Google today detailed a new format in which it’s displaying certain types of content in search results. The new “rich cards,” which are designed to provide a better experience on mobile devices, are being rolled out first for movies and recipes, and are initially available only in English and in mobile search results through Google.com.
Rich cards are “building on the success of rich snippets,” Na’ama Zohary, a member of Google’s search console team, and Elliott Ng, Google’s search ecosystem product management director, wrote in a blog post.
Rich snippets, which date back to 2009, aren’t going anywhere, Google says. But both formats use structured mark-up schemas from Schema.org, which Google collaborates on, alongside Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex.
Google has been doing more and more to optimize its mobile search presence. For instance, Google kickstarted the open-source AMP project, which allows news articles to show up very quickly on mobile when people tap on them from Google search results.
The horizontal “carousel” presentation is similar to the horizontal content display Facebook Messenger has been letting some chatbots use. Now the Internet’s biggest search engine (not just a popular messaging app) is more interactive — you can scroll sideways, not just up and down, to find what you want.
Google has updated its Structured Data Testing Tool to help web developers understand how content will show up with the new format and to fix errors as necessary. Webmasters can also use the new Search Console Rich Cards report to get a sense of how many of their cards have been “fully enhanced.” Plus, Google has also begun a closed beta for a new “rich results” filter in Google Analytics.
Documentation shows examples of rich cards for events, products, and reviews, so it would be natural to see cards for them in search results next.