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Unveiling the Latest Google Rich Results Trends and Their SEO Significance

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Google rich results, also regarded as rich snippets, are normal Google search results with additional data displayed about a webpage in them, such as ratings, images, and prices, to help you attract more attention, clicks, and traffic from search engines. This extra data is generally pulled by Google from the structured data found in a page’s HTML.

As humans, our attention is quickly captivated by the things that stand out from the crowd, and that’s what rich snippets do to the search results. Rich snippets often have additional visual or interactive features to enhance the search experience for users. Google’s rich results can appear as videos, info cards, carousels, and many other unique visuals.

They are not ranking factor, but they play a crucial role in increasing your site’s click through rate and visibility. In the past few months, Google has brought significance changes to Google rich snippets as well as other aspects with an aim to simplify search for the users.

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing and search engine optimization, it is important to keep yourself abreast of the latest changes in the industry. Here is a roundup of the latest updates to the Google Rich Results in 2023.

August 8, 2023, Google downgraded the visibility of how-to and FAQs in rich results

Google rolled out an important update August 1, 2023, that affected the display of how-to and FAQ-rich results in search engine result pages (SERPs). As per the update, Google reduced the visibility of FAQ-rich results and limited How-To-rich results. Besides, FAQ-rich results will only be shown for “well-known, authoritative, government, and health websites.” Also, as an impact of the update, How-To rich results are displayed only on desktop searches.Changes to How To and FAQ rich results

How-to and FAQ-rich results have been used to improve click-through rates by website owners and SEO practitioners for over years. Earlier website owners used to display concise step-by-step instructions, or FAQs, directly in the search results. It has also been a great way to capture user attention and drive more organic traffic. However, Google’s update in August 2023 shifted the approach to prioritize government and health-related content when it comes to displaying how-to and FAQ-rich results. This decision is likely to be taken to ensure the accuracy and credibility of information, especially in critical areas like health and government services.

It is also worth noting that How-To (from How-To structured data) rich results are now shown only for desktop users and not for users on mobile devices. One should bear in mind that Google indexes the mobile version of a website as the basis for indexing. If you want to have how-to-rich results shown on desktop, make sure that the mobile version of your website includes the appropriate mark-ups.

December 4, 2023 Adding mark-up support for vacation rentals

On December 4, 2023, Google added mark-ups support for vacation rentals. It means vacation rental partners can now implement structured data mark-ups in their site’s pages to be eligible for this rich result. Also, this new structured data is accompanied by a new search console and rich result reports. Google has recommended the mark-ups option for smaller partners, including property managers who prefer a simpler setup and maintenance. However, Google further conveys that its existing feed method remains a good option for large partners and those with many domains and brands.

Adding markup support for vacation rentals

With the new mark up support for vacation rentals, you can add mark-ups to your pages that helps Google determine if those vacation listings should be displayed in Google Search as well as what data it can use to display in its search results.

If eligible, Google may show additional listing information, such as the name, description, images, location, rating, reviews, and more, right in the search results. It also has supported fields including place fields, images, latitude and longitude, name, address, ratings, brand, check-in and check-out times, amenities, and many other fields.

Adding mark-up support for vacation rentals will increase the visibility of the site in google search as well as improve click through rates. By providing more information to the users, it will also enhance user’s overall search experience.

Google Search Console enhances support for vacation rental properties with new rich result report

To make it easy for website owners and webmasters to monitor and verify their mark-up, Google has also been supporting vacation rental listing structured data in a new vacation rental rich result report in Search Console. With this report, you can easily monitor and fix the validity of your vacation rental structured data.

Are rich snippets considered in SEO rankings?

Although Google’s John Mueller has mentioned that rich snippets (or rich results) and their associated structured data (or schema mark-up) are not an official ranking factor, the interactive and visual qualities of the rich snippets tend to improve your click-through rate (CTR). Besides, structured data can display more relevant information as part of a rich snippet, which can entice more clicks.

For instance, you can use the product schema mark-up to display user ratings alongside your product’s page in the SERPs. It will enable users to immediately assess the credibility of the product or know if it is within their budget.

In this way, rich results enhance the search experience of visitors to your website. It increases the chances of people visiting your site, making a purchase, or using your services. Besides, they also work seamlessly with the voice search.

