Google Rich Cards Offer Visible Search Results for an Online Competitive Edge
To stand out search results competitively in both PC and Mobile Google Search, results enriched through rich snippets further attract the eye of the user through the visible image.
Every business needs to innovate in order to stand out in search results and maintain a competitive edge. This helps the Internet user better understand the content of connecting web pages and it plays highly into the increased probability of improving site click-through rate. Google announced the new search result format on May 18, 2016, called snippets Rich, or Rich cards, or what some refer to as “enriched cards”. This article will help webmasters and SEO’s save time, effort and energy when improving web pages with Google structured data to achieve desirable outcomes – and hopefully, Google rich cards.
For sites offering video content, a format of video thumbnail images are typically displayed at the top of SERPs and stand out from traditional search results via rich snippets. In some cases, notably in Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) results may be prioritized and displayed in the Google News Carousel, a cutting-edge form of navigation that Google developed to suit mobile users. Rich cards make a particularly strong visible statement in mobile SERPs as appear at the top of the mobile results as a digital card. Users seem to prefer the Google carousel format where they can scroll through them from left to right and access more details with a single click.
How to Learn Which Rich Cards are Giving you a Competitive Edge
Leading digital marketers are already convinced as to the importance of ensuring that the website’s they manage rank high in search engine result pages (SERPs). Since Google rich cards are displayed at the top, the advantages of being able to inform Google that your site should be displayed as a rich card for specific search results are many. You can follow exactly which cards are displaying for your site from your Google Search Console Rich Cards Report.
While it’s easy to implement rich cards for your site, currently they have limited availability falling in two categories: movies and recipes. However, keep an eye out for our updates; Google has indicated its plan to make rich cards available to additional publishing genres at some point in the future. Becoming knowledgeable now so you’re ready to implement rich cards for products when content on your site is a candidate for newer formats, which may put you a step ahead of your competition and give your site a nice boost in web traffic.
Google Rich Cards Stand Out in Search to Gain Online Competitive Edge
This image clearly shows the evolution of SERPs with the new Rich Cards. This is a newer and alternate Search result format following the success of rich snippets. In the same vein, rich cards are based on updated structured data markup to make SERPs more visually attractive. They are being rolled out in phases to select business niches; this expanded reach indicated Google’s on-going interest in the means of using structured data to create improved SERPs. Use your Google Search Console Reports to check for validation and errors.
According to Dan Leibson, who writes for Local SEO Guide says, “Google is trying to turn even unstructured data into SERPs features, and you can see these in answer boxes and other featured snippets. SEOs like to poke fun at all the examples where they do this wrong, but they are increasingly getting it right.”
Learn how to take advantage of rich search results on Google that produce mobile card formats that prospective buyers find compelling. While a large variety of rich results can be gained in SERPs traditional blue organic links, because most of your competitors aren’t bothering yet to move to move to HTTPS, AMP pages and enhanced structured data, your rich cards may win new business leads.
Google Makes Mobile Search a Richer Visual Experience With Rich Cards
Demand for in-the-moment results from mobile searches is transitioning digital marketing to a better form of mobile pages that produce Google rich cards. We see a progression that more site users prefer to locate information on their own, searching and browsing on mobile devices.
Here is an interesting comment from a June 9, 2016 Execs In The Know article titled The Digital Tipping Point: How to Balance Self-Service & The Human Touch, “Findings from our recent CXMB Corporate Report show that 63% feel their company is beginning to divert focus away from traditional avenues of assistance into autonomous (self-help) options,” said Chad McDaniel. “While it’s crucial to still offer traditional channels, it’s becoming increasingly important to not only offer self-service, but to optimize it the right way.”
Using Google when performing a mobile search will now serve up chances for a better visual experience if the new format for Search: rich cards yields results. This new rich cards search format provided by Google showcases the visual results in a card-like carousel format which empowers users to scroll through the cards quickly and make a selection.
Introduction to Rich Cards
The ‘Rich Card’ report is still the new kid on the block and may take some time to get acquainted with. and I think that because of that the data isn’t complete yet.
Some sites may have Rich Cards faster than others due to their already established history, implementation of structured data, and how frequently Google recrawls their site. For other site owners, it may take some time and patience till these reports turn up in your Google Search Console account reflect them.
Mobile Rich Cards Carousel for Products
How to make your products stand out in search.
At the Aug 26th, 2016 English Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout the following question was asked: Is there any timescale as to when rich cards will be rolled out to products?
The answer from John Mueller was: “I am not aware as to what is happening with the rich card’s rollout there, so I don’t have anything specific to add there. I do know the team is working on that; so it is not something that is completely dropped. Sometimes these things take longer than we expect.”
