I originally wrote this post in 2014. ūüėČ I added some notes [between brackets].

Lately I’ve noticed substantial positive increases in search engine page results for older sites that I’ve added structured data to. I’ve limited the structured data additions on¬†my clients websites to products and reviews so far but again, the results have been notable.

<structured-data>

I think it’s going to be the rage in the SEO world before too long [and I was correct]. Especially when info companies start using the structured data to populate ‘sitelinks’ [in many instances they already are] and other content areas [like jobs boxes] on search returns pages. This will force a lot of work since webmasters of currently optimized sites will have to re-code their websites in order to be optimized for search again.

Structured data is not necessary to achieve sitelinks, but I have a feeling that in the future structured data will be heavily used to help determine what is added to sitelinks. This could include products, jobs, locations and a ton of other information. In short, By using structured data in conjunction with important web assets, one may be able to influence the content that gets displayed on a SERP.

Most intermediate level SEO’s know their HTML tags to a degree. The image alt attribute, page title, meta description, and others should be very familiar to you. However, the purpose of HTML is to make content look a particular way through a web browser, such as Chrome. On the contrary, in plain English, structured data is used to ‘talk’ directly to Googlebot.

“Microdata is a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, Yandex and Yahoo!

….While the long term goal is to support a wider range of formats, the initial focus is on Microdata.” – http://schema.org/

Here is a brief HTML example of Schema for a local business

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/LocalBusiness”>
<a itemprop=”url” href=”https://urlmd.com”><div itemprop=”name”><strong>SJH SEO</strong></div>
</a>
<div itemprop=”description”>Website design, SEO, ongoing management services, experienced Naples, FL. web designer.</div>
<div itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>
<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>831 Oakley-Seaver Dr</span><br>
<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Clermont</span><br>
<span itemprop=”addressRegion”>FL</span><br>
<span itemprop=”postalCode”>34711</span><br>
<span itemprop=”addressCountry”>US</span><br>
</div>
</div>

You can check the markup on your URL’s by using the¬†Google Structured Data Testing Tool. Available through Google webmaster tools.

Also check out Google’s structured data markup helper, which will help you add structured-data markup to a sample URL or HTML markup: https://www.google.com/webmasters/markup-helper/

Reference:

Originally posted: Stephen James Hall, (January 28, 2014 @ 17:28:32)