The Google Research team have just announced the introduction of ‘structured snippets’, which will see useful facts and statistics appear in Google search results where relevant. As the picture above illustrates, relevant information is extracted from a page and appears as part of the snippet – in this case a query for “Nikon d7100″.
Google say that their WebTables research team have been busy behind the scenes understanding and extracting tabular data on the internet so that particularly relevant data can be surfaced to users.
Google’s structured snippets are a joint collaboration between Google Research and the Web Search team. Furthermore, they say that they use additional algorithms to determine quality and relevance and ultimately display up to four useful and highly ranked facts relating to the user’s search query.
Here’s another example for the query “superman”. The format looks slightly different as this search has been conducted from a mobile phone:
Structured snippets are yet another example of Google improving the search experience for its users – in this case, striving to serve up the most relevant information in relation to the individual’s search query. However, at present Google have stressed the following caveat:
“Fact quality will vary across results based on page content, and we are continually enhancing the relevance and accuracy of the facts we identify and display.”
Which to us sounds as though you shouldn’t take the structured snippet data as gospel just yet, but maybe you will be able to over time.
An interesting question to ponder is whether Google will look more favourably on sites that have structured data and rank them higher in SERPs? After all, it seems they are all about improving the user experience. Definitely something for us all to think about in the future and something that we’ll be closely monitoring.