Google Makes Mobile Search Console More Visual With Rich Cards

Posted by Vikram Rathore

May 23, 2016

SEO 17 min read

Introduction – Rich Cards

Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of individuals with important information around the world every day. Following the success of Rich Snippets, Google has introduced a new Search result format – Rich Cards.

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Similar to rich snippets, rich cards also use structured markup to display the results of search queries in an even more attractive, visual, and engaging way, with the main aim to provide a better mobile user experience.

How do the results appear?

With rich cards, the results will be displayed in carousels, that is very easy to browse by scrolling them left to right. These carousels can contain cards from the same site or from multiple sites.

So, if you are the owner of a mobile-friendly site, this is the newest opportunity to stand apart in your search results and drive more targeted users to your web pages. For example, if you own a recipe site, you’ll be able to build a richer preview of your site’s content with a prominent image for each dish. No wonder, the visual format provides users an easy way to find what they’re exactly looking for. So, you’re grabbing users who specifically want that delicious recipe that you have listed on your site.

Google Rich Card Setup

Google has jump-started to show rich cards for two content categories: Recipes and Movies, and are actively experimenting with more big opportunities to offer more and more publishers with a rich appearance of the content in their niche. Additionally, Google has updated the developer’s documentation and built a comprehensive set of tools to take the site owners and developers from initial exploration through the successful implementation to monitoring the performance.

Discover Where Your Content Fits From the Available Rich Card Types

You can browse the Search-Gallery to explore the screenshots and code samples of each markup type. This gallery provides you with a list of various business verticals to display how different types of structured data produce rich results in Google Search. You can preview sample markup in the Structured Data Testing Tool for the respective page markup.

Testing your markup

It is strongly recommended to use JSON-LD in your implementation. You can also use Google’s markup Guide and follow the instructions accordingly:
First, determine the essential fields to markup in order for a rich card to appear. To enhance your rich card you can also use additional fields.
You can preview the markup in the Structured Data Testing Tool to see how your rich card might appear in the search results.
Also, you can tweak your markup in real-time by using the Structured Data Testing Tool to correct the errors.

Debugging Errors and Keeping track of Coverage

You can use Google Webmaster tools – new Search Console Rich Cards Report to check how many of your rich cards are being indexed. Continuously check out for errors in the Structured Data Testing Tool while you are in the testing process. Finally, submit the sitemap to help Google discover all your marked-up content.


Finding More Growth Opportunities

Any type of errors may reduce the feature set available to your card or prevent the card from being processed entirely. You can easily fix errors in your rich cards or enhance them with additional data. In the rich cards report, you’ll see which of the rich cards can be enhanced by marking up additional fields.

Finally, Monitoring the Performance

There is a new filter “Rich Results” in the Search Analytics which is currently in a closed beta version, this will help you to analyze how your rich cards and rich snippets are performing in Search. You’ll be able to drill down to see clicks and impressions for both of them.

Some FAQs To Guide You Through Implementing Rich Cards provided by Google Search Console Team

Q: Can I keep my existing rich snippets markup?
A: Yes, you can! Google will keep you posted as the rich result ecosystem evolves.

Q: What about the Structured Data report in Search Console?
A: The Structured Data report will continue to show only top-level entities for the existing rich snippets (Product, Recipe, Review, Event, Software Application, Video, News article) and for any new categories (e.g., Product, Recipe, Local Business). Google is planning to migrate all errors from the Structured Data report into the Rich Card report.

Q: What if I use the wrong markup?
A: Technical and quality guidelines apply for rich cards as they do for rich snippets. Google will enforce them as before.

Final Words:

Hence, with introducing these rich cards, Google has taken another step to be more interactive and enhance the Search results.

To learn more about Google’s Rich Cards, you can stay updated on Google’s developer documentation and various forums on Twitter or Google+. If you have some information/queries about rich cards to share, please feel free to comment below.


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