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Schema.org: The Search Engines make nice to bring more relevant search results

What is it?

Up until a week ago today, Google, Yahoo! and Bing were requesting that structured data be entered differently for each site. Now, after a (surprising) joint announcement about a new site called Schema.org and a new common vocabulary for web page design that helps to categorize your site or page into the type of content that it is, it’s easier than ever to tell the search engines what the subject of your content is.  Whether it be a restaurant review, video clip, place or event, the search engines are making nice to bring the user a more relevant search experience. 

(Disclaimer: With the examples below, my intention is not to give our audience a lesson in how to write microcode for your website, blog, or the press release posted on your website (I wouldn’t have a clue), but to give you an understanding of how this type of data can help you garner the results that you are looking to achieve.

To illustrate my point, let’s take the band, Phoenix, as an example. Say you’re trying to search for information about their latest video, album, or concert dates.  Now, if I’m a search engine, not a human being, and you type in simply “Phoenix”, how do I know that you’re talking about the band and not the city, the firebird from Greek mythology or the online university?

As you can see from the results below, my preferred search engine isn’t as intuitive as I’d like it to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does it work?

Enter Schema.org.

With this new set of structured data or microdata, you can now help the search engines to figure out not only what your content is about, but what type of classification it should have. So, if you are posting information about a band that has videos online and upcoming shows in a location nearby, they will appear under the appropriate category on the SERPThat being said, to illustrate what I am talking about you can check out the original HTML vs Microdata example for Foo Fighters (one of my favorite bands) for yourself on Schema.org.

Why should we care?

Hopefully as more webmasters start to implement the Schema.org vocabulary behind the scenes, you will start to have a more useful search experience with “rich snippets” like the ones below for the Foo Fighters with videos, news and other relevant multimedia components classified under the proper headings.

 

About Laurie Mahoney

Laurie Mahoney is the Director of Product Marketing at Cision. She is a regular contributor to Cision Blog mainly focusing on topics like content marketing, social media and SEO. Laurie is a Chicagoan now, but spent her earlier days in the South where she attended the University of Georgia. She has a weakness for good TV, sushi and anything that mentions “salted caramel” in the name. You can find her on Twitter @channermahoney.

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