Structured Data and How It can Improve Mobile Search Results

In three posts our newest special columnist Cindy Krum will take you through some essential mobile steps. Today the first in the series: Structured Data and How It can Improve Mobile Search Results.

For a long time, I have been focusing with my clients on not only mobile ranking, but also on the ‘look’ of their mobile search results. There is such a limited amount of screen real estate on a mobile SERP that you really need to make sure that your rankings are ‘touch-worthy’ and clickable. Structured data can really help with this!

Anything we can do to improve the ‘look’ of that result will make it much more appealing to a mobile searcher, and drive up the CTR. This includes adding in ‘rich snippits’, using author tagging, or formatting to help pull things like star rankings, relevant information or pictures into the mobile search results.

Lets consider the four results below for a mobile search on ‘gluten free apple crisp’. Each looks different from the other, though they all lead to a recipe for gluten free apple crisp:



Now, here is where this all gets weird and a bit confusing. Look at result ‘C’ from from the In both desktop and mobile, this is actually the top ranking result. The difference is that the desktop result (for the exact same query and page) pulls in the full recipe micro-format, instead of using the authorship markup, as shown below:


Why is it showing one markup on mobile and a different, more compelling markup when the result is on a desktop or tablet? It appears that Google has an order of preference for the markup they will use, depending on if the search is from a mobile device or not; and when the results appear in a mobile search the preference appears to be social, over content-based. It is possible that this was just a fluke, or that Google was running a test, but either way, it is interesting!

About Cindy Krum

Cindy Krum is the CEO and Founder of MobileMoxie, LLC,, a mobile marketing consultancy and host of the most cutting-edge online mobile marketing toolset available today. Cindy is the author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are.

62 thoughts on “Structured Data and How It can Improve Mobile Search Results

  1. Interesting find, Cindy. It has been noticed that Google will show different rich snippets for different search queries. Sometimes they will display the authorship rich snippet, at other times some other structured data markup. So I guess the lesson is to mark up your page with as much structured data as possible (author or publisher tags, schemas, Open Graph, etc) so that you cover all of your bases, so to speak.

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