Continuing with analysis of Google’s recent (February 2012) search quality updates:
4. More consistent thumbnail sizes on results page. We’ve adjusted the thumbnail size for most image content appearing on the results page, providing a more consistent experience across result types, and also across mobile and tablet. The new sizes apply to rich snippet results for recipes and applications, movie posters, shopping results, book results, news results and more.
Not a big deal in itself, as far as I’m concerned. The most interesting detail is the mention of Google’s use of “rich snippets” that supplement the display of images for things like recipes, applications, movie posters and shopping results. Rich snippets are basically a method of tagging data and relating it to a type of information. For example declaring this in a tag itemtype=”http://schema.org/Recipe” tells Google that the information is related to a recipe, and further specifying predefined attributes such as “cookTime” and “photo” gives Google the information they need to confidently display that information and the image, knowing that it will make sense to the user.
And of course rich snippets have potential for search engine performance. Here’s a great article on using rich snippets for SEO.
- No. 10: Improved ranking for queries using “site:” operator – Google’s 40 Search Quality Updates
- No. 2: Tweak the Categorizer for Expanded Sitelinks – Google’s 40 Search Quality Updates
- No. 3: Less Duplication in Expanded Sitelinks – Google’s 40 Search Quality Updates
- Holiday Shopping Search Engine Comparison Blues
- Another Google SURPRISE! Google Places are now Google+ Pages