The world of SEO does not sit still for long. One of the biggest changes to the digital landscape and addition to the tools available to inbound marketers is the implementation of on-page data mark-up languages such as Schema.org.
The aim of on-page data mark-up is to increase the amount the search engines actually understand about the information they are categorising, ultimately leading to more accurate search results.
Thus back in 2011, as a result of collaboration between the search engine superpowers Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, Schema.org was created to improve the search engines ability to understand the web by creating a structured method of microdata mark-up. By sharing a microdata mark-up vocabulary, webmasters are able to ensure their efforts are properly rewarded.
As is often the case in the field of SEO, a simple process has been made to sound more complicated than it actually is. Hopefully an example will clear up any underlying confusion:
When using a search engine, people have a primary understanding of the information they are viewing. Until now it has been impossible for search engines to replicate such an understanding. For example, if as your header 1, you have the word ’Flipper’, there is no information to tell you what the text string actually means – Flipper could of course refer to the popular film about a 12 year old boy who befriended a dolphin, or the popular swimming aid. This can make it difficult for the search engines to display content relevant to the user.
By using the Schema.org vocabulary, it is possible to tell the search engines that this information describes a specific movie, place, person or video, helping to tidy up the search engines understanding of your content.
So, will Schema.org help your website to work its way up through the rankings? Well no; as yet mark-up is not used for ranking purposes. However, there is still a huge benefit to implementing Schema.org to your website.
Google has slowly begun to roll out rich snippets within the search results for those webpages that have used microdata such as Schema.org, to help display authorship, videos and review data.
There are many different kinds of snippets Google supports, and the number keeps growing. Rich snippets are having a tremendous impact on a visitors click through rate within the search results with some webmasters reporting a 30% increase in CTR after implementing rich snippets.
Applying the mark-up isn’t a difficult process on small sites and there is a great guide for getting started with Schema.org at: http://www.schema.org/docs/gs.html
Once you have implemented your microdata mark-up, use the rich snippets testing tool to make sure that Google can read and extract your marked-up data, and enjoy your improved CTR.