Google rolled out a new tweak on search listings – a feature called structured snippets – on September 23, Tuesday. The tech giant says this is a step toward improving search results by providing more relevant information to searchers.
Zoning in on the Specifics
Structured snippets serve as a new way to pull more information from a website and show it on the SERPs. In its official announcement, the search giant provided visual examples of what the new feature does – and this is one of the two images:
As seen above, structured snippets insert tabular data below the meta description. Unlike AdWords’ sitelinks, however, the snippets have no hyperlinks – just plain text-based data.
Google explained how the whole feature works. The algorithm functions in such a way that it extracts data from tables on a certain page and gives it better visibility to improve the relevance of search results. Google Research and Google Web Search programmed the structured snippet algorithm to sift and highlight the most valuable pieces of tabular data up to four structured snippets can appear at once.
Impact on Search
The search landscape is no stranger to the idea of enhanced snippets, but this new feature presents something new to the table. Contrary to the typical snippets, webmasters have no say on which specific data will appear on the SERPs – yes, the algorithm decides for this one.
Some think that structured snippets might have a negative impact on click-through rates, because searchers can have their queries answered without clicking on a website. But as of now, it’s still too early to tell how much of an effect structured snippets will have on search campaigns. In truth, only very few queries display structured snippets on the results. Google admits that the team is still working on further tweaks to ensure that this feature functions smoothly.
Nevertheless, this is a clear step from Google that aims to organize online content as we know it. With the right tweaks in current content, marketers can leverage structured snippets into a useful search tool for better online visibility.
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