Rich snippets attribute extra information to a search result to provide the searcher with a further insight into what the link may contain.
This could be information about the track listing on an album, for instance, or the star rating of your favourite restaurant. The good news, and there only really is good news, is that they give the searcher a more informed choice before they have clicked a link.
Because of this, there is a greater chance that the person clicking on the link to your site is actually looking for you or your products. This means there is a much higher chance that that click will turn into a conversion.
Therefore, as a website owner, rich snippets give you a chance to highlight the content of your website for a better click through rate.
More importantly, rich snippets are a way for your business to have a visual presence in search results. This allows you to incorporate important design features such as your company logo. Even a specific colour represented in the results can be important for the recognition of your brand in the search result listings.
When the world is so visually driven, it makes sense that search results incorporate more than just words into results. Giving people further information to make an informed choice on where they visit.
As in the example above, rich snippets also contain information about product reviews, another great way to show that your site is stocking the best products possible and another way to draw customers directly to your products.
With the search results page remaining dominated by text for so long – the chance to add in extra relevant information will certainly improve the search experience for all involved.