Microformats and rich snippets allow you to enhance your website in the SERP's (search engine result pages) and indirectly increase your clickthru rates and visitor traffic. Over the past year, search engines such as Google have started using Microformats to enhance their search results for users. Let’s look at how this can work with reviews, people and events.
You may have noticed in Google's search results product reviews appearing before the rest of the search result listings. Sometimes these reviews feature star ratings. Google calls such listings ‘rich snippets’, which are most often based on the hReview microformat standard. If you have product reviews on your website, hReview gives you the opportunity to mark up single user-generated reviews and an overall score of multiple reviews. In the image above, reviewer name and date of review can also be included in the search result.
More information on how Google uses the hReview microformat
If you have searched for a collegue or friend in Google before you may have noticed that sometimes their name, location and job title is in the SERP's. These results are rich snippets that Google uses based on the hCard microformat standard.
hCard is dedicated to marking up data that describes contact and social networking information. hCard can describe names, job titles, locations and the name a person is associated with.
More information on using the hCard microformat from Google
Some website's like The List, have event information displayed in Google's SERP's. This is because they have marked up their events data using the hEvent microformat standard. hEvent describes information such as event location, start date and time, and event name.
More information on using the hEvent microformat from Google
Benefits of Microformats
Microformats benefit the search engines in that it enables them to understand the data they collect more semantically and to easilly extract this data and incorporate and syndicate it across other contexts and mediums. This means they are able to deliver more relevant and timely results faster and easier to the end user.
Microformats also enable website's to distribute their content more effectively and thus indirectly gather more visitors through increased click-thrus to that data. If you are a website with lots of information on reviews, people or events then you should consider investing the time to convert your existing data to a microformat that will have a real effect on the bottom line of your business and give you a major advantage over you competitors in the SERP's.
Google do not accept all website's that have rich snippet microformat data, but are instead reviewing sites on a case by case basis. To be included in Google's rich snippet SERP, they recommend webmaster's submit their website's for review through this form.
If you would like to find out how Clicknetworks can help your company or organisation enchance its online presence and gain more traffic through microformats and rich snippets then simply contact us.