Google Rich Snippets Connect Consumers, Music Providers

Google added music to its growing catalog of rich snippet genres, allowing publishers to leverage its presence with a few code components.

With Music Beta, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has proven it's interested in hosting music for its users. Now users will see songs they can sample in some search results on, a move to connect consumers with music providers.

The instantiation is simple enough. When users search for music, they may see song titles in the snippets of certain search results. Users may click on those songs to go to the content providers' Websites to hear the music.

This will save users the time of sifting through musical artist biographies, popular pictures and other content related to those musicians when they want to hear the tunes that made them famous (or at least, culturally relevant).

This isn't the first time Google has offered songs to play. Google launched its Discover Music in October 2009; the company offered song samples through partners such as MySpace, Lala and music labels EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music Group.

However, that service never got off the ground, and the songs were removed from Google's search engine. Google this year took a different tack with its Google Music Beta streaming service, which lets users stream their downloaded music from any device.

The rich music snippets present similar to the way tunes did with Discover Music, albeit with a different implementation behind the scenes. Rich snippets-which to date have included reviews, recipes, video and events-are used by Websites to surface content they want more readily found on

To that end, content providers, including MySpace, Rhapsody and ReverbNation, use Google's rich snippets markup for music to show up to four songs in their snippet on the results page.

The snippet displays the name of the song, the duration of the clip, as well as the album it's from. As with Discover Music, the song title itself is a link to the site's Web page for that song.

Google is offering this rich snippets testing tool for prospective publishers to try out their content.

Music is the first rich snippet category since Google launched its Recipe View refinement based on snippets provided by cooking Websites and other recipe publishers. The refinement is popular among foodies looking for cooking tips online.