The core of the Google Search mission is about organizing information and making it useful and accessible to provide answers fast in visible search results. As a result, people can discover and engage with your content quickly and easily by scrolling entity carousels in Google SERPs. Conventional search results appear as the “blue links” with text-based snippets that provide a written preview of the content on your site.
If your business goal is to give an online store savvy content that can show up visibly this attractive in mobile searches, you will need correct e-Commerce JSON-LD script implementation.
4 Steps to Gain Google Rich Cards
1. Register Your Website with Google
2. Prepare Your Site’s Schema Metadata
3. Be Properly Indexed By Google
4. Be the Best Answer to User Search Intent
1. Register Your Website with Google
Whoever is managing your SEO should register your website with Google’s Search Console. This tool offers many ways to optimize your site’s performance in Search; you can ensure that your markup is error-free and shows date and page that produce rich cards. Business owners that have a physical location(s) can register their business with Google via Google My Business and set-up their Google Business Listing. It is well -worth the time and effort it takes to get your business location, NAP (name, address, and Phone) info and hours of operation into both Maps and Search.
2. Prepare Your Site’s Schema Metadata
Metadata is schema data that help describe the content on your site. Primary details should include your core business services and types of content offering solutions to Search users. Google draws this metadata from you in two basic ways: directly from the schema markup, you implemented in your content, or by establishing your site’s domain as an entity authority. Google rapidly determines content metadata and relevant authority data to command features in rich results, in conversational AI, and in its Knowledge Panel.
Content markup: As a content provider, you manage or own online content that you want Search to display in one of its rich formats, such as recipes, articles, or videos. For this purpose, you provide structured data markup for that content based on specific aspects such as ratings, images, and play actions. Entity authority data: An entity authority is a verified authority on a specific thing, such as an official website for an artist, a brick and mortar business like a restaurant, or an organization. You help Google see your business or site as authoritative via information you provide in Google My Business, or by registering and verifying your website using Search Console.
3. Be Properly Indexed By Google
It is critical to your process of being found online to ensure that Google can fully index all your content that you want it to. This is typically a no-sweat process and can take place without any extra effort on the part of webmasters. The GoogleBot crawler follows natural links on-page and discovers your optimized web content, ingests their metadata, and next associates information from external sources, such as incoming links that help establish authority and trust.
This crawling process is controlled behind the scenes by algorithms that decipher web content demand based on a variety of factors, largely coming directly from current user activity. You can help this process of discovery to your content by using SEO tactics that may also include paid search marketing. But you can anticipate rich cards showing up for the pages to which you’ve added markup for specific features.
4. Be the Best Answer to User Search Intent
Before your curate new content for inclusion in Search, prepare it for a variety of visual forms. Be mindful of how presenting your content in an appealing visual manner in SERPs because it will be reflected in how Google Search displays information. The search giant prioritizes users’ search intent and continues to refine its algorithms to better meet what the user really wants with a specific query within a specific context.
For example, if a user queries for “doctor” the search intent is considered too ambiguous, so results may display a mix of items, including a Knowledge Panel about “The Doctors TV Show” or the movie of “Doctor Jackal and Hyde”, news items such as “Obama Administration Eases Restrictions On Doctors Who Treat Opioid Addiction”, or where to find rankings on a doctor. If your search query was really meant to be “find a family doctor in my area” the search intent narrows and produces a different list.
By changing the Google query to something more specific, like “plastic surgery doctor”, a visual map list from various providers will most likely display. As a provider of such medical services needing search, you can mark up your content to make it eligible for single or multi-item rich cards for such types of search use.
Getting your page featured in a rich answer is drawn from schematic markup in the same vein that cards are. Either or both can give your business a massive lift in traffic boost. Link Assistant**** says that “the click-through rates for clickable rich answers is about twice as good as the CTR for a #1 listing on a SERP with no answer box”.
You must aim to have a concept for structure data implementation that also fulfills web design ideas and requirements, and contains content items viewers want. “Like everything else in the new search guides, the nomenclature here draws heavily from the language of mobile,” advises Aaron Bradley in his May 19, 2016 article titled Rich Cards and Google’s Structured Data Restructuring***. He offers clear insights about how Google differentiates between “content items” and “lists of items” when relating recently introduced concepts.
