Knowing Structured Data

What are Web Schemas?

Web Schemas are basically a structured framework or plan, an outline for a website. Web schemas help search engines and other machines understand the content better which we refer to as Structured Data.

In official words:"Schema.org is a collaborative, community activity with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond. Many applications from Google, Microsoft, Pinterest, Yandex and others already use Schema.org Vocabularies to power rich, extensible experience (eg. rich snippets)."- Schema.org

What are Structured Data and why do we need them?

Marking up the content of the website like blog posts, reviews etc helps search engines understand the content. This is called Structured Data. This, in turn, helps them to represent the content better on the search engine results page. For example Star Rating on a Product Page, or Carousel of Blog Posts, or details of an Organization. This helps with better exposure and more traffic.

What are Structured Data and why do we need them

What are Schema.org Vocabularies?

Vocabularies are the name given to the type of data that the given schema describes. Schema.org vocabulary can be used with many different encodings, including RDFa, Microdata, and JSON-LD.

What are encodings (RDFa, Microdata, and JSON-LD)?

Encodings are the markup formats in which these Vocabularies are defined in. Think of them as different languages, you can markup schemas in.

Does Structured Data help with SEO?

Using structured data does not directly result in better SERP Ranking. But it does, make your content more visible in the search results. It helps search engines understand your pages better. Hence, gives your content a better presentation. Google calls these Rich Snippets. This might lead to more exposure and focused traffic.

Supported Rich Snippets Structured Data

Following is the list of supported Rich Snippets by Google.

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Corporate contacts
  • Carousels
  • Logos
  • Sitelinks Search box
  • Social profiles
  • Articles
  • Books
  • Courses
  • Datasets
  • Events
  • Job postings
  • Local businesses
  • Music
  • Occupations
  • Fact checks
  • Podcasts
  • TV & movies
  • Video
  • Reviews
  • Products
  • Recipes

Does Structured Data always work?

While using structured data gives an opportunity to the search engine to better present your data, it doesn't guarantee that it will do so. That depends on search engine's algorithm. The algorithm usually tailors search results to create what it thinks is the best search experience for a user, depending on many variables, including search history, location, and device type. In some cases, the algorithm may determine that one feature is more appropriate than another. The structured data is not representative of the main content of the page or is potentially misleading. There could be other factors that may lead to the structured data not working. It could be that the Schema is wrong in a way that testing tools are not able to detect, or the content referred to is hidden from the user. It can also be that it doesn't meet guidelines for structured data.

Conclusion

Structured Data is becoming hygiene for successful inbound marketing. It not only helps search results, it also enables the AI assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana to understand it better. There are plans for it even being applied to Virtual Reality. So, it's time to get ahead of your competitors and use Structured Data Today.

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