Google mobile Search: Will new 'rich cards' really help you sift results faster?

Google's new rich card format for Search will let publishers stand out in a new visual-focused carousel.

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Rich card results appear in a horizontally-moveable carousel, for easier searching on mobile devices.

Image: Google

Google has introduced a new Search format that displays visual results in a card on a carousel that can be scrolled left and right.

Called rich cards, the new format is aimed at improving the experience of Search on mobile and build on Google's existing rich snippets format, which currently display an image and summary information beneath standard results.

Rich snippets and rich cards use Schema.org, which is sponsored by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex, to mark up the results.

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The rich card results are presented in a horizontally-moveable carousel, designed to be better suited to searching on mobile devices. The carousel allows users to scroll left and right and scroll upwards to view more carousels. Each carousel may contain cards for the same site or from multiple sites, Google notes.

Rich cards are first rolling out for recipes and movies in English mobile search results for Google.com, although Google said it is exploring ways to extend this feature to more publishers.

According to Google, the new format will allow site owners to stand out in Search results and help attract more targeted users. For users, the more visual format should assist in finding results they want faster.

Rich cards are part of Google's wider efforts to improve search on mobile, which is being covered in several sessions at Google's I/O conference this week.

The company this week rolled out a new version of its Mobile Friendly Test for web publishers to see whether their pages pass Google's mobile usability test. That test first arrived in 2014, as part of its effort to push publishers to build sites that are mobile-friendly.

It's also been working on speeding up the mobile web for news publishers via its AMP project, which prioritizes AMP-optimised sites in search results.

Finally on the mobile front, Google this week also introduced shopping ads on image search to help retailers reach consumers searching and comparing goods on mobile devices. As consumers browse Google Images, ads for related products will appear next to them.

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