I highly recommend anyone studying the technical aspects of SEO to keep track of MOZ’s ‘seo cheat sheet‘. It is a quick reference to some of the best practises in SEO used by thousands of web developers. I’ll be going into some depth regarding some of the sheet’s sections.
Rich Snippets are responsible for all the useful information displayed underneath your site title/url in search engines. It is “structured data markup that site operators can add to their existing HTML, which in turn allow search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page.”
Star rankings, time stamps, food calorie info, reviews, percentages, biography labels, these are all created using rich snippets.
From the above, the third listing is making using of featured images using a rich snippet. Some benefits of adding microdata to your website is it creates eye catching results, potential CTR increase and quality results.