"Optimization" of the appearance of the site in Yandex search results

    In September, we participated in several conferences for optimizers and developers, talking about new features from Yandex.Webmaster that can help optimize the site. It is possible that the information from our reports may be of interest to those who could not get to these conferences. Therefore, we made another version of the story - for this blog.

    Companies involved in the creation of sites and their optimization, as a rule, offer their customers a wide range of services. When creating a site, much attention is paid to working on its interfaces and design. Everyone understands that an effective site should be visually attractive and convenient. When it comes to promotion, the main focus is usually on advertising and high places for key searches. One important aspect drops out of this list of services: the moment when the user moves from a high place in the search results to a beautiful and attractive site.

    And what does the site look like in search? Will the user even want to switch to it? Obviously, the appearance of the snippet can affect the user's decision.

    In various forums and reviews, you can find many stories about how improved snippets have affected site traffic and even sales from it. Having statistics in our hands, we can confirm: this is indeed so. Beautiful snippets increase the clickability of the search result. In addition, an informative snippet allows the user to make a more informed choice, and not just click just in case to see what's on the site. Thanks to this, more “target” users come to the site who are really interested in information or buying and are ready to spend some time on the site.

    In addition, there is still just aesthetics. A small piece of text from a site is its business card for a search user. As a rule, site owners understand this, especially having the opportunity to compare the “before” and “after”. They like beautiful descriptions, they are able to evaluate their benefits at least at the level of “it looks good” and “I like it”.

    We believe that setting beautiful descriptions in the search results should be one of the standard steps that the optimizer takes. Therefore, I would like to draw attention to the snippet customization services that we offer in Yandex.Webmaster .

    For example, a snippet for a product catalog page might look like this:

    Similar snippets for this and other topics can be configured using fairly simple technical steps. To do this, we need to have structured data about the site or its individual pages. In the case of the product catalog, this is information about the name and parameters of the product, its price and shipping cost.

    Data transfer methods are different for different topics. If the amount of data is small and does not change much over time, it’s enough to simply manually fill out the Yandex.Webmaster advisory form . For example, address information can be transmitted in this way . Large volumes of frequently changing data (for example, product catalogs with prices) can be transmitted using XML. If the frequency of changes is not so critical, but the amount of data can be quite impressive, it is reasonable to suggest the use of semantic markup in the site code. Where possible, we try to implement microformat processing so that the markup is universal and can be read not only by Yandex. In some cases, the webmaster can choose from several formats, for example, the owners of culinary sites have this opportunity . In addition, there is an example where the source of information for us is the page URL. If the URL contains the news date, we can extract it. The structure can be created for any subject area, but for each subject area it must be its own and processed in a special way. Therefore, the above examples are so different from each other - a universal algorithm does not exist. Now it is possible to configure snippets for a limited number of topics. Nevertheless, their number is constantly growing and we are trying to find more general ways of describing data.

    We would like those who provide website optimization services to know what opportunities they can offer their customers using Yandex services. To follow our offers, just read our blog or sometimes look at the page “ Transferring data about the content of the site ” or in the help sectionsdedicated to snippets. 

    Alexander Shubin and the Yandex.Webmaster team

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