Schema.org is getting more SEO press now that we’re living in a post-Hummingbird algorithm world. So what exactly is schema.org and what does it have to do with SEO for real business? I’ll try not to geek out too much, and explain it in hands-on SEO terms.
A Collaboration Project
Schema.org is a collaboration project of four major search engines: Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Yandex. Two years ago they developed schema.org markup as a way to better understand the content their bots index. So why is this important?
I’ll give you an analogy. Do you remember about 5 years ago, every manufacturer of cellphones had different kinds of chargers? If you had a Motorola phone you couldn’t use your friend’s Samsung charger because the inputs were different. Fast forward a few years… now we use micro connectors to recharge our electronic devices. Unless you are an Apple user, of course. You’re special.
The goal of the Schema collaboration is to create a standard language that all search engine bots can understand and process the content.
Using Schema for SEO Building
Now that search is evolving from keyword matching to semantic or artificial intelligence, SEOs are predicting that Schema mark-up will catch on. Hummingbird was the first major algorithm overhaul in years. Search is changing to reflect:
- Search intent (again beyond keyword matches to relevant synonyms)
- Humans are using voice to initiate a search rather than typing
- Answering real questions with quality content
According to a Clarity Global SEO Conference in September 2013, two out of three enterprise attendees intend to implement Schema for SEO. While they indicate it’s a top priority… the elephant in the room is this: Will Schema for SEO help my rankings?
Adopting Schema.org Markup
So what does Schema for SEO accomplish? According to Mitul Gandhi on a recent Search Engine Land article, he believes we’re not asking the right questions. Mitul thinks Schema will:
- Improve the user experience with a brand – as it provides a rich snippet in SERP (providing more engaging content for the visitor such as reviews, pictures, and authorship information).
- Align how search engines index content by using mark-up language so bots better understand the information (e.g., events vs. pictures).
- Increase click-through-rates if websites are designed for conversion. For example, a rich SERP snippet that includes authorship received a 2x lift in clicks as compared to one without in an Authorship test he conducted for SMX Advanced.
Ok, how did I do? Too much geek?
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