Rich cards are the listings on the search result page that appear at the very top in the form of square or rectangular image based listings.
These are not paid listings (yes that’s right, these are organic listings that appear above the paid ad section of the results page AKA ‘the promise land’.)
It seems that ‘Rich cards’ are going to play a big part in any search engine results page where the type of content being requested clearly fits into a given category. For example, ‘Recipes’ or ‘Software’.
Google is moving towards providing more relevant listings based on the type of content available within any given set of search results. Continuing with the example of recipes, Google seems to have very little interest in highly ranking recipe web pages that don’t have the core elements of a recipe page included (preparation time, cooking time and so on). It is the inclusion of these elements using mark-up that make the page a contender for appearing in this space at the top of the results page in the form of a ‘Rich card’.
How to configure ‘Rich cards’
The ‘Rich card’ platform is extension of the Rich Snippets platform Google has been publicising for some time. It functions in the same way in that specific mark-up needs to be added to your web pages in order to provide the search engine with the tools it needs to formulate a ‘Rich card’
There is not a dedicated rich card datatype for all types of product but there are ways to utilise the schema.org mark-up system in order to get product focused listings based on rich cards.
Example schema mark-up data types for Rich cards:
- type: Describes what kind of product it is
- name, image and description: These are quite obvious
- brand: The brand of the product
- thing: A thing is the most generic type of item
- aggerateRating: A nested aggregate rating of the product
- ratingValue: Is the average rating of the product
- reviewCount: The total number of reviews
- offers: This an indication that the product is for sale
- offer: An offer to provide a service or sell a product
- priceCurrency and price: These are quite obvious
- review: A written review of the product, plus rating
- type: The Schema.org type is a review, of course
- author: Who wrote it? Has to be a real name
- datePublished: When was it published?
- description: The body text of the review
- name: The title of the review
- reviewRating: What grade did it get (1-5)
- bestRating: Five is the max
- ratingValue: The rating the reviewer gave
- worstRating: One is the lowest
Getting results listed in these sections of the results page will lead to a huge increase in organic traffic purely due to the fact that they are located above the paid ads. It is this one fact that should be all the reasoning you need to make ‘Rich cards’ a part of any organic search strategy.
Keep following the Galactico blog for more tips on how to implement 'Rich cards' and for details of the ranking factors that we believe Google uses to index this type of listing.