Rich Cards Extended to Recipes, Movies, Restaurants, and Online Courses

Google Rich Cards - Restaurants.
Google Rich Cards - Restaurants. CREDIT: 123-RF.
Jonathan Griffin
By Jonathan Griffin, Editor, SEO Consultant, & Developer.

Rich Cards, the new search result format for Recipes and Movies, has now been extended to cover Local restaurants and Online courses. We take a detailed look at Rich Cards and how they may help promote your business on mobiles.

Rich cards build on the success of rich snippets, which already use the schema.org markup to display content in a more helpful, engaging format on mobile devices. The most common example of rich snippets in action is the review ratings you see in the search results.

Rich cards are more visually orientated and can provide much more information for specific content types in the limited space available on mobiles. As such, if your content consists of recipes, movies, restaurants, or online courses, then you can use rich cards to gain significant visibility in the search results, and stand out among your competitors.

An example of the differences between standard results, rich snippets, and rich cards can be seen below:

Rich card results are presented in carousels that are easy to browse by scrolling left and right. Carousels can contain cards all from the same website or from multiple websites.
Rich card results are presented in carousels that are easy to browse by scrolling left and right. Carousels can contain cards all from the same website or from multiple websites. CREDIT: GOOGLE BLOG.
Initially, Google announced back in May 2016 that rich cards were only available for two content types: recipes and movies. Google has recently further expanded this to local restaurants and online courses.

An screenshot of the new local restaurant and online courses rich cards in action can be seen below:

Restaurant and online courses rich cards.
Restaurant and online courses rich cards. CREDIT: GOOGLEBLOG.

Use Google’s Developer website and Search Console to help

Google has updated its developer website with code examples and a new gallery complete with screenshots to help guide your implementation.

Google makes the following recommendations when implementing rich cards on your website:

  • Use JSON-LD implementation
  • Check Google’s “Mark Up Your Content Items” guide to determine which are the required fields, and also find additional fields that may enhance your listing.
  • See a preview of your markup in the Structured Data Testing Tool of how the rich card might appear in Search,
  • Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to see errors as you tweak your markup in real-time.

We cannot stress enough how great the Structured Data Testing Tool is. One of the simplest ways is to view the source of your webpage, cut and paste it into the tool, and then adjust or add code until you get the required result. It can be used for all structured data and can make it easy to try out new structured data ideas, which quite often are extremely easy to quick to implement.

Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to see errors as you tweak your markup in real-time.
Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to see errors as you tweak your markup in real-time. CREDIT: GOOGLE BLOG.
Keep track of coverage and debug errors in the Search Console. The new Search Console Rich Cards Report will indicate the following:

  • Card Type — This will show what Rich Card content type the feedback relates to.
  • Invalid Cards — These have incorrect implementation and will not be visible in the SERPs.
  • Enhanceable Cards — These have a correct implementation, but could be enhanced by adding additional markup and data.
  • Fully Enhanced Cards — These have a full implementation, and not other markup or enhancements are available.

Google recommends ensuring that you have submitted a sitemap to ensure Google can discover all of your marked-up content.

Google's Rich Cards report.
Google's Rich Cards report. CREDIT: GOOGLEBLOG.

Finally, the last step is to monitor your performance by using the “Rich Results” filter in the Search Console. You can see clicks and impressions for both Rich Cards and Rich Snippets, as shown in the screenshot below:

You can see Clicks or Impressions for Rich Results by using the Search Appearance filter.
You can see Clicks or Impressions for Rich Results by using the Search Appearance filter. CREDIT: GOOGLE BLOG.

Google now recommends AMP implementation when using Rich Cards

In their latest post introducing the local restaurant and online courses, rich cards, Google now recommends using AMP HTML when implementing the new search feature.

Their reason being is that users consuming AMP’d content will be able to swipe almost instantly between restaurants or recipes from within your website due to the fast, optimized nature of AMP pages.

The AMP Testing Tool should help implement this within AMP pages.

It should be stressed, though, that AMP is currently not a requirement for Rich Cards implementation.