SEO basics 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:

Google shows the title in blue, the URL in green 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:

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.

Why are they 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. 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. 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!

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 offers an online training to teach you how to implement structured data so Google can show rich results. We’ll show you different strategies (from beginner to more advanced levels), so that everyone will be able to get started with structured data and get those rich results!

Keep reading: Structured data with the ultimate guide »

Use structured data to win in Google!

  • Make your search results stand out
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • On-demand SEO training by Yoast
  • No technical skills required!
More info

18 Responses to What are rich snippets?

  1. Aloka
    Aloka  • 3 years ago

    Thanks Marieke,
    It’s a very interesting post !… I never knew or bothered to care about Rich Snippets till now. Guess that makes me a newbie

  2. Farisa
    Farisa  • 3 years ago

    Never thought the snippets were so important. Thanks for the feature.

  3. stepupdigitalmarketing
    stepupdigitalmarketing  • 3 years ago

    Thanks for the excellent and simple explanation. It’s going to help me to explain it in simple terms now. Cheers.

  4. Beontop
    Beontop  • 3 years ago

    Everybody can do their rating. Just need to add on their page this code:

    • Beontop
      Beontop  • 3 years ago
      • Beontop
        Beontop  • 3 years ago

        I can’t add a code )
        But it is very simple and you can get the nice snippet.

  5. Ambalal Solanki
    Ambalal Solanki  • 3 years ago

    Before reading this article i was bit confuse about normal snippets and rich snippets but now i am clear and also got to know that we can create.

  6. Murat
    Murat  • 3 years ago

    Hi Marieke,
    Thanks for the post, very interesting !
    One quick question about rich snippets: Do you known what can explain that one day i have stars on the SERP and other day they’re gone. Frustrating !

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 3 years ago

      Hi Murat, that’s frustrating indeed. But it’s great that Google shows them sometimes already, that means you are doing something right! Just keep on working on the rest of your site’s SEO, because if you rank higher, chances are higher Google will show them.

  7. besten7
    besten7  • 3 years ago

    Rich snippets (especially starts) are a super CTR boost. There is only one problem: Google will not always give you rich snippets. Untill now I was not able to figure out the reason why some of my websites dont get rich snippets. On the other hand some sites have rich snippets. What are the main reasons for not getting those stars? The technical setup is all correct! :-(

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 3 years ago

      Hi! That’s correct… unfortunately Google doesn’t always show them for every site. The only thing you can do is add them and make sure you work on the rest of your SEO so you’ll rank high, that increases chances of Google showing them.

  8. Yasar
    Yasar  • 3 years ago

    Thank you for this Easy To Understand guide.
    I have one quick question if answered would be appreciated.
    Does enabling Breadcrumbs increase SEO & SEs ranking or Not?

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 3 years ago

      Hi Yasar, Breadcrumbs are beneficial for SEO because they help Google and your users understand your site structure!

  9. FDL Design
    FDL Design  • 3 years ago

    Never thought the snippets were so important.
    Thanks a lot for sharing with us!
    Activated some for a client’s product reviews looks sick.

  10. priya
    priya  • 3 years ago

    Greate post. Keep posting such kind of information on your site.
    Im really impressed by your blog.

  11. Lrers
    Lrers  • 3 years ago

    Amazing article to about rich snippet important

  12. Saurabh tiwari
    Saurabh tiwari  • 3 years ago

    Fantastic article, I’ve been wondering how to do this exact thing! :) Thanks much
    Just wanted to know, is a rich snippet helps to improve the CTR and reduce the bounce rate?

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 3 years ago

      Hi Saurabh, That’s correct! Rich snippets can improve the CTR and reduce bounces, because people will know better what to expect.