But it's not Skynet, at least not yet. Google needs to be told which parts of your website to read, and which information is important to it, in order to extract it for use in its ever-complex algorithms.
Those algorithms work by examining not just what you search for in the Google Search Box, but the intent of what you're searching for. Intent is Google's secret weapon, and the reason it's so good at what it does - giving end users really, really useful and relevant information for the meaning behind what they search for.
Here's the first part of a 4 part video series over on our YouTube channel which talks about Rich Snippets in detail.
Ok so Google is great at what it does, but it still needs a lot of human intervention to help it. For Google to know what information on your site is relevant and useful, you need to tell it. How this works is by implementing Structured Data.
Structured Data is a way to mark up the code making up your webpage so that Google can read the relevant parts of it. The information Google extracts includes things like your address, phone number, opening hours, photos, social media profiles and review ratings. It uses this data to create Rich Snippets, which are portions of data it shows in the SERPS. Here's an example of a Rich Snippet which appears on the right of the screen when performing a search for a company by name:-
Google likes relevant content based on the intent of a user search query. As long as your website has relevant content, and is written in a human-readable way (gone are the days of randomly inserting keywords into every page to get rankings), Google will look favourably upon you.
User-generated content is a good way to keep your website fresh, recent and relevant to your visitors. UGC includes things like blogs and news, posts and comments in forums, and reviews. There's a specific type of Rich Snippet called the Review Rich Snippet, and this is identified to Google so it can read the star rating and comment. This Review Snippet is the source of the star rating found in Rich Snippets around Google Search results.
We've already seen a Rich Snippet which appears on the right hand side of Google's SERP. You may also have seen stars underneath organic (not PPC) search results. Reviews are the source of the stars found here as well.
Getting UGC to work for you can be an easy win for your site. It'll certainly have a positive effect on your results - a couple of spots up the SERPS here and there can make a big difference to the number of clicks you get.
Getting more sales is usually the main goal of any business. Nobody wants this:-
Rich snippets are going to get you more traffic to your site through a combination of boosted search rankings and improved click-throughs to your site. People just love clicking on those stars in Google.
Putting actual reviews right on the landing page is a sure fire way to get way better conversions, because reviews hold the answers to many customer questions. People like to know how suitable a product is for their needs, and someone else telling them how good it is is far better than any dry manufacturer's description.
I can honestly say that our sales have massively increased thanks to the reviews collected. Aden, Humax Digital
There are so many ways that review collection helps businesses. Talk to us today about implementing your review collection strategy, or sign up for a free demonstration by clicking the button at the top of the page.