Last Updated on August 5, 2020
Schema.org, and its SEO implications, is becoming more mainstream. We talked about SEO meta data and the power of the new microdata format last year…. but adoption rates were slow. Now online marketers and White Hat SEO practitioners are catching on. Admittedly schema.org is an advanced SEO technique. So fair warning that I’ll get a little bit technical but strive to put why this stuff is important and why this trend should be added to your White Hat SEO strategy.
What is Schema.org?
Here’s the definition posted on schema.org:
A collection of schema, i.e., html tags, that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers. Search engines including Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages.
Ok, what does that mean in plain English? Basically its the data about your content that search engines can use to better categorize and display your web pages or blog posts. Schema is a fancy word for “set of types.” They are associated with a set of properties and these types are arranged in a hierarchy. Said another way, it’s a way to standardize bits of data regardless of content management system or browser platform.
What does it do for SEO?
Search engines are deaf, blind, and dumb. Structured data helps machines understand what the content is all about since they can’t intellectually process the information. Tags are used to communicate with these non-sentient bots so they can discern between Authorship information versus info about an event as an example.
Google prefers microdata for web content. So, read between the lines… if you give Google what it wants, then maybe you’ll get ranked higher. Of course, there are many variable to ranking, so this is only one piece of a large and complicated puzzle.
How to Get Started
If you’re a webmaster, Google provides a tool — Structured Data Markup Helper — to add structured markup to a website. It connects the dots between on-page elements for which you’d like to generate structured data and maps them into the appropriate schema.org vocabulary. It also guides you through relevancy of that element. It’s very handy especially for someone who knows their way around Google Webmaster Tools. If your website is on WordPress (and if it isn’t, why not?!), there are several schema.org plugins available. We’re also seeing a trend in WordPress that mobile responsive themes being updated so it integrates structured data into the site’s underlying framework.
How have you integrated schema.org into your website? If yes, what SEO results are you seeing?