Rich snippets are the new thing in seonomy, and all they are is a new form of identification for search engines so they can easily identify what your page is really about.  The bad news is, it takes a little more work to get them put together. The good news is, Google is weighing them incredibly heavily, and almost nobody is doing them!

The bad news is, it takes a little more work to get them put together. The good news is, Google is weighing them incredibly heavily, and almost nobody is using them!

This is a rare moment of opportunity for small businesses who really want to get a jump on their competition.  Unless people are actively rebuilding their site, they probably won’t be in a position to insert rich snippets into their pages. If you are just starting out with a new website, you are in the best position possible, because rich snippets will become part of your regular content creation habits.

So, what is a rich snippet?  The best way to understand it is by analogy.  Imagine walking into an old fashioned library, and needing to find a book describing the trial of Socrates.  It does no good to look for a book WRITTEN by Socrates, because (SPOILER ALERT!)  not only did he die right after the trial, but Socrates never wrote anything himself! His students wrote everything we know of the man.

So, what do you do?  Go to the section on Classics? Philosophy? Greek History? All of the above?

No.  The first thing you do is go to the Card File. Those little three by five index cards contained everything, sorted by category, author or title.  And that’s the best part, because there just happens to be a book called “The Trial of Socrates”, written by one of his students. Some guy named “Plato”. 

Rich Snippets are nothing but an index card that tells Google what’s on your site.  In fact, they look more like one of those index cards than you might think. Here’s how one appears on a product page:

Like I said, it looks just like an index card, or maybe even a recipe card. As such, it is your recipe for success.  Here’s one from the same website, but this one is about an article they wrote on how to measure for a sidesaddle:

What you see here is a great example of cross selling within a site. They have a reasonably expensive item that they want to sell, and they are using that item to attract attention to their site by creating content around the product.  This leads us into our next topic.