Rich Snippets & Breadcrumbs With UTF-8 characters

Adding Facebook-like Personalization to Your Rich Snippets

While doing a quick search for the Google Rich Snippets testing tool, I saw this in the 2nd position of the SERP. It’s a page that lets you put annoying graphical characters into your rich snippets of data – specifically the rich snippet markup for breadcrumb links on your website.


Rich Snippets Are Good

I’m very much in favor of using Rich Snippets. In fact I’m doubly in favor of placing rich snippets in breadcrumb links. It helps Google to determine some of your site architecture. If place your structured data into your breadcrumbs properly, those rich snippets of data will allow Google to determine your breadcrumbs and place them in-line with the rest of what displays for your entry in the SERPs. Brilliant, right?

You want to be found. That’s great. You still want to look credible, too. Who in their right mind would want stars and other UTF-8 character set entities in their breadcrumbs? It’s bad enough we have to see this from the younger, want-to-be-noticed set on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Strictly my opinion, of course, but if this gets out of hand, it’s going to make Google SERPS resemble a Craigs List page.

Providing a tool to do this for your website is asinine. Hopefully, these characters will dilute the keywords enough to push these sites to the bottom.

Am I out of line? While they garner some attention and draw your eye in. Is this really what you want to see when you search Google?