for structured data markup on web pages. As it uses the same vocabulary across all participating search engines, there are fewer chances for confusion over twofold meanings or unsupported jargons. The most vital thing you have to keep in mind is that you can use Schema.org to markup only the visible part of your web pages and not any of the hidden page elements.

Many sites are already experiencing great SEO benefits with rich snippets. With the guidelines provided above, you now know how to customize Google Rich Snippets with Schema.org vocabulary. Using Schema.org and Microdata have positive impacts on your website, as they help improve the user experience and invite more clicks.

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Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor is the VP, Business Development at Forix web design in Portland, OR. Forix offers affordable and ethical SEO services in Portland and web design and development services helping small businesses with their Internet marketing needs.

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