What Are Rich Snippets? A Complete Detailed Guide

What Are Rich Snippets

If you’ve ever asked – what are rich snippets, then you’ve probably entered and penetrated the basic and fundamental realm and you’re off to the advanced portion of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). So, we decided to give you an idea or two about what they are, how you can use them to your benefit, and identifying other important factors related to them!

To start off, what are these rich snippets anyway?

Understanding Snippets First

Before we jump to knowing and understanding what a rich snippet is, let us first get to the full understanding of what a snippet is.
To explain it in the fastest and easiest way possible, a snippet is a programming term that’s used to denote an area of brief code or text that is part of a larger one. In other words, it’s like an extremely short summary of a web page.

Snippets are usually displayed and shown on the Search Engine Results Page or the SERP.

What Are Rich Snippets?

Rich Snippets

Rich snippets could be a funny term to you, but it actually holds a relevant use in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry. By definition, it is a result in a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that includes basic information of a given keyword that also contains extra information such as:

– Pictures
– Location
– Availability
– Ratings

Thanks to this, the Search Engine Journal said that rich snippets get more clicks than the average snippet, having about 49.5% of clicks. This simply means that half of the searches of a particular keyword that have rich snippets would get clicks.

Snippets weren’t snippets in the early days of the internet, though. So, let’s take a look at some of the

The Birth of Rich Snippets

Snippets have been around since 2008, but this was the time when SERPs presented equally-structured snippets. However, featured snippets or the snippets that are seen on SERPs started appearing in 2009, particularly in May 12th.

First Rich Snippets

This was the time when Google said that they’re starting experimentation with them. What they did was invited website owners and webmasters to participate, where these webmasters will be allowed to add data to their pages in a structured way, resulting in either of the two types of rich snippets – or both: People Snippets and Review Snippets.

Rich Snippet Result

Webmasters have been allowed to use RDFa markups or microformats to be able to wrap data within added tags in the HTML of their pages. Fortunately, their experimentation went straight and well.

New Markup Types (Schema.org)

Two years after, Google will add different types and segments of snippets into the roster – they were Events, Products, and Recipes. These started to show extremely advanced and enhanced search results – advanced to the extent that they were more than ten times better and more informative than its predecessor.

More webmasters and website experts got involved, and it became more evident that all websites at the time needed a newer, better, and more convenient data markup structure – so in June of 2011, Google’s cross initiative with Bing and Yahoo!, launched Schema.org.

These new extensive schemas have been enabling webmasters and website experts’ skills and overall capability in embedding structured data to their pages and sites.

JSON-LD and Rich Snippets Expansion

Then, in 2015, the JSON-LD format was when Google first started to recognize and consider it in the different structured data markup they allow. Choosing this over RDFa or those microformats was imperative as it presented a different or separate script compared to just editing the HTML of the pages.

Meaning, it had more flexibility and versatility than your usual RDFa markup.

A year later, Google was not contented with the development they just made and started to roll out a completely new format – rich cards – for Movies and Recipes.The idea of rich cards was simple – it was simply an advanced version of rich snippets that have better design and are more positively inclined to fit to mobile web versions.

Finally, in 2017, Google made further advanced approaches and expanded more to how they can develop rich snippets – this was when the term “rich results” have been coined and that was when the term first started to be in circulation.

NOTE: Out of the millions of websites today, W3Tech came to a conclusion that just at an estimated 39.4% of them are using JSON-LD, while the rest can still catch up and join this positive bandwagon.

What is Structured Data?

What Is Structured Data

Before we dive deeper and further, you have to have a thorough understanding of what structured data is. Now, in the simplest, most basic terms, structured data is the language that webpages, websites, and the search engine uses in order to communicate and transfer information from one platform to another.

The longer version of it is that it is a type of format that has been standardized, communicating information about the content of a web page to the search engines.

Structured Data’s 2 Components

Generally, Structured Data is comprised of two essential parts and components – Format and Schema.

Format is the type of markup code that helps communicate the schema, or the other component to the search engine. Schema is the language that allows search engines to know about elements on your website or webpage.

One good example is when, let’s say, your website has details or information about an upcoming event. For that, you could add a structured set of information about the event, which are:

  • Date of the Event
  • Time of the Event
  • Producer of the Event
  • Event Name, etc.

If you’re not sure on how you can go about this, you can visit schema.org to check on various properties that can be of use for your code. Moreover, the pages they have will show you all demo formats that are available. So, you can simply copy and modify it according to the structured data that you have.

Types of Rich Snippets

Now that we’ve gone through its history, let us now move along and identify the various types and kinds of rich snippets so you have a better sense of what we’re brambling about!

Most commonly, the types and kinds of rich snippets are:

Events Snippets

Events Snippets

Events take place every single day in the world, therefore, Google decided to create an events snippet to help both sellers and buyers! Event snippets would have the essential information about that event, including the schedule for that event, the date and time, as well as the name of the event.

