google rich snippetsWhat is a Snippet and what are the parts?

This article talks in brief of the Google Rich Snippets tool and how it helps a webmaster structure his code well so that a website is found correctly during a search. Did you know the small pieces that make up the way you see the results of a search. These small results are called “snippets”. These are links to the pages and a brief description of the same. These rich snippets help the customers with a convenient glance of the summary information of their search.

The parts that comprise a snippet are the Title, History, Brief Description, Notes and Site links.

The Google rich snippets testing tool is an online link which helps the user to check for the individual key fields from the coded page. For example if the website deals with antique cars and prized possessions, these keywords are automatically picked up by the web crawlers, and Google might show a snippet when the Rich Snippet testing tool is used.

It sounds very good and easy, but if it is not done well if the data is not structured as per the requirements which will end up generating completely irrelevant keywords. The Google rich snippets testing tool helps in the following two ways:

a)    It helps in validating the semantic mark-up. If it is not showing up the right properties, there is something wrong which needs to be corrected.

b)    It also shows how the semantic data can change the way it is searched using search engines.

How to use the Google Rich Snippet Testing Tool:

a)    The rich snippet testing tool is available at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets

b)    The user needs to insert the full URL to be tested in the search box and click “Preview”. The web page should be online and not on a computer’s hard drive.

c)     The search results show up in basic two parts,

i)              The “ Google search preview” shows how the pages will show up as a result of a search

ii)             The “Extracted rich snippet data from the page” shows the semantic data extractions made by Google from the markup.

Latest additions:

Recently the structured data testing too has been released and renamed version. It’s a new version of the rich snippet testing tool. Some improvements made are:

  • The rich snippets are displayed differently to match the way they would appear in search results.
  • A new visual way of displaying what possible semantic data could be extracted from the page and how it would show up in the search results.
  • The tool is now available in languages besides English like Spanish, Arabic, French, etc. to help different webmasters worldwide to build data enabled structured websites.

Effectiveness of the tool:

The tool so far has proven to be very effective and has been able to bring a common consensus among the webmasters to create a common structuring format, responses being positive so far and reduced confusion and comments about error.

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