Impact of Google’s Structured Snippets on Content Marketing

In September, Google introduced structured snippets into its search results. This feature incorporates facts into individual results snippets shown on the search engine result page. This latest collaboration between Google Research and the WebTables Research team is aimed at providing the user with the most relevant information for their queries. This means that businesses will need to fine tune their existing content and develop new content so as to show structured snippets in search.

How it Works

When you perform a search, Google extracts interesting and relevant information based on your query from a page and display this as part of the snippet on the result. The WebTables Research Team provides an example with the query ‘nikon d1700’ to help you understand how structured snippets actually work. A search for this term on Google would display the result along with a snippet containing information on the camera’s sensor resolution, weight and display size/resolution.

Google's Structured Snippets

At present, only few results display structured snippets and we can expect to see more in future.

The WebTables Research Team makes two important points:

  • The team has been working to extract and understand tabular data on the web to provide users with particularly relevant information. Machine learning techniques were used to differentiate data tables on the web from uninteresting tables (for example, tables for formatting web pages).
  • Google has additional algorithms to determine the quality and relevance used to display up to four highly ranked facts from data tables. Though fact quality tends to vary across results according to the page content, the search engine is continually enhancing the relevance and accuracy of the facts it identifies and displays.

This means content marketing can be enhanced by providing specific information in web content and organizing the information in a well-formatted table. For example, if you are developing content about your product, you should first decide the most important specifications of the product and arrange them in a tabular format. Though Google said that their algorithm will decide four highly ranking facts, it is a good strategy to organize the most important facts together and first.

Choosing a web design strategy that supports data tables for your website can also help you take advantage of structured snippets. In general, businesses should first understand users’ needs and concerns before creating their content so that users can be provided with the most relevant information.