6 BENEFITS YOU GAIN BY USING RICH CARDS:
1. Improved visibility in Google Search
2. Opportunity to gain more targeted web traffic
3. Ability to increase your conversion rates
4. Higher level of business brand awareness
5. Better on-page site appearance
6. Affordable way to benefit search across multiple devices
IMAGE SOURCE: material.google.com/components/cards.html#cards-usage
Google’s Definition of Rich Cards
“A card is the fundamental presentation unit for Search results. It appears in the organic results for Google Search either as a single element or a list of elements. A rich card is a more engaging level of presentation because it improves on the standard Search result with a more structured and visual preview of things you describe with your markup.”
According to Google: When to Use a Layout of Cards
A Google card collection is a layout of cards on the same plane, with specifics offered to Android and Polymer developers. Google cards within a layout of cards are characterized by their rounded corners.
Instructions from Google: use layout when displaying content that:
* As a collection, comprises multiple data types, such as images, movies, and text
* Does not require direct comparison (a user is not directly comparing images or text)
* Supports content of highly variable length, such as comments
* Contains interactive content, such as +1 buttons or comments
* Would otherwise be in a grid list but needs to display more content to supplement the image
Rich Cards Focus on Mobile Search
Google goes on to say, “Cards are a convenient means of displaying content composed of different elements. They’re also well-suited for showcasing elements whose size or supported actions vary, like photos with captions of variable length.” This recent “rich cards” format will make googling from mobile devices a more visual experience than what users have previously had. We can expect to see an ongoing evolution of rich snippets; new versions in search results that produce thumbnail images and a short extract of the page’s content is not intended to entirely supplant the older format. The company first rolled out the feature for recipes and movies, indicating that more will be coming.
So, if you’re doing a search for, say, Captain America: Civil War or a recipe for apple pie, you might see a carousel of cards right on top of the results page that neatly scroll sideways. For now, you can only encounter rich cards if you’re using the English version of Google.com, with advantages for US sites, but the company indicates it will introduce more categories, languages, and mobile advertising options.
The introduction of Rich Cards came along with a statement from Google saying this is “a focus on providing a better mobile user experience”. It once again reinstates the weight that Google places in mobile development. Google has unremittingly invested in the quality of its search results since it first began in the late 1990s. This focus on its end-user drives the way Google evaluates search results and influences the optical display of the so-called “snippets”.
Internet users daily use their free-will as to which device they turn to, and clearly, mobile use is climbing. Therefore, the creation of cards rich with summary details for specific things such as recipes, events, products, or videos is a response to user preferences for ease of use and quick solutions. Google began serving up mobile search results using AMP in December 2015.
Process of How Google Rich Card Results Show Up
The Search algorithm begins when GoogleBot crawls the web from domain link to link. Site owners can control access to their web content, which includes text and images that may show up in the Google Knowledge Graph featured snippets. Next Google typically uses artificial intelligence to assess all the information and serves options to users it search engine result pages (SERPs). Users tend to navigate to visual results first, even though search engines use various algorithms to improve the user experience with features like autocomplete and contextual-based semantic signals.
The latest visual interface for many user experiences is a rich card. Google offers this layout either for one single item or a list of multiple items that can deliver enhanced search results in a manner that renders beautifully across multiple devices and screen sizes. Thomas Coëffé says that “Google recommends using the cards for enhanced web pages where the image is particularly important, especially for sites that reference recipes or movies.” Next, include a reference to these pages within your Google Business Listing to boost your Local Business visibility.
Use Structured Data Documentation to Find Existing Visual Cards
Check to see if your personal name or business name has a featured snippet for a “who is,” “what is,” “how is” type of terms that will produce a rich card.
Then it is possible to give Google feedback as to the way you want it to look. Here is my snippet image as an example. Once you grasp how Google crawls and displays your site/brand, you may want to quickly take action and tweak it.
Once you’ve cleaned up your web content that’s already showing up in rich card snippets, find niche keyword semantic phrases that you’d like to bump up in rankings for. Once you see yourself more visual in SERP rich cards, you can improve from what is “definitely not ideal” to more favorable renderings. You want potential online buyers to get the full experience of who you are by coming to your website. Start by making incremental changes in order to take over and dominate in rankings.
By conducting a structured data site audit for possibilities, it is easier to determine which web page on your site Google thinks is a best fit for a visual snippet.
As artificial intelligence and machine learning become more prominent in medical search technology, eCommerce, and various forms of research, new documentation is frequently surfacing. Digital marketers can check Google’s lists page for schema.org/Product listings, schema.org/Service listings. Just how to use ‘lists’ is evolving, so stay tuned.
Use Google’s Data Highlighter to Gain Rich Cards in Results
A FREE way for your business to stand out in search and gain a competitive edge.
