Are Your Snippets Working? Google’s Rich Results Tool Now Allows You to Edit & Test Code in Real Time
By Iris Hearn
Google made an update to its Rich Results Test tool that takes some of the guesswork out of how a snippet will perform on search engines.
The new feature allows user to edit the snippet code directly within the tool and see how those edits impact search results in real time.
What Are Rich Results?
This feature only works to test Rich Results, meaning any kind of search result outside of a standard blue link. This could mean featured snippets (or what some are calling “position zero”), carousels, stars, ratings, or any other result outside of the standard format.
Sometimes, Google will place an article in these spots on its own using information it draws from the Knowledge Graph. The most effective way to get your content featured in one of these spots is to have a snippet within the page or article code that essentially instructs Google what to pull out.
How Does it Work?
Until this update, it was difficult to ensure the code being placed on the page would work the way intended, and it required a process of trial and error to see if the changes were recognized Google.
Now, users can easily see how changes to the code on their site will affect the page’s eligibility for rich results just as easily as you can view simple code changes when editing website content.
Here’s what you’ll see:
Google also released this testing page where you can actually play around with the code and see how it works.
How Does This Help Marketers?
What many marketers find most challenging when it comes to SEO is determining if the changes being made to the website are actually having the desired effect on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
This update provides marketers with the insights they need to ensure their efforts are paying off, and eliminates the cumbersome trial and error testing process.
Ranking in a rich result position can be very powerful in helping your page stand out on search engines, which in turn boosts organic traffic. It is particularly impactful when it comes to mobile searches, where the number of no-click searches is on the rise (meaning that mobile users are getting the answers they need right on the SERPs - often in the form of a rich result - without ever having to visit a website).
Until now, getting your content into Google’s rich results has been a bit of a guessing game. Hopefully, this new feature from Google is a sign that the search giant is moving more in the direction of giving marketers practical tools they need to optimize content for the SERPs.
Wondering where to begin?