has blogged about two big updates to the types of rich snippets the search engine will be
crawling. The news is especially useful to online merchants, SEO professionals
and, well, pretty much anyone that runs a website.
Rich snippets, of course, are microformats that can be added
into a Web page’s code by including special tags to enhance search results with
more detailed data.
The first major change has to do specifically with product
rich snippets. Up until now, these were only available as a limited set of
locales, meaning products could only be previewed by specific users (based on
their locations) viewing your site’s results in Google Search. Now, however,
product rich snippets will be supported globally, meaning that users can preview
site information about products from basically anywhere in the world.
Take a look at global product rich snippets (from Google's blog):
At the request of many webmasters, Google also announced
HTML input support for its rich snippets testing tool. This change will allow
users to test their HTML source without having to publish it on the Web. An
update like this is a pretty huge deal because webmasters can simply test a
selection of HTML code to make sure that it will appear as intended for users,
even while it’s still a work in progress.
Here's what HTML input for the rich snippets testing tool looks like:
These changes will help webmasters and SEO professionals to
streamline the optimization process since they’ll be able to test their rich
snippet coding before a page goes live, which alleviates a lot of the headaches
that can come with publishing defective code. It also aids online merchants by
helping them promote more detailed information about specific products to a
more global audience.