Using Schema.org to Enhance Your Search Engine Listings
May 6, 2014
We’ve talked about structured data before but in this blog I’d like to discuss a website that’s extremely helpful for structured data markup. Most websites are created from structured data stored in databases. Once that data is put into HTML, that structured data can be lost or very hard to recover. This structured data can be of great use to search engines, as it helps them read and display a website more dynamically.
Schema.org offers different “schemas” that webmaster can utilize to markup the data on HTML pages to improve the appearance of the website within search results. Schema.org has become recognized as the industry standard by the major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Search engines like structured data markup as it helps improve users more easily find what they are looking for, thus improving the overall user experience for that search engines. For these same reasons, structured data markup can have a positive effect on SEO for your website.
Essentially, Schema.org provides a shared vocabulary that webmasters can use when marking up data for websites. In other words, Schema.org has taken the guesswork out of structured data, offering a uniform and easy way to apply these data markups to any website.
For an example, let’s take a look at using structured data markup for an event:
Whoa, whoa– hold the phone. What are we looking at here? Well, basically the different properties in the “Property” column on the left can be inserted into the HTML code with the proper “Expected Type” to display that information on search engine result pages. For instance, the HTML for a page without markup looks something like this:
Using the Event markup properties above, the coding would look something like this:
So basically, nearly every key aspect of an event, such as date, time and place can be marked up using schemas to display that information on search engines. The end result of using structured data markup for an event would display something like this on a Google search page:
As you can see, the date, time and place are all displayed within the Google search engine result page. Users can now readily view all relevant information of the event without having to dig around on your website.
Schema.org offers a plethora of different types of markups for products, places, people, organizations and reviews. Pretty much if you can think of it, there’s probably a markup for that. Implementing these schemas does take some HTML knowledge so I recommend speaking with your developer or webmaster if you are keen on utilizing structured data for your site.