Sometimes when browsing the web for research into my site, I come across table based enriched search results. Like this:
The above result is from my own site, which I modified to make Google show the extra info. You can see that in addition to the title, descriptions, and breadcrumbs – which are all achieved via well-documented processes – we also have an additional two rows consisting of 4 key/value pairs. There is no way of achieving this using any documented approach. But it turns out, we can do this without the need for structured data. Here’s how.
Using a Table Allows Google to Enriched Search Results
The first time I saw this kind of information on Google, it was on the website of one of my competitors. The coupons and deals were the same as the ones I had on WP-Tweaks, but Google wasn’t picking up the data for additional display below the search result. To find out what was happening, I examined the source code of my competitor’s page to see if some structured data was leading to the additional display. There was none.
Instead, there was a simple table with the extra information shown above. So I decided to implement a table myself. It wasn’t anything fancy. Just an ordinary HTML table with descriptive headings, and some CSS to make it look nice. Here’s what I used:
As you can see, there’s nothing mysterious about this. The location of the table wasn’t important. My competitor’s site had it on the sidebar – which meant it was lower down in the HTML for mobile screens. I chose to put the table closer to the top within the content itself. I didn’t even have to use special markup or “bold” items for the headings or values. Just plain text was good enough.
After creating the table, I re-submitted my site to Google for indexing and crossed my fingers.
Imagine my surprise when I saw a few hours later, that Google was now showing my table data underneath the search result as expected! This was pretty amazing. And everyone can use this method to increase their chances of additional snippets.
Using Existing Snippets as a Structure Guide
Because of the lack of documentation, I had no way of knowing which table headers would be relevant. After all, Google doesn’t just randomly pick up up all table data. So many rows was I supposed to use? What headings? Luckily, I had a handy guide to what Google wanted in the form of my competitors. So just see what kind of headings the others in your field are using to generate these snippets, and then recreate that on your site.
Imitation truly is the best form of flattery! I get a lot of inspiration from the things I see on my competitor sites, and they probably get ideas from mine as well.
Site Quality Matters When Displaying Structured Data
I have learned that Google cares a lot about site quality when deciding whether to display additional snippets below search results. For certain pages, I found that the snippets started displaying only after I had done considerable work updating the content and making it more comprehensive. Particularly for review pages, I found it useful to include comparisons, “star” ratings, a Table of Contents, and more.
For improving your site quality, I suggest you also take a look at my series of articles on content hygiene and identifying poorly performing pages with the Google Search Console. Working consistently on this, will improve your site’s reputation in the eyes of Google and will earn you more trust and snippets.
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!