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Jun 2015

Rich Snippets: Is Your Website Displaying Them in Google Search?

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Over there I encountered an interesting problem where a restaurant owner was complaining about his restaurant not showing Rich Snippets in Google SERPs for his website’s root domain but one of the sub-domains.

How to test a website for Structured Data like Rich Snippets?

To test his website’s code competence with Rich Snippet, he used the Testing Tool for Structured Data. You can also check your website:

Visit https://developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/–> Click “Fetch URL” –> Enter URL to test in the box –> Click “FETCH AND VALIDATE” –> Check the results for warning and error.

rich-snippet-error

The result: Errors and Warnings

Warning are acceptable, not errors. The current website, TripAdvisor, rates various tourist destination on a scale of 1 to 5. However, the website shows error in rating system, making the rating unavailable for the page in Google SERPs for relevant search phrases. The error is visible because nobody has rated this page yet, thus, displaying “missing and required” in red.

The same goes for name (fn), which is missing. The third shows that a user has to give a rating in order to make Rich Snippets visible in the SERPs.

An example: No error or warnings

Let’s us test another website page, whose rating is available in the SERPs.

serp-snippet-google

The SERP clearly shows 4.5 rating for this webpage. Checking it with Testing Tool for Structured Data shows

structured-data-testing-tool

There are certainly zero errors, neither warnings, nothing in red. Rather than errors and warnings like our previous tests, the result of the tool shows “Customised Search Result Filters”, with a brief of the Rich Snippet elements present in the page’s source code.

The case study:

Coming back to “rating not visible in domain but in sub-domain” example.

rich-snippet-case-study

The rating beside the sub-domain couture.zappos.com/… is clearly visible while it is not visible beside the domain for the same products. What makes the situation even more peculiar is this that both the pages were showing errors after testing them with that tool.

After unveiling the mystery, it was later found that the domain was recently crawled by Google Bots while the subdomain was not yet crawled. Further, the markup for the product page has nesting issues: the Product and AggregateRating, Review and Offer types were not connected.

Conclusion:

The page requires Product mark-up before nesting it in Offer, AggregateRating and Review.

In addition, the sub-domain was using a different format of structured data than the domain. Google recommends choosing one format and to use it for the whole website. Using different format of structured data everywhere will make the GoogleBots confused.

Ever wondered How Search Engines Process Links?

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