Unlike on desktop, people who do searches on their smartphones or even tablets usually need relevant answers fast. Which means less tapping. Which means seeing the right answers immediately at a glance. Google has been trying to deliver that kind of experience by turning plain search results to search results with snippets. Now it’s taking another step forward by introducing Rich Cards, practically search results that visually stand out from the rest with larger preview images and larger cards with more details, to help users see the most interesting and relevant results more easily.
Visually speaking, Rich Cards is an extension of the “card” visual language Google has been using for some of its search results, like with weather and some movie information. Although regular “Rich Snippets” results already contain a thumbnail and a snippet (hence the name) of the item in question, Rich Cards can add more details and gives web site makers more control over which details are actually exposed.
For example, if you run a cooking-related site with recipes, you’d want people to immediately see the end result of that masterpiece whenever they search for it. Or studios will want to show off not just the title but also the theatrical poster, a summary, and maybe even the cast. Both of these cases are now fully supported by Rich Cards. Other possible content types include events, news, and products.
While Google does give webmasters the choice of filling out the details for those pieces of information required for a type of rich card, the unsaid requirement here is that the web page not just be mobile-friendly but also adhere to the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) specification that Google has been pushing lately. Those pages qualify for having their content included in rich card results, usually presented as a carousel. Of course still depending on their ranking.
For now, only Recipes and Movies are supported Rich Card types and those only show up in English search results on google.com on mobile. As this happens all on the server side, no update is required to see this new type of rich content.