misleading markup and content in a rich snippet

Avoid abusing rich snippets markup

Misleading or false information in your rich snippet mark up will result in lower rankingsOne of the worst things you can do for your ranking is to provide users with different content than they were expecting.

When you place misleading information in your Google snippet, you may earn a click to your website, but if the user is disappointed with what they see on your page they will go right back to the Google results.

What are rich snippets?

Rich snippets are a way to change the way your webpage information is displayed in Google results.

The author rich snippet is probably the most commly seen rich snippet...

author rich snippet result

There are several different rich snippets available like breadcrumbs, events, author, videos, ratings and reviews, etc.

The folly of abusing rich snippets

misleading markup and content

Rich snippets are by their very nature machine readable. This means misleading snippets are easily detectable by Google. This is why rich snippets should accurately describe the content of the page they are referring to.

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Untruthful or misleading markup or content

Posting fake reviews or falsifying info like fake ratings will get you penalized by Google. Using markup like rich snippets with such false information is a quick way to get penalized by Google.

Things Google has explicitly stated are considered abuse

  • Marking up content that is in no way visible to users.
  • Marking up irrelevant or misleading content, such as fake reviews or content unrelated to the focus of a page.

Key concept

  • Rich snippet information should be accurate and must not mislead users.

by Patrick Sexton