Movie Snippets

These snippets would often display information about a certain movie or TV show. Usually, the data revealed would include the release date, runtime, rating, and genre. Some other results would even display the name of the director or producer!

Music Snippets

Rich music snippets have been one of the most famous rich results in the game. The reason for this is because of how detailed it can be! Music snippets include genre, release date, producer, year and place of recording, and other information about a single or an album.

Product Markup Snippets

This type of snippet is for marketplace or products that are offered in the market. This would have ratings (based on reviews by people), the number of submitted and written reviews, the price, and whether it is in stock or not!

Recipe Snippets

This is the snippet that’s tailored for food and recipes. It would have a format of:

  • Star rating | XXXX reviews | cooking time | calories

Do note, though, that different recipe snippets have different information or data provided. Just because they’re recipes doesn’t mean that they have the same data.

Review Snippets

This type of snippet displays star ratings under the description of the snippet. It would usually be in the format:

  • Star-rating | XXXX reviews

Like recipes, review snippets could be different from one another. Some could have more information, while others could have less. Don’t assume that everything will be the same.

What is a SERP?


SERP is the shortened term for search engine results page or the page where search engines direct and return users who submit a particular query. For example, if you search “how to make money online” on Google and you hit Return or Enter, you will be redirected to the SERP or the result of your search.

The results page would be a combination of paid and organic results, where all paid ones would be on the top of the page.

In relation to rich snippets, the SERP is like the avenue or the place within the worldwide web where they are placed to provide supplemental support to users and readers looking for information.

Featured Snippets vs. Rich Results vs. SERP Feature

Now, the commonality of the misconceptions that revolve around rich snippets would be the fact that they’re mixed up with other terms in the industry – particularly featured snippets and SERP feature.

So, we’ll digress and identify what these are even further so you know how to differentiate them!

What Are Featured Snippets?

Featured Snippets are the snippets placed in special boxes where a regular search’s format is reversed. What we mean by reverse is that the descriptive snippet is shown first. There are also instances where they are shown alongside the People Also Ask.

The idea of featured snippets is that Google displays this result to highlight a particular search request for a user or a reader.

What Are Rich Results?

These are the experiences on Google Search (and other Google experiences) that simply go above and beyond the blue link. Rich Results provide an added interactive or visual feature in order to give the users and readers a faster and more convenient time in determining the results for their query.

Rich results can vary from one type to another as they differ from content to content. The most common examples of rich results are:

  • Hotel Reviews
  • Restaurant Reviews
  • Food Reviews
  • Flight Prices
  • Knowledge Panel
  • Google For Jobs
  • And Many More!

NOTE: They encompass the idea of rich snippets because they more so provide more information initially than rich snippets.

What Are SERP Features?

Last but most definitely not least are SERP features. These are elements or content that appear on the search engine results page (SERP) that are more useful and more informative – they are more than just the 10-blue links in list, that you typically see on your SERPs.

SERP features can be anything from knowledge panels, image and video carousels and packs, featured snippets, rich snippets, and many more!

Your SERP will look bland and plain without SERP features – and you wouldn’t want that to be what will welcome you, right?

As for our key takeaways, it is imperative to remember that:

SERP Features are any type of feature that does not have the “blue link” in the results. Some of the most common examples of SERP features include knowledge panels, featured snippets, tweet boxes, PPC ads, FAQs, etc.

Rich Snippets are regular search results that contain extra important information or data, usually displayed with the descriptive snippet, title, and the URL.

Lastly, Rich Results are any type of search result that is enhanced with a specific type of information that has been pulled from the structured data of the website it’s taken from. Therefore, it is safe to say that Rich Snippets are a type of Rich Result, which makes it an SERP Feature.

That is how the three (3) are different, but connected with each other, in some type of way.

Do Rich Snippets Help SEO?

Do Rich Snippets Help Seo

Yes and no – the answer might surprise you, but it should not be as complex as how many people think for it to be.

To start with, let’s digress and discuss several factors that affect the ranking of websites in the search engine. Opt-In Monster lists some of the most important SEO ranking factors:

  • Authority
  • Age of Domain
  • Backlinks
  • Content Optimization
  • Correct External Links
  • Image Optimization (ALT Text)
  • Internal Links
  • URL
  • Mobile Friendliness
  • Page Speed

As you may have noticed, Rich Snippets aren’t actually part of that list. In other words, it is not one of the ranking factors that Google considers.

However, there are several studies that say they are likely to select and click rich results compared to non-rich results simply because of the initial information that’s already given by rich results.

Not only that, but they also look good on the SERP; they stand out among non-rich results or those that are just plain text.

I mean, who doesn’t want to look at a result that is rich and is filled with all the information you’re looking for?

How to Get Rich Snippets to Show Up on SERPs? Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Since Rich Snippets or Rich Results are based and taken from the structured data, you need to know or be aware of the exact snippets that would work for your website.

Step #1: Identify the Perfect Rich Snippets For You

The very first step in getting Rich Snippets is by checking or identifying the snippets that can actually go into the SERP. For instance, topics about SEO, making money online, improving your website, etc., doesn’t actually have any sense in it if you get rich snippets.

