Google rich snippets are an addition to snippets which provide users a preview under a search result of the kind of content available on that page. The Google rich snippets provide users with even greater detail and also allow users to filter search results based on certain criteria.
The Google rich snippets are unique to Google. Bing for example has its own version.
The rich snippets can be used for business webistes, e-commerce websites and blogs. They can be used for a variety of purposes from review sites, recipe sites, personal blogs or bio pages, authorship of content, product pages, events, music, video, software applications and breadcrumbs on a website.
Check out the infographic below for more details on how you could increase conversions with Google rich snippets.
I especially like the fact that it can be combined with Google + for posts and pages in order to let Google know that the content can be attributed to you. This should help simplify the authorship issue. The ability to insert video thumbnails in the snippets can only serve to help with click through rates which tend to be higher with video. The ability to insert audio files in search results can only favor singers and musicians.
Let us know if you can track whether Google rich snippets are aiding conversions or driving traffic to your website, in the comments below.