Rich Snippet Updates Support HTML Testing
Google 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.