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Google Structured Snippets: What You Need to Know

Google have rolled out something that they’re calling ‘Structured Snippets’ that will change the way that you browse results on the search engine results page. The simple goal is to get relevant data into the hands of users as quickly and efficiently as possible, but there will be various implications for businesses.

Google Structured Snippets: What You Need to Know

Google’s Structured Snippets are, in a nutshell, a fairly routine improvement for the search engine to make. They’ll mean that when you make a search – particularly for a well-known or unique result – a short definition will be provided as part of the search result.

Here’s an example from a search for ‘Batman’. The first result is from Wikipedia and gives a brief introduction to the comic book superhero Batman. It tells us when the character first appeared and who it was created by. The expectation is that this will provide more relevant search results – powered by Google’s Knowledge Graph – that will make it much easier to find what you’re looking for.

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Structured Snippets Will Change How You Use Google

The biggest change for most of us will be how we use Google. Traditionally the search engine has tried to find the most relevant result for a particular search term and provide this at the top of the search engine results page. However, this would still require a user to click through to another page, potentially reading through a significant body of text before finding their answer.

Structured Snippets will change this.

Google’s obvious goal is that more searches will deliver relevant answers to the user without them leaving the Google results page. This is clearly more efficient, but it has two repercussions. The first is that you’ll be able to spend more time on the internet without leaving Google – something that the search and its partners will be very happy about. The second is that popular results – particularly those providing answers to common questions – are likely to see their share of web traffic decline.

Do You Need a Wikipedia Page?

You’ll notice that Structured Snippets are currently very dependent upon Wikipedia. This is likely to change in time as Google’s search algorithms become more advanced, but at the moment Wikipedia often provides the most concise, direct answer.

It might be that you need to set up or edit a Wikipedia page for your business, organisation or product. Whilst it might be tempting to try and get people to click through to your site, the simple fact is that long-term compliance with Google strategy has numerous benefits for a website. These include search visibility and ultimately SEO results. Making sure that Wikipedia provides a clear, accurate description that answers the search question is therefore a very sensible move.

Google Yourself: Happy With The Results?

It’s good to regularly Google yourself. This will give you an idea of how you’re performing in the search results. It will also show you what your customers are experiencing when they search for you. If you’re not happy with your position then you might need to consider investing in an SEO strategy.