Google Rich Cards – Impact on SEO,Ranking, and Traffic

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Internet Marketing

Do Google Rich Cards Help Websites Rank Better?

Google launched rich snippets in 2009 as a tool to provide a sneak preview of results appearing on its result pages. Adding pieces of extra information on SERPs helped search engine users find desired information with ease. While an SEO Expertcan use schema.org vocabulary to make their sites eligible for displaying snippets, the search engine giant further innovated with the introduction of Rich Cards.

A New Result Format Adapted by Google

Google added a new structured data format, adding more visually appealing and attractive search results. Rich snippets put an immediate positive effect on user’s experience, especially for mobile users. However, the new format is limited to certain business/website types including artists, hotel businesses, restaurants, and event industries. Also, these snippets have appeared as a great opportunity for e-commerce platforms to present their products.

Types of Enriched Results Shown by Google

In addition to snippets and cards, Google provides additional information about webpages in several other formats as well. Let’s understand the different types of rich results shown by Google.

  • Top Carousel: A prominent feature of SERPs, the top carousel generally displays articles belonging to sports, news, and other blog categories. This carousel appears between the search bar and organic results, showing relevant titles and images to the search terms.
  • Featured Snippet: Catering to question-type search terms, these snippets provide instant answers shown above organic results. Also referred to as position zero, featured snippets don’t need websites to contain specifically structured data and add significant value to all business types.
  • Knowledge Graphs and Answer Box: This rich result type displays information from authoritative websites. Following the latest update, the knowledge graph contains information related to entities while the answer box provides direct answers to queries.
  • Review Snippet: A short, attention-grabbing excerpt of a review, this snippet is majorly linked to eCommerce sites and can be as small as just a rating.
  • Local Business Listing: Easily obtainable and offering a greater SEO value, a local business listing can be optimized to be included in the Knowledge Graph. Information about a business such as open hours, directions, and ratings form a part of this rich search engine result.
  • Rich Cards: Highly engaging rich result, a card shows a site’s content aimed at capturing the attention of mobile users.

What are Rich Cards?

Rich cards serve as a preview of Google Search results. These help users find what they are looking for and add extra information to search results listing. Depending on the page content, the extra information may include customer reviews, site navigation, and information about an event, TV series, movie, product, or a recipe.

Difference Between Rich Cards and Rich Snippets

Though rich cards are usually considered similar to rich snippets, they are not the same.

Rich snippets do not require a change in the SERP hierarchy. The extra information is based on the data considered useful by the algorithm and is presented as an answer to a particular search/query.

Whereas Rich Cards require separation. When implemented properly, they don’t help improve existing results but a separate result card placed at the top of all results helps attract more traffic, especially in mobile SERPs. These are a kind of extension of rich snippets and are more important when it comes to search traffic. Offering the convenience to act quickly, the cards provide more engagement opportunities.

How Rich Cards Work?

Rich cards and rich snippets have one thing in common and that is the use of structured data for displays. With this, web developers can strategically arrange the website data that they want to feature in rich display formats. Google’s crawler read and interpret this featured data before classifying web pages. However, without a structured data format, results are displayed in a standard format.

How a Rich Card Can Help You?

With rich cards, you have new opportunities to attract more users on your page

  • It supports AMP format allowing users to swipe from one page to another instantly
  • Rich cards use schema structured markup to display content in a more engaging visual format. This helps attract more traffic as well as engagement boosting a site’s metrics.
  • Displaying to-the-point useful information can be used as a good tool by business owners to attract more targeted customers.

For example, if you run a recipe site, you can use rich cards to display images of dishes along with recipes and ratings. This gives users the desired information without much hassle and adds more to the awareness and credibility of the site.

Implementing Rich Cards

Rich cards can be implemented in a way similar to that for Google snippets.

Using JSON-LD: Recommended by Google, JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation) allows developers to use Linked Data to translate data throughout the site. It can be used with additional markup at the time of coding a webpage. The information captured by JSON-LD can be used to create and display a rich card, the code for which can be easily found online.

Evaluating the Implementation & Performance

Check the Status of Implementation: In addition to this, Google also offers a tool that you can use to check if you have implemented the code correctly or not. For this, all you need to do is enter (paste) the URL of the concerned page in the required field and start the test. The test results show any information or errors in the implementation of the code if there are any.

Measuring Performance: The performance of rich snippets and cards can be measured through Google Search Console. Rich Card tool is available in the console’s left sidebar under the ‘Search Appearance’ column. You can use this to measure and analyze the performance of all the new display formats created for your site. However, the tool will display “No structured data found” if you haven’t yet added any snippet.

Bottom Line – The SEO Impact of Rich Cards

As already mentioned above, rich cards have no direct impact on your website’s SEO score and are not considered as a ranking factor. However, these add extra value to organic search results with additional information that an Google SEO Expert can use to improve metrics like click rate, traffic, and bounce rate.

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