Rich Snippets and Google Knowledge graphs
Since the launch of the Google Knowledge graph in 2012 Semantic search has changed the way that search engines display information.
What are Rich Snippets?
A Rich Snippet is brief text that appears under every search result which helps users with specific queries. For example, I typed in “Kurt Cobain” and Google came up with a brief introduction (highlighted in red) of who he was and what happened to him with a link to his biography below.
Kurt Cobain, lead singer of grunge band Nirvana, committed suicide at his Seattle home in 1994. Learn more at Biography.com.
When searching for my local second hand goods and antique specialists I typed in “Domestic Resales” and Google results shown what they sell along with their address and postcode. This is useful for users because they are able to find the shop on Google maps.
Jun 23, 2013 … Domestic Resales – Furniture and Furnishings in West Briton. Cornwall Technical College, Dolcoath Road, Camborne, TR14 8RR . Welcome to …
A snippet for an attraction such as The Eden Project will show the number of reviews made on trip advisor and the number of photos posted to the site. I have highlighted the snippets in red which help viewers identify the relevancy of this site to their search which includes reviews and photos.
Eden Project, Par: See 2945 reviews, articles, and 1144 photos of Eden Project, ranked No.3 on TripAdvisor among 4 attractions in Par.
Three steps to rich snippets include:
1. Pick a markup format.
Google recommends using microdata, but any of the three formats below are acceptable. You don’t need any prior knowledge of these formats, just a basic knowledge of HTML.
- Microdata (recommended)
2. Mark up your content.
Google supports rich snippets for these content types:
- Businesses and organizations
What are Google Knowledge Graphs?
Google introduced the Knowledge Graph in 2012 which is a technical term used to describe how a set of objects are connected. Google has used a “link graph” to model how pages link
Here is an example of a knowledge graph which provides more in-depth information than a Rich snippet such as facts and places.
From this example, you can learn a lot about Kurt Cobain without ever leaving the page. You can clearly see not only a lot of important data like personal information, where he was born, his family you can also see searches in the form of the “People also searched for” section at the bottom which include Kurt’s widow, Courtney Love, his daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, Nirvana bass player, Krist Nov0lselic and Layne Staley from fellow Seattle band, Alice in Chains.
The Knowledge graphs allow people to find what they are looking for much quicker without the hassle of results showing up for words with different meanings. Advertisers can also benefit from this as they no have to compete with irrelevant search results for valuable search engine real estate. With more refined results, there are fewer pages, which means there is less chance of someone outranking an advertiser’s brand.