Guest Post By: John Greer (@FogLlama)
You may have heard about Google’s rich snippets recently, where they are altering the standard blue and green listings to have a little more flair:
Notice that Facebook has a “Friends” section. I grabbed a random “John Smith” and there’s a group of his friends included (no Pocahontas?). Facebook made this possible by using microformat tags on their code (they are using the rel=”friend” tag.)
Here’s a different rich snippet on a Yelp listing, where they are using the aggregate review microformat tag, and Google is showing this:
(Who is reviewing Goodwill by the way? “This place is no Neiman Marcus, what a joke!”)
Those rich snippets were demonstrated last year. A newer version though is the inclusion of events in listings. Also on Yelp, Google has rich snippets like this:
Yelp simply added the “vEvent” microformat code around the event listings they already had, and Google began showing select events below the main URL.
With the event tag, I’ll be interested to see if Google must recrawl a page to update the event list, or will it simply drop events that have past dates? In any event, it’s an awesome way to get 3 additional links in your listing and attract a little more attention.
You can start adding these and other microformats and RDFa tags today (here’s a little more on the difference between those). Yahoo has been using them with SearchMonkey for a couple of years in fact. There’s no guarantee though that Google will show them yet, Facebook , Yelp and other sites have been singled out for listings. At some point though, these listings are likely to start rolling out to everyone. s