Is schema a ranking factor for SERP

Rich snippets

Rich snippets draw users' attention to their own search results. At the same time, rich snippets in the form of images or event data can offer additional added value. Extended information through rich snippets is displayed in both mobile and desktop search.

The benefits of rich snippets for SEO

According to Google, rich snippets do not affect the ranking of a website. This means that they do not count among the ranking factors. Nevertheless, search hits enriched with additional information have various SEO advantages:

  • Greater attention: Snippets on Google or other search engines with additional information ensure that users pay more attention to the search result. This allows webmasters to differentiate themselves from competitors within the search results.
  • Higher click rate: By showing rich snippets, it is to be expected that the CTR in the SERPs will increase significantly and thus the number of visitors will increase. And the click rate is one of the most important ranking factors.
  • Greater relevance: As rich snippets can display additional information, the relevance of the snippet and thus the click probability can be improved. If the search engine has noticed that the search for a term (eg “raisin rolls”) has to do with a topic (“food”, possibly “cooking / baking”), a page marked as “recipe” in the code will probably be more relevant his as a not appropriately distinguished site.
  • AMP websites: If a website has been implemented as an AMP, structured data can improve its display and content.

 

Types of information for rich snippets

Rich snippets can provide many different types of information to visitors. The following topics are already displayed in the search engine results

  • Authors
  • people
  • Prices
  • Companies
  • Events and events
  • Organizations
  • music
  • Videos
  • reviews
  • Stock
  • images
  • Recipes

 

The major search engines Yahoo, Google and Yandex are sponsors of the schema.org portal. Possible microformats are provided there that can be used to generate rich snippets. There, webmasters can find schemes with the right topic for their websites and add them to the code.

In principle, all search engines are able to display rich snippets that can read out structured data according to the schemes of JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa. Currently, however, Google and Bing in particular are using structured data to display rich snippets in their search results.

This is how rich snippets are created

So that structured data can be read out by search engines, the existing source text must be provided with the appropriate markup. Webmasters with RDFa and microdata have two other formats at their disposal, but the microformats according to schema.org have meanwhile become established. These are also supported by the major search engine providers.

It is possible that different so-called “entities” are marked separately on a website. In practice, this means, for example, that both a recipe and an event can be marked-up on a page.

An example from google.com for a recipe page that is also available as AMP:

(Source: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool)

Another example of structured data for an event:

Both examples make it clear that both properties and further details can be specified - although not all of them have to appear in the snippet in the SERP.

Tip: The Google Data Highlighter offers an alternative to adapting the source code. If a website is stored in the Google Search Console, corresponding recurring elements can be marked on a website. Google then saves this as structured data and reads out the remaining sub-pages accordingly. However, the result is not always really satisfactory and can only be recommended for temporary optimization.

A rich snippet generator from the web can also be used to create structured data to display Google Rich Snippets. These usually work quite reliably and clearly mark the information to be formatted from the microdata, even for non-technicians.

This is how rich snippets can be tested

Google offers webmasters a free tool with which the implementation of structured data can be tested. Either the code snippet or the corresponding URL can be entered in the tool. The test lists existing errors in detail and also shows what the result would look like in the SERP.
Even if the tool does not show any errors in the implementation, that is no guarantee that Google will ultimately show rich snippets.

Tip: Mark up more than is shown

For SEO, it makes sense to label every piece of content according to its entity. This is currently not yet reliably displayed by Google in some cases. But the search engine understands the information better even without a displayed snippet - and can therefore sort it better into the SERP.