What are rich snippets?

Maybe you’ve heard about the concept of rich snippets. SEO experts seem to think everyone knows exactly what they are. But, for SEO newbies, a rich snippet is a really vague term. What is it exactly? Time to explain what they are, why they’re important for SEO and how you can get them for your site.

Update: Since the 11.0 release, Yoast SEO builds a full structured data graph for every post or page on your site! A graph is a complete piece of structured data with well-defined connections to all the different parts. Search engines now not only know what all the parts mean but also how they fit together. Want to know what it does for your website? Read all about structured data in Yoast SEO!

What is a rich snippet?

A snippet is a result Google shows to the user in the search results. An example: I was searching for a good recipe for homemade ice cream and googled it. Google showed me a results list with normal snippets and rich snippets — or rich results as they are now called. A normal snippet usually looks like this:

A simple, run of the mill snippet in Google

Google shows the title in blue, the URL in black and a description of what the page is about. This is what we call the snippet, the thing Yoast SEO helps you to optimize with our snippet preview.

A rich result or snippet shows extra information between the URL and the description. It looks like this:

A recipe rich result for the same query as the one above

In this snippet, a picture of the ice cream is added, you can see the rating of the recipe, the time it takes to prepare this type of ice cream and the number of calories it contains. As you can see, it contains much more information than the normal snippet does. That’s why we call it a rich snippet.

Some topics, like recipes, also come with other types of rich results like the caroussel:

A recipe carrousel on desktop — you’ll see these even more often on mobile

Why are rich results important for SEO?

Rich results or snippets stand out from the other snippets. They look much nicer and you’ll instantly know more, just by looking at them. You’ll know whether other people liked the homemade ice cream and how long it’ll take you to make it. Take it from Rich, he knows all about snippets!

Hi, my name is Snippet. Rich Snippet. Rich snippets are snippets that have a higher click-through rate. People just prefer to click on the results that give them more information.

If the click-through rate of a snippet increases, you’ll get more traffic from that search result. Not because your position in the search engine changed, but just because more people click on your result. They just stand out, like me!

In the long run, rich snippets will affect your ranking as well. As more people click on your result, Google will notice that people prefer your page above other ones. That’ll definitely improve your rankings in the long run!

So, be awesome like Rich Snippet in his snazzy suit and work on your rich results!

How do you get rich snippets?

Google can show rich results or snippets if you add structured data to your site. Structured data is a piece of code in a specific format, written in such a way that search engines understand it. Search engines read the code and use it to create rich results.

Read more: What is structured data »

Adding structured data to your website can be quite daunting. But we’re here to help! Yoast SEO comes with a powerful framework for implementing structured data. This helps to make your site more understandable for search engines like Google. Yoast SEO also offers different structured data content blocks — for FAQs and how-tos, for instance — to help build specific types of content. This way, you can get rich results for this particular types of content. Everyone will be able to get started with structured data and get those rich results!

Keep reading: Structured data with Schema.org: the ultimate guide »

16 Responses to What are rich snippets?

  1. mogazmasr
    mogazmasr  • 2 months ago

    I wanna ask, are Rich snippets can work with News portal, and it can enhance our ranking in google top stories

    • Edwin Toonen
      Edwin Toonen  • 2 months ago

      Hi! The top stories carrousel is a rich result for news sites, so if you are a valid news publication, your content can appear in that carrousel.

  2. Manoj kumar
    Manoj kumar  • 2 months ago

    What should I emphasis on to get more featured snippets for blog posts/

  3. guru
    guru  • 2 months ago

    Rich snippets can really work in our blog . thanks to yoast making it easy !

  4. Mike
    Mike  • 2 months ago

    This article is frustrating. I get the need for rich snippets. I pay for Yoast SEO. But neither this article, nor ‘Yoast SEO comes with a powerful framework for implementing structured data’ link tell me what to do to get them.

    How about a simple step by step ‘how to’ – as text or video?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 2 months ago

      Hi Mike, thanks for your feedback! In fact, we’re working on a how-to, that will be published soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, we also have an extensive guide on structured data you might want to read: https://yoast.com/structured-data-schema-ultimate-guide/. But keep in mind, we can’t give any guarantees for rich results, unfortunately. We can help you offer your pages in the best way possible (great content for users, fast, with structured data) but Google will decide in the end which page will get the rich results.

  5. Praveenyadav
    Praveenyadav  • 2 months ago

    Nice Blog and I think rich snippets can only appear for pages with certain types of information, and they can be limited further by a device type.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 2 months ago

      Hey Praveen, types of rich results can differ indeed depending on the device you’re using. Thanks for the addition!

  6. Umzugsunternehmen Berlin
    Umzugsunternehmen Berlin  • 2 months ago

    Rich Snippets und vorgestellte Snippets sollten die gleichen Funktionen haben oder? Und danke für den Artikel. Sehr informativ.

  7. Jay
    Jay  • 2 months ago

    This is only for recipes or we can use any website?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 2 months ago

      Hi Jay! Recipes are a well-known example, but you see rich snippets or results of all kinds: books, products, events etc. You can find more types here: https://yoast.com/rich-results-everywhere/. Good luck!

  8. Ramanan
    Ramanan  • 2 months ago

    Off topic. WordPress 5.5 made some changes wrt the trailing slash in robots.txt

    Your robot.txt/ (one with trailing slash) has a different content) than robots.txt (without trailing slash)

  9. Robby
    Robby  • 2 months ago

    Rich snippets and featured snippets almost have the same features and benefits but what is the difference here?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 2 months ago

      Hi Robby! Featured snippets are highlighted boxes above the “regular” search results, also called answer boxes. They often display a definition, a list, an explanation of a concept, or an answer to a question. They can, but aren’t necessarily related to structured data. You can read all about them here: https://yoast.com/featured-snippet-answer-box/