Schema.org is a shared markup vocabulary recognized by search engines, to provide a shared collection of schemas that webmasters can use to create On-page markup, which 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.

Leveraging Search Algorithms In A Semantic Search World

Google Knowledge Graph1 Innovation velocity in the search world is causing knowledge graphs to become increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous. In light of that, it is imperative that semantic Web groups and SEO groups maintain a frequent and open communication. The SEO of the future will need to have a strong understanding of how knowledge graphs work -- as well as a solid grasp of semantic Web markup -- in order to leverage this information for search marketing campaigns. The Knowledge Graph: Things, Not Strings On May 12, 2012, Google launched their knowledge graph, discussing it in a post entitled, "Intro [...]


Measuring The Effect Of Semantic Markup On Your Search Traffic

There’s a lot of buzz these days around the wonderful world of Schema, semantic markup, and rich snippets -- much of it centered around the increased click-through rates from SERPs and other amazing SEO benefits such markup provides. But, once you've added the markup to your website, how do you measure the results? The ability to do this has been rather limited to date, though annotations make it much easier than it ever was. (If you’re not using annotations on a regular basis, get yourself in the habit -- you'll thank me later.) Before you build any report, think about what informatio [...]


Google Displaying Company Google+ Logos In Search Results With & Without Rel Publisher

Google logo Google is now showing Google+ logos and icons for company profiles in the rich snippets portion of their search results listings. Ross Hudgens spotted the Google+ icon displayed next to the search result for the company's listing. Rel=publisher markup is not required for the logo to show up. I believe all that is required is for the company to have a Google+ page that has their website verified in their Google+ profile. For example, travelstart.co.za ranks for [flights] in Google South Africa. Notice the Google+ logo: They clearly have no rel=publisher markup code on their home pa [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts: Web Spam Benefits From Using Rel=”Author”

matt-cutts-featured A new video by Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, talks about how potentially using rel="author" structured data can help Google's Web spam team improve search quality. Matt Cutts explains that moving from the anonymous Web to a Web with identity helps Google understand the authority and trust of the person writing that content. It can help identify a spammer from an author with a lot of authority and credibility. The example given by Cutts is of our own Founding Editor, Danny Sullivan. If Danny writes something in a low PageRank forum, Google may consider that post written by Dan [...]


Google Adds Structured Data Markup Helper Tool

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240 Google announced today a new, fun and useful tool to help webmasters markup their webpages with schema structured data. Structured data markup can help a webpage enhance its search listings by adding rich snippets to the search results page. Google announced two upgrades here to the structured data tool. Google added a new tool to allow webmasters to visually markup their webpages and then download the the HTML markup code to add to their HTML. The tool is named Structured Data Markup Helper. The tool lets you click on the various content and images on the page and then mark what data it [...]


Google’s Hunger For Structured Markup

Google is keen for structured markup -- to put it mildly. In the not-too-distant past, I wrote about Google's Data Highlighter for event data, a tool which allows webmasters to indicate structured data for events without having to actually mark up the site's HTML code. It has the charming feature that the resultant extracted data is viewable by the webmaster only in Webmaster Tools in the Structured Data section; and, of course, the data is available to Google itself. As there is no actual structured markup ever placed on the page (i.e., no schema.org, microdata or any other markup), th [...]


Semantic & Graph-Based Search: The Future Face Of Search

In a June 2010 Semantic Web Meetup in San Diego, Peter Mika of Yahoo!'s research division gave a presentation entitled, "The future face of Search is Semantic for Facebook, Google and Yahoo!" As the title suggests, the presentation focused on the ever-growing use of semantic markup as a means for helping computers parse and understand content. The talk focused on what was then the current state of the Semantic Web, as well as upcoming formats/technologies in development and the research being done in the field of semantic search. The idea that the Semantic Web would be central to search [...]


Why Local Retailers Should Be Using Open Graph Markup

Last November, Chris Sherman highlighted the findings of Forrester research in his  article, Forrester Rates The Top Large Search Marketing Agencies. As Chris noted, the Forrester report asked and answered this question: “What are the biggest search marketing challenges you expect to face in the next two years?” Today, I’m convinced the findings were not only accurate, they are especially relevant for retailers. Below are the top three challenges the report uncovered: Integrating search marketing with other marketing Understanding new search engine developments Measuring h [...]


Is Google Hijacking Semantic Markup/Structured Data?

In 2012, I started a series, How The Major Search And Social Engines Are Using The Semantic Web, which took us to a point in time around September 2012. Since then, there have been further interesting developments. In this article, I am going to focus on recent developments that are search engine and/or Google specific, then take a further look back in search engine history with the assumption (for you history and strategy lovers,) that a successful strategy used once, may well be used again in similar circumstances. [caption id="attachment_144704" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image [...]


13 Semantic Markup Tips For 2013: A Local SEO Checklist

seo-code-schema-featured One of the least-tapped areas of local business website optimization continues to be semantic markup. Semantic markup can increase chances that information from your website will be highlighted in search engine results pages via rich snippets, attracting greater attention and clickthroughs. So, read on and use this checklist to see if you're exploiting all elements possible for your local business website. While special markup likely may not directly improve your rankings in search, it does apparently increase clickthrough rate or "CTR," as consumers are more drawn to your site's listings. [...]


