Google Upgrades Their Rich Snippets Testing Tool To Better Reflect Display In Search Results

Google has renamed its rich snippets testing tool in webmaster tools to Structured Data, improved it to better reflect what the search result will actually look like and has expanded the types of structured data supported.

Google first launched rich snippets — enhanced markup of search results — in 2009 and has been adding the types of support markup ever since. In 2011, in conjunction with Microsoft and Yahoo, they launched schema.org, which expanded the types of markup available, although not every type of results is in the enhanced display (yet).

Implementing structured data that results in rich snippets can improve the click through rate of your pages from search results and better engage your audience.

The Structured Data Testing Tool shows not only what the search results display will look like, but what structured markup Google has extracted from the page.

Google Rich Snippets

Google Structured Markup

The tool currently supports the following types:

  • applications
  • authors
  • events
  • music
  • people
  • products
  • products with many offers
  • recipes
  • reviews

I’m having a bit of trouble with the tool. For instance, looking at the page they show in the blog post: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/banana-banana-bread/, the rich snippet appears in the tool correctly, as you can see in the screenshot above. However, the image is missing for this page in the actual search results.

Google Recipe Snippet

Why isn’t the image showing up?

Webmaster tools has also launched stats about structured data. Choose Structured Data from the Optimization section to see the number of pages on your site from which Google has extracted structured data and how many types were found. You can click on a markup type to see the URLs that were found. I don’t quite get what this data is telling me, so I’m going to see what additional details I can find out from Google. What’s the difference between items and pages? If you have structured markup on significantly more pages than are shown on this graph, how can you find out what’s gone wrong?

Google webmaster tools structured data

As always, I’m happy to see Google provide more data, and a mechanism for debugging problems, these tools could just benefit from a big more debugging details.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Features: Analysis | Google: Rich Snippets | Google: Webmaster Central | Schema.org | Top News

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. She built Google Webmaster Central and went on to found software and consulting company Nine By Blue and create Blueprint Search Analytics< which she later sold. Her book, Marketing in the Age of Google, (updated edition, May 2012) provides a foundation for incorporating search strategy into organizations of all levels. Follow her on Twitter at @vanessafox.

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  • http://www.heatherphysioc.com/ Heather Physioc SEO

    I thought the rich snippets tool merely showed you that your page was capable of displaying as a rich snippet, not necessarily that it was guaranteed to show the full rich snippet, and not necessarily guaranteed to show rich snippet for every search.

  • http://twitter.com/TheNextCorner Dennis Goedegebuure

    Software Applications Schema lost the Icon/Logo a couple of months ago already. Everybody was using the schema to show up with an image in the SERP’s, looked terrible, as not every image was of quality. Might have been one reason why recipes now followed suit.

  • Alan

    Up until about 4 months ago rich snippets were one of the most abused parts of serps. Google has tightened it a bit. however you still see people abusing it. personally I don’t even like how it looks on the search results. However I make sure I use it to try and get any advantage I can!

  • Hadi Nugraha

    The tool now is not showing any data for any posts, only for the main domain url. Why?

  • Carisa Carlton

    If you are running a WordPress blog, it’s easier to add snippets with plugins.

  • http://www.ninebyblue.com Vanessa Fox

    This is true, but in this case, the URL is showing a rich snippet, it’s just missing the image. Google’s blog post says that one of the enhancements is the the tool should more accurately reflect what the rich snippet will look like in the SERP, and in this case, it doesn’t. I don’t know if that’s due to an error (in which case the tool should point that out) or something else.

  • Mark Stegman

    Schema is the future of a search engines ability to directly respond with accurate information, instead of offering websites with probable results to a query. Schema is what will give Siri the ability to respond with accurate information and not just send you to the web.

  • http://www.seoskeptic.com/ Aaron Bradley

    As per the point made by @HeatherPhysiocSEO:disqus the result of a test in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool no more guarantees that the rich snippet will appear as displayed – or at all – then, say, that one can be guaranteed that a title tag will be faithfully reproduced by Google as the linked title in a search snippet.

    From what I can see the revamped tool indeed does more accurately what a given rich snippet *might* appear in search. There’s more pages with properly-encoded structured data that lack rich snippets in the SERPs than one can shake a stick at. Obviously the appearance of structured data is not the only thing Google takes into account in deciding (in the machine sense) whether to display rich snippets, such as the degree to which Google has trust in the site, or the provenance of the data displayed.

    So I don’t think this is in an error or “something else,” unless that something else is the removal of the standard disclaimer that used to appear on the testing tool – and yes, to your point about Google pointing this out, Vanessa – probably should be restored.

    The concluding paragraph of the Google Help Center article on “Rich snippets not appearing” is fairly unequivocal in this regard when they say “we can’t make guarantees about how we may use data from any particular site….”

  • http://softwarebuzzer.com/ Suresh Kumar

    The awesome features is,..we can find the rich snippets of our custom search engine too. Good move

  • http://twitter.com/PressTorFR Press Tor

    I recently had a look to the result of semantic ‘rich’ expression like ‘Madonna’ or ‘Obama’. The results are amazing (you have to be in english-language google). Have a look to some dog’s species for instance. It also shows you different breeds.

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