SEO GUIDE: 2018 guide to rich results in search

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In the course of recent years, Google's SERPs have turned out to be continuously more upgraded and itemized.

Clients require however much data as could reasonably be expected before choosing which result to put their trust in and navigate to. It's consequently nothing unexpected then that rich outcomes have turned out to be progressively unmistakable.

Rich outcomes are basically a method for featuring your site's substance in the SERPs.

They are the indexed lists which have some additional panache, in which Google shows more data about the outcome as opposed to only the customary title, URL and meta depiction. This could incorporate a star audit, particular item data or even formula points of interest.

In this guide, we'll take a gander at what's new with rich outcomes in 2018, and how to give yourself the most obvious opportunity with regards to getting them.

Benefits of rich results

Previously known as rich snippets, rich cards, or enriched results, Google have now put an end to the terminology confusion and allocated ‘rich results’ as the preferred term. You are probably already aware that these fancy pants search results require the implementation of structured data on your site.
But before we look at the how, let’s look at the why. The benefits of using structured data markup are clear to see:
  • Easier for search engines to crawl your site and understand the page, enabling them to return more relevant and detailed results. Frankly, anything that makes a search engine’s life easier is a win.
  • Increased click-through rates due to an enhanced appearance in the results. Information is more clear and it is a way of standing out from other results.
  • Decreased bounce rate due to the improved relevancy of results.
At the time of writing, the general consensus is that structured data is not a ranking factor. However, the combination of more relevant results, increased CTRs and decreased bounce rate are all factors which can indirectly lead to a rankings boost. At the very least, they will lead to increased website traffic, which is not something to be sniffed at.

Structured data & schema markup

Structured data is essentially information about a webpage and its content. There are three commonly known types of structured data: JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa.
JSON-LD is the most recommended structured data type, primarily because it is the most clean and readable format. Given that it is personally recommended by Google, it’s really a no-brainer to deploy JSON-LD as the standard format.
Wait, so what’s schema markup? While JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa are the formats, schema is the language (or semantic vocabulary). It’s the universal code for structured markup that all search engines can understand.
Structured data can be tricky to get right, especially if you’re not particularly technically-minded. Before you stand any chance of achieving those sought after rich results, Google will analyse and assess your markup to ensure it is correct.
However, it’s important to clarify that getting it wrong won’t harm your organic traffic, as long as you don’t use the markup to refer to hidden content. If you get it wrong then your rich results simply won’t show, so you’ll be no worse off than you were to begin with. Don’t be afraid of structured data, it doesn’t bite.

Rich results test

In December last year, Google announced the launch of a Rich Results Testing Tool. The primary function of this tool is to let you know whether your page is eligible for rich results.
Simply plug in your URL, hit submit and then preview the different rich results available for your page. Another handy function is the ability to share results – perfect for showing off your markup prowess to your boss, or highlighting some essential SEO flaws to a new client. Plus, if your pages are eligible for rich results, you can also Submit To Google via the testing tool.

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It is important to note that the tool is still in beta mode and therefore does not provide comprehensive results as yet. This will undoubtedly be expanded on in the near future.
Currently, only the tests for recipes, job postings, movies, and courses are supported. As a result, if your structured data markup falls outside of these categories then the test may not yet be suitable.
Until the full version is rolled out, however, don’t forget that you can still use the original Structured Data Testing Tool. Although this won’t tell you whether a page is eligible for rich results, it will tell you if your markup is valid. You can therefore address any issues with the structured data quickly and efficiently.