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How to Get Star Ratings, Reviews, Pictures, or Links in Your Search Listing
So you’ve managed to get your website on the first page of Google rankings. Good job. But unfortunately, it looks lackluster compared to its neighboring listings, which are dressed up with images, star ratings, author photos, links, and more.
“I bet those listings get more clicks than mine,” you’re probably thinking.
I bet they do, too. If only you could make your Google listing stand out. Oh wait, you can. Keep reading.
Use Rich Snippets.
I won’t go into too much detail about rich snippets since we covered them before (see the end of this post). According to Google,
“Snippets—the few lines of text that appear under every search result—are designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query. If Google understands the content on your pages, we can create rich snippets—detailed information intended to help users with specific queries.”
There are many different kinds of rich snippets designed for events, reviews, recipes, and more. Chances are, one or more of them will apply to the information on your website.
How do I get star ratings in my Google search listing?
One great example of a rich snippet you might want to take advantage of is the star rating or review snippet. According to Google, “Review information such as ratings and descriptions can help users to better identify pages with good content.”
With review snippets, you can use an individual review format or a review aggregate format. Using microdata (which you can find on schema.org), you can mark up your page with the following review information:
- Item or service reviewed
- Rating (1-5 stars)
- Review author (or aggregate, with the total number of reviews or votes)
- Date reviewed
- Review description
- Review summary
- A photo of the item being reviewed
Use Google Authorship.
By this point, you’ve probably seen search queries featuring the author’s photo underneath his or her article listing. In the SEO nerd world, we refer to this as “Google Authorship.”
While many people wouldn’t consider this a rich snippet in the traditional sense, I’m including it because I think it’s a good way to pimp out your Google listing and potentially increase your click-thru-rate (CTR)—although maybe that will depend on whether your face looks like it was carved by angels or like it was beaten with an ugly stick. Track, test, tweak, repeat. That’s our motto at Blue Corona.
How do I get my picture in Google search results?
In order to set up Google Authorship, you’ll need a Google+ account, and you’ll need to connect your content to your Google+ profile. If you have an email on the domain your content will be on, you just need to verify that email with Google:
- Login to the Google+ account you want your authorship to be associated with.
- Go here: https://plus.google.com/authorship.
- Put in the email from the site that you’ve created content for.
- You’re going to get an email that asks you to verify.
- Hit “verify.”
- On your Google+ page, a section should show up in the ‘Links’ block that says “Contributor to” with the domain.
If you don’t have an email address on the same domain as your content, you can still link your content to your Google+ profile. Read more here.
Links to subpages seen beneath a domain’s Google listing are called “sitelinks.” These sitelinks can help users quickly navigate to the most popular pages on your site.
How do I get links in my Google search listings?
Google’s process for determining sitelinks is currently automated. However, the search engine recommends you use a logical system for designating anchor text and alt text that’s informative, compact, and also avoids repetition.
So while you can’t currently choose when sitelinks will appear in your listing or which links will appear in your listing, there is a way to demote a sitelink. According to Google,
“If you think that a sitelink URL is inappropriate or incorrect, you can demote it. Demoting a URL for a sitelink tells Google that you don’t consider this URL a good sitelink candidate for a specific page on your site. Google doesn’t guarantee that demoted URLs will never appear as a sitelink, but we do consider a demotion a strong hint that we’ll try to honor when generating sitelinks.”
In order to demote a sitelink,
- Set up your site on Google Webmaster Tools (WMT) if you haven’t done so already.
- Under “Search Appearance” in your site’s WMT profile, click “Sitelinks”
- In the “For this search result” box, complete the URL for which you don’t want a specific sitelink URL to appear.
- In the Demote this sitelink URL box, complete the URL of the sitelink you want to demote.
Need Help Getting Ranked?
Of course none of this means much if you’re not ranked on the first page of search results anyway! If you want help getting your business listed on the first page of Google, fill out the form below for a free SEO analysis of your current site. Once we’ve got you ranking, we can then talk about how to pimp your listing for even more clicks!
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About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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