The Data Highlighter is available to every business owner for free and is an excellent alternative way to try gain Google rich cards versus adding Structured Data by hand. This tool uses live data and lets you see test results immediately. When it comes to unique coding, hire a developer to write the code snippets and place within your HTML, since this tool has its limitations. Large sites with thousands of web pages may find it is time-consuming. Start where it makes the most sense and leveraging Google rich snippets may offer the highest ROI.
How to Highlight Content in the Search Console
The Google Search Console is rich with data insights for gaining a competitive edge and to stand out in search results.
1. Open your Google Search Console (GSC).
2. Select “Start Highlighting” to trigger a pop-up.
3. Add the page’s URL, and scroll over the content that you want to markup (client reviews, upcoming events, local business information, organization, eCommerce products, services, YouTube Videos, etc.).
4. Now that it is selected, Google will render the page in the GSC and permit highlighting the corresponding data.
5. Next, choose the text or images on the page that fit for implementing schema. This includes titles, images, categories, NAP, and ratings.
6. Take a look at the preview of your card on the enhanced search engine to identify any errors that may have been made. Invalid rich cards will be referenced on the GSC for improved bug tracking.
7. Now Google will offer a prompt to do the same with additional pages with the intention of creating page sets.
Google Offers Troubleshooting Tips Useful for a Competitive Edge
If we are to follow the logic that seems behind how events get in Knowledge Graph cards, which also use structured data, then it is useful to note the steps Google offers to test and fix issues that may prevent the desired results. First, the missing data issue is approached with an explanation that the “Knowledge Graph card display is governed by a complex algorithm”.
In the case of an artist or artist’s event, instructions say to “Make sure that the artist is in both Wikipedia and MusicBrainz, and that the artist’s official homepage is recorded properly on both those sites. So, one lesson here may be to carefully consider what should go on your home page, which is typically used to identify a business and what is it paramilitary about.
“We also encourage you to mark up all available properties for your items for a better experience for your users.” – Google
“Each kind of microdata can then be described by the schema vocabulary. This means that Schema vocabulary + microdata formatting added to HTML content = Happy webmasters who can markup their pages to further improve their visibility in the search results.” – Verve Search
“The Linked Data Fragments family of technologies take a much more pragmatic view on the Web of Data. Whereas one of the main problems with the Semantic Web is currently the high publication cost of data (with unknown return), Linked Data Fragments proposes to shift the complexity of querying from the server to the client. This makes publishing Linked Data affordable, and realistic on the Web.” – Reuben Verborgh of Dulbin Core**
“A promising application domain for Semantic Web technology is the annotation of products and services offerings on the Web so that consumers and enterprises can search for suitable suppliers using products and services ontologies.” – www.heppnetz.de
“Being the “chosen one” by Google to provide the de facto answer for a search query should be the feather in the cap of any content producer. You’ll quickly realize just how lucrative having your rich card chosen can be.” – MKE Commerce*
Adhere to Google’s Rules for Rich Card Images
Correct and complete structured data code is important; follow the suggested guidelines and all rules.
It is helpful to understand how images for a rich card are generated. Google tells us, “Mark up an image to include it in the rich card. If you don’t mark up a specific image, a prominent image from the page will be used in the card. Every page must contain at least one image (whether or not you include markup)”.
Developers are also told “Technical and quality guidelines apply for rich cards as they do for rich snippets. We will enforce them as before”. We recommend that you diligently monitor your site performance by using the “Rich results” filter in Search Analytics found in your Google Search Console.
Images for a Recipe: Must be a minimum of 148px by 148px, with a 1:1 aspect ratio.
Images for TV and Movies: Must be a minimum of 112px wide by 168px tall, with a 2:3 aspect ratio. Provide highest-resolution available. PNG and JPG preferred.
Images for an Article: Images should be at least 696 pixels wide. They should be in .jpg, .png, or. gif format and image URLs should be crawlable and indexable.
Image for Music: URL of an image of the artist or album
Gain Improved Visible Search Results and Stand Out in Search
We offer a full-range of services for businesses that are positioned to take advantage of cutting-edge actionable steps to drive improvements in search rankings. Your business can benefit from the latest SEO techniques that engage artificial intelligence and how it is used it search.
In order to optimize your site’s appearance to compete better in the evolving Google Search world, it helps to understand your relationship with three key points of contact between a buyer and a seller in the Search flow. Ecommerce stores using the above data structure will find it highly advantageous by search engines – even more so in future algorithm updates.
Webmasters, who are seeking to learn more about how to enrich content for inclusion in rich search results, can learn more at Google Docs for An Organized Search Experience***
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