It’s official—the general rich results Search Appearance is going away in Google Search Console. We are so excited about this change!
The general rich results Search Appearance group captured multiple rich result types, including those that didn’t have their own breakout reports, in Google Search Console. This particular group is no longer required since Google now provides reporting for specific Search Appearances, including Event, HowTo, FAQ, and many more.
So, why are we so excited?
1. Specific rich results reporting adds clarity
Grouping data for rich results isn’t ideal since each type may have different behaviours. Plus, Google was opaque when it came to explaining exactly which rich result types from their search gallery made up this amalgamation of performance data. Frequent users of GSC found that the Rich Result category was not a summation of all specific Search Appearances, nor did the numbers consistently match specific rich result types. Even when there was evidence of some kind of equivalence, there was almost always a discrepancy in the numbers.
Here is an example of data discrepancies with the “Rich results” category. The Rich results clicks match the Product results category, but the impressions differ.
2. Utilize specific reports for your content strategy
Removing the Rich results category from reporting means the remaining Search Appearances can be used more explicitly to inform content strategy. This is especially useful since you’re now able to compare the performance of different Search Appearances. This makes it easy to measure the impact of applying structured data to certain types of content. Not sure if your content team should invest in more FAQs or more HowTo’s? Wondering whether Review Snippets will yield a better ROI than basic Product results? Add the markup to a sample of URLs and compare their clicks, impressions and click through rates.
Here is an example comparing the performance of Product and Review Snippet rich results on an ecommerce site.
3. More specific reporting is on its way for Google Search Console
In the same announcement about sunsetting general rich results, Google also said they’d “keep investing in adding more rich result types to Search Console”. There are currently 19 different Search Appearance types supported by Google, and we’re looking forward to any new additions they may have on the horizon.
We love digging into the data and seeing results from structured data. Google Search Console is an awesome resource for monitoring your structured data performance, but we also recommend our own analytics tools that can dig even deeper. Contact us to learn more.
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Jasmine Drudge-Willson is a Customer Success Manager at Schema App. Prior to this position, she worked as a research assistant tackling time, space, and identity representation in the development of a semantic web ontology for the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (University of Guelph). This work extended to the Revue 2.0 project (Université de Montréal) which addressed the role of ontologies in digital scholarly publishing environments. Her internship at Huma-Num—a very large research infrastructure project in Paris, France—solidified her passion for finding a balance between usability and ethical responsibility in cyberinfrastructure development.