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The world’s favourite search engine continues to develop new products and services. Google’s core business search, is one area where the company strives to make the user experience better. This is even more important than ever before as the use of mobile shows no sign of slowing down.
Over 50% of the searches Google gets, are made on mobile phones
Sundar Pichai, Google CEO at I/O 2016
Having recently removed the side listings some 3 months ago, the company is building on its Rich Snippets structure with the introduction of Rich Cards.
So, what are Rich Cards and why is Google introducing them? In order to understand Rich Cards, it would be useful to understand how we got here.
Structured Data and Rich Snippets
As all good SEO’s know, back in 2009 Google launched Rich Snippets. Rich Snippets is a way of displaying information in search engine result pages (SERPs). This allows users to see natural search results that we take for granted today. These generally consist of extra information alongside the search listing. These may include:
- Star ratings
- A richer header title
- Stronger and longer description
In 2011 Google worked with the other search engines, namely Bing and Yahoo, to create a set of data sets or schemas to unify and help improve search results. Schemas enable web publishers, mainly their webmasters, to embed structured data on their web pages to be indexed and used by search engines.
So here we are in May 2016 and mobile is everything. Building on the success of Rich Snippets, Google has launched Rich Cards. Rich Cards use schema.org structured markup to display search engine results in an even more dramatic visual format and a focus on creating engagement. We can see from the example below that Rich Cards are designed for the mobile environment.
Making Results Stand Out
Rich cards give brands the opportunity to make their search results stand out. Currently being tested in movie and recipe listings; Rich Cards will change how users engage with your search content and how you can direct relevant search queries to their desired destination on your site.
The first step is to visit the Google blog that goes a little deeper into the Rich Cards format.
Quoting directly from the blog, here are some areas to look at first with links to some tools:
- Find out which fields are essential to mark up in order for a Rich Card to appear. We’ve also listed additional fields that can enhance your Rich Cards.
- See a preview in the revamped Structured Data Testing Tool of how the Rich Card might appear in Search (currently available for recipes and movies).
- Use the the Structured Data Testing Tool to see errors as you tweak your markup in real time.
If you would like to know more about Rich Cards and how they can help your business, contact the team at Digital Clarity.