What is the difference between Rich Snippets and Featured Snippets?

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), there are a lot of different terms and concepts that you need to be familiar with. Two of those terms are “rich snippets” and “featured snippets.” Even though they sound similar, they are two distinct concepts. However, they both are extremely important when it comes to SEO, and website traffic for your site.

In this article, we will cover the importance of both snippets and why you should work to incorporate both into your content marketing strategy. Google’s feature snippets and rich snippets add valuable information quickly to search engine users. Moreover, the additional information will increase your website’s click through rate.

Before we get into discussing the differences between rich snippets and featured snippets, let’s break down each concept individually.

Table of Concepts

A featured snippet is a summary of an answer to a search query that appears at the top of the search results page. This summary is drawn from a web page that ranks highly for the search query. Featured snippets are meant to provide searchers with a quick and easy answer to their question, without having to click through to a web page.

What are rich snippets?

Rich snippets, on the other hand, are simply structured data that has been added to a web page in order to provide more information about the page’s content. This structured data can be used to display things like reviews, pricing information, or even nutritional information. While rich snippets don’t necessarily appear at the top of the search results page, they can help your page stand out and attract clicks.

In short, the main difference between rich snippets and featured snippets is that featured snippets are designed to provide quick answers to searchers’ questions, while rich snippets are designed to provide additional information about a web page’s content. However, both can be useful for SEO purposes, but they serve different roles.

The table below highlights the key differences between rich snippets and featured snippets:

Rich SnippetFeatured Snippet
What are they?Rich snippets are pieces of structured markup data that help search engines to understand the content of a page and provide additional information about it in the search results.Google’s featured snippets are specific search results that show up at the top of a google search.
What is their objective?One of the main objectives of rich snippets is to provide extra search information that can help increase search-relevant answers.The main objective of featured snippet is to help the user find the right information quickly and easily and to help the advertiser find the right customer.
How to optimize for them?Rich snippets are a type of structured code that is placed around information in your content. Rich results allow websites to provide additional information about your page content, making it easier for search engines and users to understand what your page is about.

To create rich snippets, you need to use a code format called Schema structured data. This code is added to the HTML of your web pages, and it tells search engines what information on your page is most relevant.
In order to rank for featured snippets, your content must be formatted in a way that makes it easy for Google to identify as a potential snippet. This generally means including short, concise answers to specific questions within the body of your text.

Google’s algorithm for selecting featured snippet content is based on many factors, including the quality and relevance of the content, and it does not give preferential treatment to websites that use Schema data. As such, there is no need to use Schema data in order to be eligible for featured snippets.

Although Google doesn’t give an exact word count, they have stated that featured snippets come in a variety of formats. These include lists, paragraphs, or tables and vary depending on the type of search query.
Why are they important?Rich snippets are a great way to add extra information about your site or products. By including additional information in your snippets, you can help users to better understand what your site is about, and you can also prompt them to take action.

The goal of Rich Snippets is to help search engines understand the contents of a site more easily, and to provide users with more relevant and useful search results. Therefore, rich snippets FAQs should be short, concise and contain information such as ratings, price, or valuable data. 
A featured snippet is a summary answer to a user’s query that is displayed on the search engine results page (SERP). The summary is generated from the contents of a web page, and the featured snippet may be displayed at the top of the SERP, above the regular search results.

Featured snippets are brief, concise answers designed to give users the information they need without making them click through to another website.
Where do the snippets appear?There are no hard and fast rules about where rich snippets can appear in search results, but they typically show up above the traditional listing of links.Featured snippets often appear in “zero position” on the search results page, which means they’re the first thing a user sees. Position 0 means your content is being displayed above all the other SERP results. Additionally, this usually means you have two positions for that particular keyword as the content will still be listed as a regular SERP result.
How are the snippets displayed?It can be a review rating, price, location, or date.It can be a number list, paragraph, bullet point list, tables or videos.
The main differences between rich snippets and featured snippets

Now that we have covered the differences between the two different types of snippets, let’s look at how they are presented on Google search.

It is important to recognize the differences between features snippets and rich snippets both on an SEO level as well as how Google displays them in search results. Below are examples of the different types of featured snippets as well as rich results.

A Featured Snippet is a summary of a response to a user’s query. It appears above organic results, resulting in increased website traffic. The featured snippet on average is 45 words in length (Want an exact word count for snippet length? Have a look at our Featured Snippet blog that gives word counts for all types of feature snippets!). Additionally, paragraph snippets are usually presented in the form of a questions and answer: why, how, where, what, and so on. Google showcases the snippet so it can provide an answer immediately to a particular search question.

The Featured Snippet optimization strategy is an excellent way to improve your website’s visibility and organic search traffic. By including relevant and keyword-rich content in your Featured Snippets, you can increase your chances of appearing in the top spot and driving more traffic to your website.

Types of Featured Snippets:

  • Paragraphs
  • Lists
  • Videos
  • Tables

Example of a featured snippet paragraph:

Featured Snippet Example
Example of a featured snippet paragraph on Google Search

A featured snippet list example:

Featured Snippet List Example
Example of a featured snippet list on Google Search

Rich Snippets

Rich snippets are also called rich results, or rich cards. You should know that rich results, rich snippets, enrich results, and rich cards are all terms that are similar when used for rich snippets. Rich snippets are pieces of structured data that provide extensive information about a certain topic. 

When users see your site in the search results and recognize that it is relevant to their query, they are more likely to click on your result. In addition, using structured markup can help you achieve better visibility for your site in the search results. 

Rich snippets can be used for a variety of different queries, and they can provide detailed information about a wide range of topics. As a result, if you want to improve your site’s visibility in the search results, you should consider implementing structured data on your site.

Types of Rich Snippets:

  • Reviews
  • Recipes
  • Events
  • Authors
  • Products
  • Music
  • Videos

Example of Rich Snippet:

Rich Result Example
Rich result example on Google search results

Key Takeaways

As anyone who has ever done a search on Google knows, the results page is not just a list of links. In recent years, Google has increasingly been using rich snippets and featured snippets to provide searchers with more information about the results. 

Rich snippets are brief pieces of information that appear beneath the link on the results page, while featured snippets are featured prominently at the top of the results page. While rich snippets are designed to give searchers a quick overview of the result, featured snippets are designed to answer specific questions. 

As a result, both types of snippets can be useful for SEO purposes. Rich snippets can help to increase click-through rates, while featured snippets can help to promote your website as an authoritative source of information.

Need help optimizing your website for rich snippets and featured snippets? Contact us today to optimize your website, and drive more users to your website!

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