About rich snippets and structured data

Rich snippets (microdata, microformats, RDFa, and Data Highlighter)

Snippets—the few lines of text that appear under every search result—are designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query.

Rich snippets for a recipe listing, an event listing, and a music listing

If Google understands the content on your pages, we can create rich snippets—detailed information intended to help users with specific queries. For example, the snippet for a restaurant might show the average review and price range; the snippet for a recipe page might show the total preparation time, a photo, and the recipe’s review rating; and the snippet for a music album could list songs along with a link to play each song. These rich snippets help users recognize when your site is relevant to their search, and may result in more clicks to your pages.

Three steps to rich snippets:

1. Pick a markup format.

Google suggests using microdata, but any of the three formats below are acceptable. You don't need any prior knowledge of these formats, just a basic knowledge of HTML. Structured Data Markup Helper can show you how to add microdata to your site.

2. Mark up your content.

Google supports rich snippets for these content types:

Google also recognizes markup for video content and uses it to improve our search results.


Want author information to appear in search results? Here's how to do it.

3. Test your markup.

Use the structured data testing tool to make sure that Google can read and extract your marked-up data.

That’s it! Once you've added and tested your rich snippets markup, Google will discover it the next time we crawl your site. A few points to note:

  • It may take some time for rich snippets to appear in search results or Place Pages.
  • If rich snippets aren't appearing for your site, see possible reasons why.
  • Marking up your data for rich snippets won't affect your page's ranking in search results, and Google doesn’t guarantee to use your markup.
Instead of adding HTML markup to all of your pages, you can use Data Highlighter to help Google understand the content of your pages. Data Highlighter is a webmaster tool for teaching Google about the pattern of structured data on your website. You simply use Data Highlighter to tag the data fields on your site with a mouse. Then Google can present your data more attractively -- and in new ways -- in search results and in other products such as the Google Knowledge Graph.

Which method is right for you?

Use HTML markup if...

  • You want explicit control over how Google understands the events, recipes, or other types of data on your site.
  • You can add HTML markup consistently to all data items.
  • Your site structure changes frequently.
  • You want other search engines to understand the content on your website in addition to Google. (The data that Data Highlighter extracts is available only to Google.)

Use Data Highlighter if...

  • Your site displays data about events.
  • You're considering structured data and rich snippets for your site, but you are not yet ready to commit resources to updating HTML markup. 
  • You prefer to point and click on web pages instead of writing HTML markup.
  • You can't change the HTML markup on a site, or you can't consistently mark up data items.
To use Data Highlighter, see About Data Highlighter.
Note:
Data Highlighter doesn't teach Google about pages that already contain HTML markup specifying the data structure. You can still use Data Highlighter if some of the pages on a site already contain HTML markup, but Data Highlighter will teach Google only about the pages without the markup.