What Are Rich Snippets?

Rich Snippets are the pieces of information about a web page that appear beneath its title in search engine results pages (SERPs). The types of data that appear vary according to the context of the page, but may include elements such as price and image for a product, or cooking time and star rating for a recipe.

The rich snippet for the recipe page shows the ratings, reviews and total preparation time

Why Are Rich Snippets Useful?

The metadata that appears in SERPs serves as promotional copy for the page itself, helping to drive click-throughs from SERPs to the website. The richer and more meaningful the information supplied here, the better chance the page has of receiving traffic. Furthermore, eye tracking and heat mapping research has clearly demonstrated that internet users are more drawn to dynamic, colourful results than to those that follow the traditional text layout. This means that pages marked up with rich snippets stand to enjoy a greater click-through rate (CTR) than their non-marked up competitors. While Google is notoriously tight-lipped about how on-site elements can affect the performance of a page in SERPs, they have gone as far as to connect rich snippets with potential traffic improvements. Optimising rich snippets for your website should be a part of every SEO strategy. If your business website is ranking lower on Google Page One the rich sinppet of your web page can lure potential visitors from the results above you.

How Are Rich Snippets Generated?

Search engines are able to display rich snippets when data about a page is supplied in a machine parsable format. This entails marking up the page with HTML tags that define the on-page content within the context of specific semantics.

Three standards exist for this kind of data markup – microformats, RDFa and microdata. Each standard has its own discrete vocabulary, but all three serve the same function. They allow for pertinent information about the page to be contained in a specific field which can be ‘read’ and comprehended by crawlers, allowing search engines to display the given data in a meaningful way.

While all three standards are supported by the major search engines, the most popular – and recommended – format is microdata. The microdata vocabulary was collaboratively developed, so it is straightforward and expansive. Furthermore, the major search engines Google, Yahoo, Yandex and Bing have joined forces to produce schema.org, which is a library of microdata markups that they have jointly committed to supporting.

The easiest way to think about implementing markups is to view them like normal metadata – they are simply additional HTML tags, added to the of a page, that enrich the information about the page that is provided in SERPs.

Guide to Rich Snippets by BlueGlass Interactive on SEOmoz

Unique Visitors vs New Visits in Google Analytics

It has been an ongoing debate on what the difference is between Unique VisitorsNew Visits and Absolute Unique Visitors in Google Analytics (GA). The most confusing metric used by GA was Absolute Unique Visitors, I said ‘was’ because Google, in response to users enquirers, has finally launched  a new version of Analytics, where Absolute Unique Visitors has been replaced by Unique Visitors. Although the new version of GA is still in beta phase, we can expect the old version to disappear soon, leaving us with the new features of GA.

This tutorial is based on the New Version of Google Analytics

The new Visitors Overview in GA gives us results for Unique Visitors and all Visits at one glance, plus very clear pie chart that shows what percentage off all Visits comes from New and Returning Visitors.


Unique Visitors vs New Visits

My GA data from 13th of April till 13th of May shows:

756 Unique Visitors

1,353 Visits

749 Returning Visits  – 55.35% (visits from returning visitors)

604 New Visits  – 44.64% (visits from new visitors)

Calculating Unique Visitors (UV) generally means counting the number of unique IP addresses. UV means a single person who visits a website any number of times. One really important thing to recognize is that, ‘unique’ depends on what time period we are referring to: Lets say I am visiting a new website  on Tuesday, I might visit it once or 30 times on that day, but I will be counted as one Unique Visitor on that day. Now, I visit it again on Wednesday,  I can repeat my visits few times on that day, and I will be again, one Unique Visitor for Wednesday. But for the two days I am still one Unique Visitor. So the dates that you choose to measure, greatly affect the results you get.

Now, why in my report  New Visits (NW) are lower than Unique Visitors?