Understanding the difference between Rich Snippets, Rich Results, Featured Snippets and SERP Features 

“Rich snippets” and “Rich results. “Convey the same thing. These words are used interchangeably, and they both describe search results that provide more information than the standard blue links. This information can include star rating, review count, product price, image, and much more.

Rich Snippets vs Rich Results

Rich Snippets vs SERP Features

Rich results may include carousels, images, or other non-textual elements, while SERP features provide additional and related information on the search query such as local pack, videos, and the knowledge panel.

Rich Snippet vs Featured Snippets

A rich snippet is an enhanced search result, while featured snippet is an answer to search query that appears before the first organic result on Google and are sometimes treated as result 0.

What must be considered in your content to achieve a rich result in Google Search?

To take advantage of rich results, you should first focus on building a rich content library. The structured data on a web page should describe its content. If there is poor quality content on your site or it doesn’t follow a page, it should describe its content. If your content is of poor quality or doesn’t abide by Google’s guidelines, you should first resolve these issues before structuring data implementation.

Apart from that, Google has stated that you should only mark-up content that is visible on your site. If your page doesn’t contain the content that has been added to your schema mark-up, Google may not reward your site with rich results, as it could mislead the users. For instance, if you want to add the phrase “daily recipes” to the Schema Mark-up of a food product page but don’t have any content about recipes on that page, Google may not consider your recipe-rich results.

What are the common reasons for rich snippets not showing up in search results?

The best part about rich snippets is the faster results you can expect from them. When your page code qualifies for rich results, it is eligible to get rich snippets. However, even after all those efforts, rich snippets may not be shown in your search results. Here are some possible reasons why rich snippets are not showing up in search results.

1. Adding schema mark-up is not a guarantee of getting enriched snippets

Many people assume that once they have added code to the website, Google will automatically feature rich snippets. However, Google may not do it for any reason. Google reserves the right to deny it. Apart from that, Google supports only some specific types of structured data and doesn’t support all the schema types on schema.org, and rich snippets are displayed only with certain schema types. Nevertheless, your chances of getting rich snippets are reduced to zero without structure data mark-up on your site.

2. Your structured data is not up to Google’s quality standards

Google keeps on testing different formats and mark-up requirements to enhance rich results for its users. It may even sometimes deprecate certain rich snippets that prove to be unhelpful for users. In such a case, even if you have valid structured data on your page, Google may still stop showing that particular type of rich snippet.

3. Your structured data is incomplete

If your structure data does not meet Google’s quality standards, they reserve the right not to display it in search results. Although there is no lack of guidelines for using structured data, it’s still difficult to create custom or advanced mark-up. If there are mistakes in structured data or it is incomplete, it will disqualify your pages from getting rich snippets. Here are some of the quality standards that must be included in your mark-up.

  • Ensure to provide up-to-date information.
  • Ensure that you provide original content.
  • Do not mark-up irrelevant content.
  • Avoid promoting unethical and illegal activities.

4. Structured data is in conflicting formats

When you add structured data to your website, it should be added in one of the vailable formats, such as JSON-LD, Microdata, or RDFa. If you move from an older format to JSON-LD, it is important to clean all the previous mark-up from your website code; otherwise, it won’t get featured in the rich results.

5. Your structure data is subject to errors

Structured data lies in your website code; it can be affected by the changes you make to your website. Any time a major update is rolled out, you need to check that it hasn’t broken your JSON-LD scripts. Google Search Console reports can help you find issues with your rich snippets. If your website has only a few pages or if only a few of its pages have marked-up structure data, a rich snippet may not appear in such a case. If the mark-up content is not visible to users, Google usually considers it misleading. Thus, it is crucial to make sure that marked-up content with structure data is visible and is not hidden behind click events or CSS.

6. Your mark-up data contains unethical content

If the mark-up data, especially the review structure data, contains unethical or vulgar language, it won’t be displayed as a rich snippet. This is also applicable on adult search sites and with the safe search off.

7. Your web-page has not been crawled or indexed by Google

If your page has not been crawled or inspected by Google, it will prevent your content from appearing in a rich result format. You can use the URL inspection tool in the Google Search Console to check for crawling issues. You can explore more information on structured data and how to use it properly on Google’s developers page.

Rich results help to enhance your key information and help search engines and users understand the purpose of your page as well as derive the information they need much faster. Optimizing your site and content for rich results displays can help you improve the user experience as well as increase your click-through rates. The closer to the top your website appears, the more people will notice it and click on it.

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