Snippets: What and Why behind Them

In some cases, you may not pay that much attention to the short piece of text next to a link that you see within your search results? If you do, or don’t, this post is all about these snippets of text. We decided to explain what kind of snippets are visible to you and what indirect SEO benefits you can gain by using them wisely.

What is a Snippet?

It’s a rare case to find a person who has not seen snippets before. This is the short piece of information about a web page found in the search results. Google, Bing, Yandex, and other search engines have slightly different snippets. In this article, we are going to describe snippets in Google for you.

Here is an example of a simple snippet. It consists of a title, URL, and description.

It can also contain additional information about a web page, e.g. a phone number, address, map, links to other web pages, etc. By clicking here, you can check the cached version of the webpage and similar sites.

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Google uses a meta description to compose a snippet. So, it is well worth your time to complete meta-tags correctly. Keep in mind that only 160 characters are displayed in the search results, but you can write a longer description, which will be taken into account by search bots.

What is a Rich Snippet?

To provide a better user experience, you can create a rich snippet, which is basically an extended snippet that contains links to relevant site sections and/or an address.

Rich snippets are a good choice for cafes and restaurants, museums, cinemas, airports, gyms, applications, etc. If your business Google+ account is linked to your website and Google Maps, the map with a location of your office or place of business will be displayed on the right in the search results as shown in the example below.

How to Create a Rich Snippet?

You can use third-party resources to make a search engine compose a snippet you want. For example, Schema.org allows for including a product price, ranking, address, and other useful information.

By using the following script, you will add a star ranking to the snippet:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">

<span itemprop="name">Product</span>

<img itemprop="image" src="Product’s image - .jpg" alt='Product' />

<div itemprop="aggregateRating"

itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/AggregateRating">

Rating <span itemprop="ratingValue"> 4.6</span> stars -

Based on <span itemprop="reviewCount">120</span> reviews

The obtained result will be like this:

To add information about your business, use the following code:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization">

<span itemprop="name"> Brand</span>

<div itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">

<span itemprop="streetAddress">Street</span>,

<span itemprop="addressLocality">City</span>,

<span itemprop="addressRegion">Region</span>.

</div>

<img itemprop="logo" src="Lnk to the logo – https://example.com/logo.png" />

<span itemprop="description">Organization’s description. </ span >

Phone: <span itemprop="telephone"> Phone number – 555-555-555</span>

</div>

Another useful area in a snippet is the search line. This allows users to specify their search on a particular website, so a user can find and visit the most relevant page right from the search results page. Google determines which websites will have this option but usually, this can be available for people that search for a brand name and the search line snippet is a visible option.

For more options, check Schema.org.

What Criteria to Meet for Quick Links?

These are links that lead the users to the most important information on your site (see the sample image above). To add quick links to your snippet, you need to meet the following criteria:

  1. 1. You set quick links to a web page.
  2. 2. A web page is within the top-20 search results.
  3. 3. A web page is wiin the top-3 most relevant search results.
  4. 4. A web page is not infected with the virus.
  5. 5. There are no 404 errors when a search bot visits it.

Keep in mind that you cannot manage quick links in Google.

What Is a Featured Snippet?

Google makes it easier for users to find what they need by providing a special featured snippet block at the top of the search results. When a user asks a question, a featured snippet provides them a summary of the best answer found, extracted from a webpage, the page title, and URL. The algorithm detects pages that answer the user’s inquiry, identifies the top result, and then composes a featured snippet in the search results. Users can help to improve it by clicking the “Feedback” link.

You cannot mark your web page as a featured snippet, but you can remove page content from this feature using the <meta name=”googlebot” content=”nosnippet”> tag on your page.

To get an idea of how to optimize for Google’s featured snippets, check out this article.

What Are the Benefits of Optimized Snippets?

It is easy to create an optimized snippet, so do not hesitate to get started. Since majority of users read snippets before they click on a link within the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), this is your chance to attract more visitors to your website.

Although search engines do not consider a snippet as a ranking factor, it affects user behavior and, therefore, typically results in more clicks to your website. The more appealing the description of a web page is, the more likely users will visit it. Therefore, snippets are an important part of search engine optimization (SEO).

To find out more about SEO services and their benefits, check this out!

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Snippets: What and Why behind Them

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