We have seen many cases where Google will show tables in featured snippets in the search results. And some types of structured data have the appearance of tables when Google displays it in the search results, such as event listings. But now Google is pulling information from tables to show in the search results.
Here is an example with table data appearing in the search description area:
And another version that shows three columns instead of two:
When you look at the source code of the page, there is no schema markup at all. Instead, the exact information that appears in the search result version of the tables is in a <table> html format on the page as well.
Tables are an interesting thing in web design. Many recommend not using tables in favor of using css or scripts to do the same. But with Google not only showing tables in featured snippets (and seems to somewhat favor them) and now in the regular search results, it makes sense that site owners should explore using tables where appropriate, since it does add additional space to the organic listing.
It isn’t clear when Google might include data from tables in the search results for the regular organic listings (outside of featured snippets). Because it is not from schema, it might not have the same quality factors that structured data markup has.
Will we see more of this? Quite likely since it is used frequently in the search results. <tables> could be making a comeback for 2016.
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