What Are Rich Results and How Can We Use Google Search Console for It

Rich Results & Google Search Console

Rich Results & Google Search Console | WMConf Lightning Talks

Video by Daniel Weisberg, search advocate at Google

Welcome to another lightning talk from the webmaster conference lightning talk series

Today I'm going to talk about how to get started with rich results and use search console to optimize your search appearance in Google search there are four questions. I'll try to answer today what are which results in structured data how to uncover issues with alerts and checks how to fix and validate errors and warnings and how to monitor and optimize search traffic many years ago.

What is Structured Data?

You would search for a piece of information on Google and all results would come up as plain blue links over time. The answers that Google provided to your queries became richer evolving in what we call today which results in rich results or search results that provide special features or information, for example for recipe rich results you might see a small picture of the dish and a preview of some ingredients. For a job posting which results you might see a description salary and click-through to apply for the job. Those results are powered by Google's ability to understand the content of a website. Sometimes Google can also use markup that developers add to their pages so machines can understand their content better. This markup is called structured data.

To get started, visit our search gallery and browse through all the structured data types supported by Google this will help you identify which types would work for you and you might even find a specific case study to help you understand the value of implementing it once you find one or more features you'd like to implement. Read the documentation to learn how it works; see sample code guidelines and detailed reference information depending on your content management system. You can install an extension or plugin that does the hard work for you. Otherwise, your developers can use their brief results test to check and modify their code in a live code editor. This can save valuable time and effort it's always more efficient to have your markup working properly before moving it to production.

Once you've implemented structure data on your site you can start analyzing it in search console enhancement reports. There are three questions that are at the heart of the reports you see in search console:

1.   Is there anything wrong with my site?

2.   How can I fix any issues and tell Google about it?

3.   How can I optimize my search performance?

Let me go through an example of how you would use the search console to answer those questions for your rich results.

Is there anything wrong with Your Website?

In order to answer question number one. There are two things you need to know the first one is that will notify you whenever we find an issue on your website. Whenever search console finds an error in your pages, will send you an email to let you know about it. You'll get some details about the issue with a link to more information or to the report you need to check. The second thing you need to know is that if an existing issue starts affecting more pages you won't get an email so take a look at the enhancement reports once in a blue moon and check that the trends are somewhat steady. Some amount of fluctuation is natural but you don't want to see sudden spikes to see a summary of the health of all the structure data on your site. Go into an enhancement report in search console there is a separate report for each rich result type and another report for structured data that had errors that prevented us from knowing the type of rich result. You'll see an enhancement report only for which result types that we detect on your site. See the documentation for a list of rich result report types that we currently support by default issues are sorted by a combination of severity and number of pages affected.

If you see an error that seems like the result of a bad template fix it first then continue fixing other issues that are unique to each page following the order in the table. Click an issue in the table to more details about it as well as a list of URLs affected by it for URLs which you'd like to further explore in-depth. Click the small inspection icon close to it this will run a URL inspection for this page. You'll find three main sections in the URL inspection results in the presence on Google card. You'll see a verdict on whether or not the URL can appear in Google search results in the coverage section. You'll learn where the page was discovered when was the last crawl and by which user agent and whether the page is included in the Google web index or another version of it was chosen by Google in the enhancement section. You'll find any structured data details along with amp and mobile usability warnings and errors you can use search console to dive deeper into the issue and debug it take a look at the results and try to identify what needs to be fixed in your page.

Fix the Issues and Tell Google about It:

Once you fix your issue go back to this page and click test live URL this runs a test against a live page for information similar to the indexed URL. This is very useful to test life if an issue still exists even after you fix it in your site. Now go back to the issue page on the structured data report and click validate fix. This will trigger a validation process for the current issue. First Google will check a few sample pages if the issue exists in any one of them validation ends and the validation state remain unchanged.

If the sample pages do not have the current error validation continues with State started when all errors of warnings URLs have been checked and the issue count is zero. The issue state changes to pests you can see the progress of validation request by clicking the validation details link in the issue details page.

Optimize your Search Performance:

I've spoken a lot about errors and warnings now let's talk about something nice. Optimizing and growing your search traffic in order to do that in search console, I recommend using the performance report which provides you with plenty of data about your traffic from Google search. In that report you'll find a search appearance step just below the main chart, you'll see in a glance the volume of traffic coming to your website through rich results. Some rich results have dedicated filters for example how-to and FAQ rich results. To understand the rich results performances over time add the future to the report for the specific search appearance you want to examine such as videos or product results. You can do that by clicking a role in the table of the search appearance step. This will update all your performance charts to show only rich results traffic by queries, pages, countries and devices.

Look for patterns in your data that show how a specific segment of traffic is performing for example you may find out that a specific group of pages is not driving with results, which could point at opportunities to enhance your structured data implementations. You may also notice a drop in rich results performance if your structured data implementation was affected by website change.

I hope that now you have a better idea of how search console can help you optimize your search appearance on Google. If you like this video make sure to check out the search console training series in the Google webmasters channel you'll love it and I look forward to seeing you at one of the upcoming webmaster conferences stay tuned.

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