Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

Google Quietly Pushing More Links + Data in Snippets

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Posted by randfish

The last 3 months have heralded a bevy of new tests and features from Google’s search results, and it’s worth taking a review of the most frequent of these and examining what it potentially holds for optimization of the future.

The new results types include:

Growth of Rich Text Snippets

Perhaps the most obvious and well-covered, rich text snippets enable certain sites to provide Google with extra "structured" information about their pages and receive data callouts in several formats inside Google’s results.

Google Rich Snippets for Volterra Restaurant Seattle

Google Rich Snippets for Hulu

Google Rich Snippets for YouTube

BTW – Notice how Hulu’s rich snippets aren’t quite as "rich" as YouTube’s? I’m not entirely sure why that is, as Hulu does feature star review numbers just like YouTube.

Google Rich Snippets for LinkedIn

Internal Anchor Links

Google’s been recognizing use of the hash tag (#) in URLs and has taken a new approach of showing these embedded anchor links right in the SERPs as separate callouts.

Google internal anchors for Wikipedia

Google internal anchors for SCNF.org

Google internal anchors for SEOmoz

Google internal anchors for Gmail

This last Gmail result is among the more recent changes Google’s shown with the "jump to" feature embedded inside the snippet (rather than below it).

Page-Specific Sitelinks

Domains have, for a long time, been able to achieve "sitelink" status, whereby important subpages are listed below the main URL, taking up a significant portion of a SERPs’ real estate. Now, Google is offering a similar, though slightly less spacious, piece of real estate to sub-pages on individual internal pages.

Google's Page-Specific Sitelinks for Wolf-Howl.com

Google's Page-Specific Sitelinks for SEOBook.com

Embedded Vertical Results

Several forms of this feature have received mainstream coverage, but the use of embedding vertical data and links, typically with the "+" link, has grown in recent months to encompass data of all kinds.

Google Vertical Results Embed for Intel.com

Google Vertical Embed for TripAdvisor.com

Google's Vertical Embed Data for Scholar on Lehigh.edu results

Google Vertical Embed of Google Book Data in Results

Multi-Page Article Results

One of the least reported (at least in my brief survey of blog posts) effects, this rich snippet format can have a dramatic effect on the vertical space devoted to a listing. It shows for certain types of forum threads & articles where multiple pages are (in Google’s eyes) relevant to the search query.

 Google Multi-Page Listings for ForumGarden.com

Google Multi-Page Listings for RetailMeNot.com

What Does this Portend for SEO?

  • Smart, valuable internal anchors may be a good way to get more visibility in the SERPs
  • Attaching vertical data or vertical connections to URLs can earn more visibility (but Google may also take those clicks away as they lead back to other Google properties such as Maps, Finance, etc.)
  • Earning authority to individual internal pages may be a valuable tactic to receive greater eyeball activity in the results (even if your page’s don’t rank #1)
  • Multiple authors and pages on blog/forum style content can attract greater SERPs real estate

I’d love to hear other new kinds of SERPs you’ve been seeing and the impact you perceive on the practices of SEO and content creation.

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Related posts:

  1. Links Top List of Search Engine Ranking Factors
  2. Google Maps Adds Arterial Roads to Traffic Layer with Data from Your Phone
  3. Google Tests Ads with Images in Sponsored Links
  4. Protect Your Data By Moving to the Google Opt-Out Village
  5. Blogs Increase Traffic, Links and Indexing According to Hubspot Study

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