In this blog post we will share a couple of useful SEO recommendations learned from the SMX Advanced Expo that took place in Seattle on June 7-8, 2011. We will stress out the growing importance of rich snippets, or as many of SEO experts call them the microdata or meta data (please do not confuse this with the meta tags). In brief, those of us who take advantage of implementing the rich snippets (schema markup) now, can greatly benefit of being ahead of the race in achieving visible top rankings and increased clickthough rates.
3 major search engines (Bing, Google and Yahoo!) came together to agree on a shared collection of html markups (schemas) that webmasters can now use to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages.
Here is what the official schema documentation site says,
“Many sites are generated from structured data, which is often stored in databases. When this data is formatted into HTML, it becomes very difficult to recover the original structured data. Many applications, especially search engines, can benefit greatly from direct access to this structured data. On-page markup enables search engines to understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results in order to make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web. Markup can also enable new tools and applications that make use of the structure.”
According to Duane Forrester, the Senior Project Manager of Bing’s Webmaster Program, having the schema marked up web pages does not improve the page rankings, but it helps to distinguish your site in SERPs and serves as a signal that the rich snippets may become an important ranking factor once the general audience adapts its usage.
So how do we use the microdata and does your website need it?
Schema.org lists a variety of instances where the markup can be applied starting from the recipe pages (that can incorporate a nice thumbnail image of the dish on SERPs as well as the reviews, ratings, cooking videos and ingedients) and ending with things like a sports team name and address. Generally, below is a list of different content types that can be marked up, so if your website falls under any of the categories below, get down to business and incorporate this into your code:
- CreativeWork (books, movies/videos, photos, recipes, music, web pages, etc)
- Event (business, dance, social, theater, etc)
- Intangible (offer, rating, review, etc)
- Organization (corporation, government, NGO, etc)
- Place (good for travel sites)
- Product (excellent for ecommerce sites)
Below is an example of a rich snippet that is used to describe a person:
Oleksiy is the founder of ArtDriver. He oftentimes takes the lead as the Agile Project Manager and SEO expert, which allows him to be hands-on with the latest trends. In his spare time, Oleksiy enjoys playing the guitar and spending time with his family.