Unique Visitors and New Visits are always the same if your calendar is set to always include every single new visit. But my data shows UV from the 13th of April till 13th of May, and customers who visited my site, for the very first time, on 13 of March (or on any date before 13 of April), and come back again on 13 of April don’t count for New Visits in my report, but still count for Unique Visitors, hence the number of UV is higher than NW.

Which metric, Unique Visitors or New Visits is more accurate depends on the time frame you are giving to your report. Below is an example of different results for UV and NW you can get from Google Analytics based on dates:


To sum it up, Unique Visitors report counts visitors to your website (counting each visitor only once in the selected date range) whereas New vs. Returning classifies all visits (sessions) in the date range by the visitor type. The new visitor number may seem especially large if you are looking at a large date range, or if you have just recently installed Analytics on your site.

*  TIP * If you want to get annual Unique Visitors for your website, NEVER take the number of monthly UV and just add them up, the results you will get will be much higher than the actual.  For annual reports always set up the start and end date for the whole year! The same rule applies to quarterly reports as well.


If you have any questions regarding Google Analytics reports, feel free to post them here, I will be more than happy to help.



Evernote and Keeping Organised

In my quest to find the best task manager and note taking software to help improve my productivity, I came across the Evernote app in the android marketplace.

Fast forward a few weeks later, Evernote has become one of my indispensable applications and I am beginning to wonder how I ever got things done before it. I decided in the spirit of openness to share the features about Evernote which help cement it as an invaluable tool for me.

Connectivity between Devices

Evernote syncs your text notes, voice notes, text clipping  between your phone, computer and tablet, meaning you always have your latest jottings wherever you are. I tend to think of ideas during my commute to work or sometimes late at night just before I fall asleep with my computer just out of reach. With Evernote, I can easily add the note on my mobile either as a quickly typed out message to myself or as a sleepy voice note which I can try and decipher the next morning.

Everything is searchable… I mean everything.

Whether it is typed out text, an image or your scrawled handwriting, Evernote’s OCR does a good job of deciphering it and finding it amongst the multitude of notes you might have. For instance, I hate carrying around business cards. So instead of lugging around a huge diary with business cards, I just take a picture of the card with my phone, upload it to Evernote and voila business cards whenever I might need them. All I need to do is search for the business name and Evernote finds the image for me in an instant. This does not only work with business cards, but with handwritten notes (depending on your writing), documents, whiteboards and whatever else you can think of. Now if Evernote can either change the business card into a contact or make it possible to select or call the number from the photograph, that would make my day (Hint Hint :) )

Voice Notes

Because sometimes typing is just too much effort.

Web Clips/Bookmarking

I never really got into delicious for some reason, but I have recently found myself using Evernote almost as a bookmarking tool. If I find a site I love, I can save it to Evernote, add tags to the site and most importantly, the text within the web clip becomes searchable in Evernote.

Not interested in the entire site but love a certain section or a certain quote? Well you can only save the quote you want without saving the entire site. Saved a quote and decided you want to read the entire post which contained the quote? Easy, Evernote remembers where each quote came from and you can easily go back to the site where you  originally saved the quote from.

You can also connect Google’s chrome browser to your Evernote account so your Google searches also simultaneously search Evernote as well. Just another additional benefit

Twitter/SMS – For those in the stone ages

If you follow @myEN and they follow you back, you can then DM messages to your Evernote account. Which means if you have a Nokia 3310, you can send an DM SMS to twitter which then gets added to your Evernote account and will be available to you the next time you log into your Evernote account. Not a texting person? Well you can always send an email instead.


Evernote is only as limited as your imagination and the best part is that for most people, the free package is good enough for your daily needs. When it comes to organisation, Evernote has topped all the other task managers I have used even though it is not really built for task managing.  You can also use Evernote for creating checklists, keeping receipts, schedules, recipes, lecture notes and much more.

I have only scratched the surface on the many ways in which you can use Evernote, for more tips, check out Evernote’s blog at http://evernote.tumblr.com/