July 16, 2015
Google has said high quality, credible content that web searchers can easily use is the way to better rankings. This has resulted in a content creation boom of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day. All this new content needs to be indexed as efficiently as possible for Google to serve users the most relevant information they can. There needed to be a way to break some aspects of the new content down into universal snippets that would allow for it to be categorized and compared quickly. All this categorization would need to be done without ever being shown on the website itself. Structured data was born.
Structured Data’s main uses today are as follows.
• Enhanced Presentation in Search Results with:
o Rich Snippets
o Sitelinks Search Boxes
• Answers from the Knowledge Graph for:
o Movie Reviews
o Music/Video Play Actions
These invisible snippets tell search engine crawlers about the data on a specific page from who created it, where it was created, when it was created, what kind of category it falls under, prices, and so forth.
Google then uses this data to quickly and accurately serve more specific content for searches that contain some of this data. It can be displayed in search in a variety of ways from inline with results, to the right sidebar as images, or in a knowledge graph text area.
It’s a great way to help your products show up in more search results, and also helps your brand by showing more trustworthy information in search results. Contact information, business hours, maps, and images can all help to provide a more trustworthy experience for your brand
as opposed to just some text and a link.
Structured Data Markup Tool
Google has created a way to easily markup your content on a basic level with their “structured data markup tool,” but it can be difficult to get the results you want. There’s another tool from
Google that allows you to test your markup for errors, and even if you have 0 errors showing, there can still be issues.
Google retains the right to display the structured data or not, and you won’t know the results instantly. It can take up to a couple months before you can confidently say what the results are.
If you get it right the benefits can be extremely valuable to your business. Even if Google does not choose to display your knowledge graph in search results, your still providing a better way for them to look at your content and determine its value quickly.
Here are the 3 types of structured data schema.org recommends using:
Schema.org has much more detail for you to navigate through then we can fit on here. I recommend you have a look at both Schema’s, and Google’s documentation for a more complete understanding of structured data and how it is used on websites today.
You have the power to add structured data to your website and improve your online business, but just in case, we’re here to help get it done.