Which Top SEO Tactics Will You Focus On In 2013?

[caption id="attachment_141998" align="alignright" width="267"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] SEO tactics have morphed again over the past year, including the many Google updates we've seen. For nearly any type of business, keeping up with these changes can be a challenge, but if you prioritize the tasks necessary for success in search and social media marketing, the efforts can pay large dividends. Below are my picks for the top SEO tactics to focus on in the coming year. These tactics can bring you more relevant traffic and conversions for improving your bottom line in 2013. [...]


Examining Real World Uses Of Rich Snippets & Markup

Semantic markup is becoming more and more popular in conjunction with large scale SEO. Adding rich snippets to send rich signals to alert search engines as to the relevancy of your content − whatever vertical they may appear in − is not only a wise move, but an SEO best practice. Included below is an illustrative guide highlighting currently available Chrome extensions, which you can leverage to both test on-site markup as well as expose any information regarding your competitors. An example is illustrated below, and what follows is a guide to getting the information.   Installi [...]


How Web Retailers Can Profit With Semantic SEO

Semantic SEO is a fairly new Web marketing tactic that combines search engine optimization and semantic Web technology. Semantic SEO includes a focus on artificial intelligence to understand a user’s intent (i.e., the meaning of the query) in addition to the reliance on text, keywords and links in search algorithms. I wrote before about using structured markup in How Retailers Can Improve Product Visibility Using Structured Markup. A couple weeks ago in E-Commerce SEO Using Schema.org Just Got A Lot More Granular, Aaron Bradley wrote that Google had integrated e-commerce schemas from Good [...]


Top Ways B2B Marketers Can Best Utilize Rich Snippets

There has been a lot of discussion in the SEO world lately around structured data and rich snippets in the SERPs. If you are not familiar with structured data, it is basically a way to explain the content of your website to the search engines in a trusted (structured) format. You can think back to the good-old-days when all you had to do was update your META tags… until this was abused so much that Google stopped using them. What Is Structured Data & Why Should You Use It? Although Google doesn’t currently use structured markup data for ranking purposes, there are several benefits [...]


E-commerce SEO Using Schema.org Just Got A Lot More Granular

Ramanathan V. Guha of Google announced on 8 November that, effective immediately, e-commerce schemas from the GoodRelations project have been integrated into schema.org. This vastly increases the number of schema.org classes and properties available for e-commerce websites. Put another way, this means that webmasters can now provide Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex with much more granular information about products and offers on e-commerce sites in a manner that is officially sanctioned by these search engines. In terms of e-commerce SEO, this is potentially a pretty big deal:  it is a mean [...]


Structured Data Markup Was Inevitable, But Is It An Admission Of Failure?

The movement toward structured data markup (i.e., increasing use of standards like Open Graph, Schema.org, RDFa, etc.) has bothered me for awhile, but I could not exactly put my finger on the issues. A few weeks ago at SMX East, there were some great presentations on these topics, and I finally realized that I have many major reservations about the proliferation and use of these standards, on many levels (mostly from a publisher perspective; for end-users they are generally a very positive development). What Are These Standards? They sound complicated, but in layman's terms, I would say: [...]


An Illustrated Guide To E-Commerce Markup Using GoodRelations

In How Search & Social Engines Are Using Semantic Search, I started this series with an overview. This article will give you a walk through on generating local and organization markup for a store. We will look at an alternative vocabulary, namely GoodRelations, and take a deeper dive into the specifics of generating semantic markup for the e-commerce domain using GoodRelations. To clarify, GoodRelations is a vocabulary for e-commerce. Microdata and RDFa are syntaxes. Schema.org for product is an alternate vocabulary for e-commerce. The diagram below from Linked Open Commerce gives an [...]


How Search & Social Engines Are Using Semantic Search

The term "Semantic Search" is certainly not new. However, it has taken on a new dimension and implications in both search and social engines today. In addition, it has had a strong impact on targeted semantic advertising. This special series of forthcoming articles on semantic search will take a look at the history behind the development of semantic technology and why it has now become so commercially viable and topical. It will also take a look at how the technology enables "answer engines," rather than simple search engines, to improve the user experience. For example, look at the dire [...]


Google Upgrades Their Rich Snippets Testing Tool To Better Reflect Display In Search Results

Google-Webmaster-tools Google has renamed its rich snippets testing tool in webmaster tools to Structured Data, improved it to better reflect what the search result will actually look like and has expanded the types of structured data supported. Google first launched rich snippets -- enhanced markup of search results -- in 2009 and has been adding the types of support markup ever since. In 2011, in conjunction with Microsoft and Yahoo, they launched schema.org, which expanded the types of markup available, although not every type of results is in the enhanced display (yet). Implementing structured data that r [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Adds Structured Data Dashboard & CNAME Verification

Google-Webmaster-tools Google added two features to Google Webmaster Tools this week; a structured data dashboard and CNAME record verification. Structured Data Dashboard Structured data is a big part of Google's search results and discovery process and to make it easier for webmasters to understand what structured data Google has indexed from your web site, Google introduced a new section under the "Optimization" section of Google Webmaster Tools named "Structured Data." Structured data will show you all the rich snippets markup and other structured data markups Google discovered for your site. Google breaks d [...]


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