Type in ‘Superman’ on Google, notice anything different? You should do! Google has recently added structured snippets to its live searches. These snippets provide factual information alongside search results and are becoming more frequent on search engine result pages.
Here you can see an example of Google’s new structured snippets. Underneath the Wikipedia search engine result for the ‘Superman’ page, Google now provides additional factual information, including whom created Superman, where the character first appeared and his place of origin.
Google announced the new feature on its research blog, explaining that it is now out of the testing phase. It also provided information about how the structured snippets are powered; explaining that they use a ‘knowledge graph and other data sources’ and that they work by using ‘machine learning techniques to distinguish data tables from uninteresting tables.’
The algorithms used to create Google’s structured snippets are designed to determine which pieces of information are the most useful and relevant to users. Google were keen to point out that the quality of facts will ‘vary across results based on page content’ but that they will be continuing to work on improving their accuracy and relevance.
Getting structured snippets for your website’s search results will likely prove beneficial as users will already be able to see that your site has the information they are looking for, making them more likely to click on your link.
So how do you go about getting structured snippets for your website? The key is to make your content as informative, accurate and relevant as possible. Make sure that you deliver the facts and mark your site up with micro-data to make your content easier for Google to understand.
The introduction of structured snippets suggests that Google is planning for their web search to be used as an information source itself, rather than just a gateway to other pages.
Image credit: mj0310