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.

E-commerce SEO Using 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 This vastly increases the number of 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,, 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. 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, 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 [...]

Can Retailers Benefit From The Knowledge Graph & Schema? You Bet!

The Knowledge Graph is the latest in a series of efforts in which Google has adopted technology from the semantic web aka the "Giant Global Graph" envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee. For those retailers who haven't yet adopted microdata, Good Relations RDFa and other structured markup on their product pages, now is the time to take advantage of the newly implemented Knowledge Graph technology. [caption id="attachment_124036" align="alignright" width="300"] Image from Shutterstock, by drserg, used under license[/caption] Will Google’s Knowledge Graph have an effect on retail? Abso [...]

New: Google Rich Snippet Tool Allows HTML Input & Product Snippets Go Global

Google announced two updates to their rich snippets features yesterday. HTML Input For Rich Snippet Testing Tool: The first is they have added to the rich snippets testing a way to input your HTML and test the HTML before you make the HTML live. In the past, you always had to upload your changes and then run the testing tool. Now, you can take your HTML and paste it into the tool and Google will output the results of the rich snippets. Product Rich Snippets Now Global: Second, Google's product rich snippets is now available globally. No matter where you search, if the results have the [...]

Google Becomes Answer Engine With Semantic Technology − Great News For Retailers

Google has been displaying more than blue links in search results  for a while now. And soon, users will be able to find more facts and direct answers to their queries on top of search results. This comes from the Wall Street Journal, which reported on an interview with Amit Singhal, a top Google search executive. Evidently, Google plans to provide more relevant results by "incorporating semantic search technology, the process of understanding the actual meaning of words." Search Engine Land author and Ontologica semantic services provider Barbara Starr said, "It’s inevitable that lo [...]

Google Recommending New Video Markup

Google announced on the Google Webmaster Central blog that they are now adding video support for They are doing this in combination with Microsoft Bing and Yahoo Search as a "joint effort." Google says using the video markup is the "recommended way to describe videos on the web." Google added that they still recommend you continue with your other video XML formats, such as Video Sitemaps and mRSS feeds, if you use them. The new video markup won't impact the Video Sitemaps and mRSS feeds. The technical details on video markup can be found on an [...]

How To Get A 30% Increase In CTR With Structured Markup

As documented by case studies in the U.S. and abroad, retail firms can get up to a 30 percent increase in organic traffic by using structured markup like Schema Microdata, GoodRelations and Google Rich Snippets, etc. This begs the question: why aren’t more retailers using structured markup? Implementing structured data requires the skill of adding a few extra lines to the HTML code of your site. Once implemented, you will immediately feed Google and hundreds of mobile and recommender applications with all the information consumers are looking for when they shop for your products. Your det [...]

Google Authorship Rich Snippets – Is Google Promoting Authors Or Google+?

More and more, Google has been showing pictures of article authors next to search results. But what began ostensibly as simple adoption of industry standard Web markup seems to have become an exercise in promoting the Google+ social network. In June 2011 Google began to pilot a way for content authors to associate a photo and an author byline to the display of their articles in Google search results. Google extended the pilot to Google News searches in November 2011. The addition of author information in search results continues Google’s support of microformat html markup to enrich a s [...]

Improved Snippets, Rank Boost For “Official” Pages Among 10 New Google Algorithm Changes

google-algorithm-search-featured Google just posted about ten new algorithm changes it has made to how it shows and ranks search results. These include showing rich snippets more often, improving the quality of snippets, a better way of showing page titles for times when Google ignores the HTML title tag itself and a ranking boost for "official pages," which Google says it can detect better now. Snippets & Page Titles Below are changes related to snippets -- the descriptions that Google shows for web pages -- and page titles. I've quoted from the Google blog post, where that's appropriate and paraphrased in other cases [...]

How To Use Rich Snippets, Structured Markup For High Powered SEO

I recently received a question from a reader asking about the way search engines were using microformats and other forms of structured markup. Today, I am going to address that topic from the perspective of its impact on SEO. What is particularly interesting about this topic is that structured markup provides publishers a way to provide the search engines information about their website(s). One of the original ways of doing that was with metatags. Unfortunately, these were so badly abused by spammers that Google stopped using it as a ranking signal. Google finally stated this publicly in [...]

How To Leverage Structured Markup To Create E-Commerce Web Portals

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the definition of a Web portal. Wikipedia defines it as a point of access to the Web with information from diverse sources represented in a unified way. Standard Web portals are those we are all familiar with, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo; however, there are also portals geared for specific verticals such as e-commerce. The semantic Web is a specific example of how Google is leveraging structured product markup to create  Google Product Search, a shopping or "e-commerce Web portal." The same is true of Bing Shopping and many others. Product dat [...]

Employing Microformats & Structured Data For Enhanced Search Engine Visibility

With the introduction of the vocabulary, much attention has been focused on the benefits of employing structured data for improved visibility in the search engines. The mostly widely cited and easily verifiable of these benefits is the generation of rich snippets:  a specially formatted search result block that includes information specific to the type of resource being referenced. Might there be other SEO benefits to using structured data? On one hand, Google has insisted that the advantage of employing structured data (in the form of structured markup) is limited to the [...]

Google Adds Rich Snippets For Application Reviews: iTunes Apps, Android & More

Google announced there is yet another new rich snippet in town, this one is for application reviews. Specifically for the iTunes and Android marketplace and even CNET application reviews. Here is an example of one of my iPhone apps with the special markup: If you have applications on your web site, and they contain pricing information, reviews, descriptions and more, you may want to use this rich snippet to enhance your Google listings. To do so, please read Google's help document. Related Stories: A New Google Rich Snippet For Real Estate, Other Business Listings Google’ [...]

How Retailers Can Improve Product Visibility Using Structured Markup

spotlights-curtain-featured How many times have you heard this before? "If you sell products online, you can have the best-designed ecommerce site on the planet, but you won’t break any sales records if your customers can’t find you in the SERPs." While it’s an age-old saw that you need to make your content findable, a huge percentage of retailers don't know how to maximize product findability. SEOs have been optimizing websites for over a decade; yet, product findability is still a significant challenge for merchants and consumers alike in today’s crowded SERPs. How can retailers stand out from the cr [...]

How To Maximise SERP CTRs With Google Sitemaps & Schemas

Resolving indexing or duplication issues are usually top of the list when working with a new domain, but how can you achieve the same level of performance once the obvious SEO wins are in place? Google, Bing & Yahoo Unite To Make Search Listings Richer Through Structured Data

schema-logo Today, "in the spirit of", Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have announced the joint alliance of This alliance provides a common foundation of support for a set of microdata types -- some that previously existed and some that have been created as part of this initiative. Microdata is a type of structured mark up that can be used to provide semantic meaning to content on web pages. The microdata types currently supported are documented at schema.og. You can also take a look at the announcements from each search engine on their blogs: Google: Introducing S [...]

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