Rich snippets: definition, relevance and types

Rich snippets (also known as rich results) are Google search results that are displayed with additional data beyond the page title and description. The additional information does not appear at random. It is obtained from so-called structured data. These are integrated into the HTML code of a page depending on the snippet requirements. Common rich snippet types are ratings, recipes and events.

Why are rich snippets highly relevant?

Most Google search results present the same three pieces of data:

  • Title tag
  • Meta description
  • URL

With rich snippets, these standards are supplemented by star ratings, publication dates, company details and other information. What is also displayed depends on the rich snippet type.

As you would expect, rich snippet results are more eye-catching and more valuable than normal search results. In particular, this can lead to a higher organic click-through rate, ultimately more visitors and also a positive effect on branding.

Some SEOs believe that the integration of structured data can also improve their general search engine ranking. However, Google itself has refuted this: Structured markup is not actually a ranking signal.

What types of rich snippets are there?

Google receives the rich snippet information from so-called structured data (structured markup), such as schema. This is code that is stored in the HTML of the relevant pages.

There are numerous such rich snippet codes or types. The following variants are particularly common.

  • Ratings: Displays a star rating (out of five). This can be a single result or aggregated ratings from several users.
  • Recipes: A special type of structured markup that applies exclusively to recipes. The recipe markup includes information about the preparation time of the dish, star ratings and images.
  • Music: Provides Google with information on music contributions, such as the release date of an album.
  • Product markup: Lets the search engine display information on specific products - including prices and product images.
  • Organisation: Provides Google with central information about an organisation, for example a company - including address, logo and contact details.
  • Video: Search engines cannot easily recognise or rate videos on websites. Video labelling helps them to understand and display what a video content is about.
  • Events: Includes information on the date, time, location and more.

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