There are a lot of use cases for rich snippets markup and the most common are:

Once done, then you should now go ahead and…

Step #2: Implement Your Structured Data

Once the markup has been selected, it will entirely be easy and simple to create and deploy it no matter how your website is built and designed.

You can choose from the vast options of schema markup generators and choose the use case that is right for you. Choose the one that is just right and is actually correct for the structure you are going to use.

NOTE: Add schema for the types of content accessible and visible to readers and users. Moreover, follow and carefully adhere to the guidelines set by Google for the schema type you’ve selected.

Step #2.1: Using a CMS and Deploying Custom Code

There are webmasters and websites, in general that find custom code deploying troublesome and hassle.

For WordPress, they have plugins that can do the job for you. They have Yoast or Rank Math, but, other than that, they also have other plugins designed for schema implementation.

Fill out the information that you want to go into the Rich Snippet that you want to appear and, voila! There you have it!

Step #3: Validate the Markup

Lastly, you want to validate the markup because even though some tools tell you that it’s fine and that it’s ready for launch, there could still be something missing on Google’s eyes.

So, what you want to do is validate the newly created markup via the Rich Results Testing Tool offered by Google. Then, after the tool tests it all out, you will see whether the snippet is “eligible” or “not eligible.”

Once done the next step would just be monitoring the snippets you plan on displaying or the ones that you’ve set up.

How Do You Monitor Rich Snippets?

Monitoring rich snippets is clearly what it is all about – you’ll have to monitor and check on those snippets to see how they’re performing, what things to change, what to keep and retain, and so on.

There are many different tools in monitoring rich snippets. You can use SEM Rush’s Site Audit Tool, a tool that can check all the nooks and crannies of your website; you can also use the classic Google Search Console for the classic or traditional way of monitoring and checking the quality of websites and webpages – including rich snippets.

Your rich snippets will display if the data is valid and if you have deployed it properly. You just have to wait for the crawlers to see and detect the page, and the snippets will be displayed!

Why Are My Rich Snippets Aren’t Showing in Search Results?

There are quite a few different factors that affect the visibility of your rich results on the SERP. So, here are a few of the most common things and factors that kind of paint the picture of why your rich snippets is showing up on the SERP.

Too Complex Syntax

Custom or advanced markup is as complex as it sounds, and therefore, even if you get all the practice and training you need, it will still be complicated and can be deemed as “incompetent” by the search engine pedestal of all – Google.

Changing Requirements

Google is an ever-changing and evolving technology. Therefore, continuing to test markup requirements, formats, and algorithms to improve the experience of users is among their top priorities. You could have passed the Rich Test results and have structured your data appropriately, but then Google, without warning, stops showing those snippet types.

Errors Are Common

Every type of change on the data of your website cab break a few different sections and areas of code. So, every major modification on the structured data on your code, check the JSON-LD scripts and see if it has broken it or not.

No Guarantees

And lastly, as most of us know and are aware of, Google makes changes every now and then (every year, in fact) to improve and further develop the ranking of websites and webpages to serve users and readers. This simply imposes that although you have good structure going on now, that might just not be the case tomorrow.

Do Rich Snippets Show Up All the Time?

Now, the common question new website owners or webmasters have about rich snippets is, do they show up 100% of the time? The quick and easy answer to that is no, they don’t.

In fact, Rich Snippets only appear on the SERP for the pages that have several crucial information. Moreover, there are instances where they are only limited for a specific type of device.

Take this as an example, when you search for “how to create a resume,” results that have information on how to create or write an effective resume will be listed and displayed on the SERP, whereas searching for “what makes an effective resume,” will give you points on how some factors that make a resume good.

FAQs About Rich Snippets

If you still have a few questions about snippets – rich snippets, in particular, don’t worry – we have a list of the most frequently asked questions about it!

What Are Rich Snippets Used For?

Rich Snippets are used by different websites in order to give users the information they’re looking for right away. That means, they’re for faster and more flexible surfing or searching all over the Search Engine Results Page or SERP.

Do Rich Snippets Improve SEO?

Not really. Rich Snippets are the enhanced version of non-rich results, meaning, they have other information that could be useful when a user searches for something. However, Rich Snippets can increase the CTR of a website if the snippet is correctly placed and detailed on the SERP.

What Are Rich Snippets and Featured Snippets?

Featured Snippets are snippets that are found at the top of the first (1st) organic listing, whereas Rich Snippets are placed anywhere within the SERP as ranking high is not a factor or prerequisite for it. Moreover, Featured Snippets are generated via the analysis of content, while Rich Results or Rich Snippets are pulled from the structured data of the page.


So, what are Rich Snippets, you may ask? This article answers it all for you! You neither need to be experienced nor knowledgeable in SEO to know and find out about Rich Snippets – they are simple and easy to learn!

Knowing about them, however, can increase the Click-Through-Rate or CTR of your website if you do it correctly. So, with this idea about rich results, you now have the power to use it accordingly!