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Google starting to show Rich snippets on SERPS for smaller sites?

 5:06 pm on Nov 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

Has anyone started to see, as me, small (or very important) websites to show rich snippets in SERPS?

I own a small website with reviews on widgets, and starting today I'm seeing the star images and XX reviews text.

The site is not very important, and has less than 250 pages.

Is anyone noticing the same? Is Google maybe starting to roll out this to everyone?


Receptional Andy

 6:09 pm on Nov 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I haven't seen this myself, although it would follow the pattern of the rollout of similar features like sitelinks, so is a real possibility.


 9:49 pm on Nov 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your comment Receptional.

I'm sure is real. Tried logged out, without cookies and many different ways and the only pattern it follows is the same it did before: just shows it on the .com version. (But my site is aimed at .co.uk and google nows it).

I agree it follows the pattern, just wondering how long will it take for anyone else. And if anyone has seen the same.


 4:20 pm on Nov 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Also I must say this is only happening for Google.com, but my site is aimed at .co.uk (where this is not shown).


[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 4:26 pm (utc) on Nov. 12, 2009]


 2:32 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

For anyone who's interested: now they do show in Google.co.uk, but do not (at least for me) in other Google tld's such Google.de.

I'm very keen to see if this improves CTR, as one of my websites is showing, and the peak season for "widgets" is very near. Additional stars on search results as well as having more screen real estate (one more line) may make user click more on these results.

Additionally, these "review" sites with no reviews will be easier to spot for the user.

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 5:56 pm (utc) on Nov. 25, 2009]
[edit reason] Moved from another location [/edit]

Receptional Andy

 5:57 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Interesting comment about review sites with no reviews, as I know that type of page has always been unpopular with searches, but also difficult for a search engine to resolve with a high degree of confidence.

Still, if the rich snippet team can count reviews, then there doesn't seem much reason why this couldn't be identified prior to displaying the result.


 6:31 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

They can count reviews because you give them structured by using microformats, but if you do not then will be harder.

And this will be my next test to see if it has any impact on rankings (by now seems it does not)

Receptional Andy

 6:40 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

They can count reviews because you give them structured by using microformats

Of course! Totally overlooked that. I wonder if that means that sites who currently benefit from "zero review" pages are unlikely to adopt microformats and get a more clickable SERP display.


 7:25 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

To be honest I'm sure they will be able to spot this kind of data in the very near future, as they do with breadcrumbs, dates and the like. butas of now it's too much for them.

I started mu review site with zero reviews (well, I added one myself about something I really know about), and let's say the truth: I wouldn't adopt microformats if I had no reviews as of now; not that I have a lot, less than a thousand, but their real and very focused.

No review sites: I do not see it that bad. You have to start somewhere, and a review site is not only to read but also to write. Spammy review sites with no aditional information on the widget is a different subject, but if you provide something useful and the oportunity to read/write reviews, then I feel is fine.

Back to microformats and rich snippets: I wonder why even some major sites haven't addopted them yet. I know it's juts my opinion, but I feel that in a competitive markets such as the SERPS, anything that may you look better is good.

Receptional Andy

 7:38 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

if you provide something useful and the oportunity to read/write reviews, then I feel is fine

I wasn't making a judgement on sites with zero reviews - but it's difficult for Google to justify them appearing in results where users are explicitly searching for a review, rather than an absence of them ;)

I wonder why even some major sites haven't addopted them yet

Any code change on most major sites is a massive headache, and will need to pass through a series of judgements on cost/benefit. I imagine microformats are low on the radar even after all these years.

In a way, this comes back to your original title - rich snippets for smaller sites. It seems like a good opportunity for smaller players to get a point of difference in the SERPs.


 8:54 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm happy mine is one of these smaller sites choosen for the test and, of course, it's a good oportunity for these sites that people should not loose.

But I do also managed a lot of big websites (my small websites are for hobby and generate some income, but it's not my real job) and I belive adding some classes in to the includes is not a big job.

IMHO, the real problem on big sites is burocracy. It happened to me a lot that something that should take 1 month (and would provide A LOT of visits and sales) took 1 year or more. Anyway, I'm happy this happy this happens: I'm a few steps ahead.

But back to the original subject: am I theonly one seeing it? Someone saw it also (for my site), not only me, but I haven't been able to spot any other smaller sites. Is people keeping the info for them or it's really me and just a very few who have rich snippets?

P.D: this afternoon I detected that these snippets didn't show always, even for the same search. Haven't checked, but I suppose has something to do with data centers.

Receptional Andy

 8:57 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I see them globally at the moment. Data centers is one reason why you may see different results on subsequent searches, the other is a javascript/cookie based test procedure that Google use sometimes. Recently I've seen the latter when a feature is getting ready for prime time.


 9:05 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Is not cookies, I always try disabling it when I see things like that

Receptional Andy

 9:10 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Good point again, I remember disabling cookies/js myself when testing the appearance of the breadcrumb trail snippets just a few days ago.

Maybe there is also some randomisation procedure at individual data centers, or as a consequence of Google splitting requests to the same IP over multiple servers. Sometimes it would be helpful if Google kept things simple ;)


 11:48 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Not a rich snippet as such, but I just saw a SERP that had an unusal URL format. You get the Title line, then the description as normal, then under that you normally get the URL (unlinked) in green text. In this instance it had "www.domain.com > directory" where the "directory" part was linked via a Google redirect URL. Note the > rather than a / seperator too.

This may have been pointed out elsewhere but worth a mention just in case.


 3:09 pm on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi Simsi,

Breadcrumbs in SERP's is something also new, but completly different from my point of view: it doesn't add anything new to serp, and it's not likely to call user's attention has having stars added below the title.

On the technnical side, it has nothing to do with microformats.


 4:00 pm on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Bing has been showing relevant snippets (upon mouseover) for some of my small sites for a long time.


 4:17 pm on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Bing Is Not Google ;)

Now seriously: I'm not sure if you (trader) are speaking about that arrow on the right side of the SERPS snippet. If so, I must say it's not something I see as extraordinary or that may drive much more traffic to my sites. Hovering to get more info is not something I like. But this is just my opinion.

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