In the Summer of 2011 Schema.org was created.
From the horse’s mouth –
What is Schema.org?
“This site provides a collection of schemas, i.e., html tags, that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers. Search engines including Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages.
Many sites are generated from structured data, which is often stored in databases. When this data is formatted into HTML, it becomes very difficult to recover the original structured data. Many applications, especially search engines, can benefit greatly from direct access to this structured data. On-page markup enables search engines to understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results in order to make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web. Markup can also enable new tools and applications that make use of the structure.
A shared markup vocabulary makes easier for webmasters to decide on a markup schema and get the maximum benefit for their efforts. So, in the spirit of sitemaps.org, search engines have come together to provide a shared collection of schemas that webmasters can use.”
In plain English terms it means that your site now has to have the correct microdata to enable it to be found more easily on the major search engines. Microdata is a way of marking up the code on your website to deliver specific information to the search engines and involves using specific terms before important information to make the search engines sit up and pay attention.
At Glass Frog we have found this to be particulalrly useful in local marketing, where Google delivers local results based on your computer’s IP address. For example if you search for restaurants from your home computer, Google will identify your location from the IP address that your computer is broadcasting and deliver ‘local’ results – i.e. restaurants close to your location.
It is a fact that 80% of business for a local company is generated within a five mile radius of the premises, hence Google’s emphasis on local search.
The search engines also realise that the smartphone in a potential buyer’s possession is the online browser of choice for a growing number of people, particularly the younger generation, and because of their inbuilt GPS location facilities they are the perfect device for finding ‘local’ businesses or services.
We are working on some new sites for clients that are not only highly optimised for search but also now have the approriate microdata throughout for maximum impact.
Watch this space – we will report on the results as soon as we have the comparatives in from our Anaylitcs programmes.