• sharithurow

    Hi Matt-

    I support schema.org. The problems? (1) It’s far too technocentric. (2) There are no professional information architects, usability professionals, GUI professionals, etc. in the schema.org group to keep the focus on users.

    GUI = graphical user interface
    HCI = human/computer interface(s)

    At least information architects conduct usability tests on real users and put data into proper context. Has anyone reached out to professional information architects? Many of them have degrees in information sciences.

    I took the “library” out of that degree part due to the overwhelming stereotype of “librarian.” There are many information scientists who understand users.

    Maybe you’ll get more widespread use of schema.org if it weren’t so technocentric and the group reached out to people who can help put that information into a better frame of reference.

    I find the technocentric focus (and arrogance) quite troubling. Guess what? So do users. I observe it all the time.

    My 2 cents.

  • Durant Imboden

    It’s probably just a matter of time until schema markup is incorporated into user-friendly tools. Even in DIY form, it’s more drudgery than technical challenge. Whether it’s worth doing probably depends on your objectives. (Making it easier for a search engine to publish your business’s phone number, address, hours of operation, etc. on a local SERP page is likely to be more valuable than coaching a search engine on the differences between headlines, images, and body text.)

  • Ben Heligman

    Then what is the advantage of markup?

  • http://www.problogger.gr/ Pano Kondoyiannis

    better visibility, better brand ;-)

  • gabsgabsgabs

    I really don’t feel it’s that complicated unless you want to try and use every single markup a page can have…

  • Jason Sykes

    Completely off topic.

  • http://www.manapool.co.uk/ Evil Tactician

    It’s really not that complicated. Any individual which created content which could benefit from schema.org mark-up, should be able to implement the mark-up as well.

    Whether or not it will be useful, depends entirely on your website and the type of content you feature.

  • Durant Imboden

    It depends on the site and the business or organization that owns it.

    Here’s an example: Let’s say you own a dental clinic. With schema markup, you can make it easy for the search engines to display your name, business hours, address, and phone number directly on a local SERP. That’s likely to attract more business than a simple link to your Web site would do.

    Not every site owner is primarily interested in Web traffic. Brick-and-mortar businesses such as shops, clinics, restaurants–or local government services, for that matter–may be more interested in listings directly on the SERPs that function as free ads.

  • http://www.discountonlinefitness.com steve

    We use Magento for our ecommerce site. Unfortunately unless I hire an experienced programmer to edit the template files on our website it’s not an easy task to add markup coding to our product webpages. There are some really over priced plugins we can purchase that markup the pages but not sure if they actually work correctly and are up to par with googles standards. I just need more $$$ to get it rolled out! :)

  • http://www.powrsurg.com/ POWRSURG

    My company runs a custom-built CMS. We’ve built in a ton of options to let users add their own schema markup, and we automatically include some markup to mark them as pages of type WebPage (which can easily be changed), unless it is designated a product page. Off the top of my head I only know of one client that has actually used it themselves, and they are a client that has paid someone to do SEO/SEM/SMM.

    While some of this markup is great, there are A LOT of definitions that have no examples on schema.org. For example, why should I implement SiteNavigationElement?

    Google has a section which explains how some microdata will be used in their search engine. That’s great and worth adding support to cover those. But what about the rest?

    Also, am I just out of the loop, but I feel like they have been silently adding new definitions without telling anyone. I keep on discovering new definitions every so often without seeing them announced.

  • http://andymci.com/ Andy McIlwain

    I think that the user-facing implementation of schema.org within authoring/publishing tools (e.g. CMS platforms) is best kept to the developers/contributors of those platforms.

    In WordPress, for example, we have plugins like All In One Schema.org (https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-schemaorg-rich-snippets/) that make the experience far less daunting for users.

    There’s definitely a need for more education around proper schema.org usage, however. The “what and why”, rather than the how.

  • Christopher Shaffer

    If you have a basic understanding of html, it really isn’t that hard.

  • Christopher Shaffer

    Steve, you should be able to implement it with some basic HTML knowledge. Feel free to send over any questions.

  • http://www.manapool.co.uk/ Evil Tactician

    Exactly. It’s actually incredibly simple – so the term technocentric is rather far from the truth.

  • http://www.seoskeptic.com/ Aaron Bradley

    I’m sympathetic to your complaint that schema.org is “too technocentric.” That is, insofar as there could be better, more user-friendly documentation and implementation guides.

    Aside from that I’m curious, though, as to what sort of “usability tests” you think should be run – or, more precisely, on what web-accessible artifact or artifacts?

    schema.org itself – and I’m speaking here of the thing, not the website – is a formal vocabulary, and as such (in order to work with syntaxes like RDFa, microdata and JSON-LD) is necessarily technical – although I don’t know if it’s the technical nature of the vocabulary itself that leads you to call it “technocentric.”

    Perhaps not because you do speak of putting “that information into a better frame of reference.” On that point I agree, and for my part have been doing what I can to help provide that perspective.

    Perhaps its a failure of “the [schema.org] group” not to have “reached out” to non-technical stakeholders more, but anybody can make contributions to that group, which is actually made up of people that care very much about the vocabulary, and are very responsive to criticisms and suggestions for improvements.

    And actually one of the strengths of schema.org is that – for an initiative that was initially put together by the major search engines behind closed doors (as it were) and announced as a done deal to the world (to much criticism), subsequent development has largely been conducted collaboratively, in the open, with any stakeholder (including information architects and usability experts) able to make contributions (huge kudos to Dan Brickley for fostering that environment): I’d love to see you and other information architects take part in those discussions, and help make schema.org a better vocabulary, and implementing it an easier experience.

    Are they “arrogant”? Sure, some people surrounding schema.org are, but the bulk of them aren’t. And in a process in which one isn’t prohibited from participating, allowing the arrogant to ride roughshod by withholding that participation only reinforces that arrogance.

    Sure, fighting such battles (real or perceived) can be tough, but I think worth it. A highly skilled SEO developer I know, too, initially railed against what he typified as “elitism” in that community and distanced himself from it. I convinced him to give participation another shot, and he’s since become an extremely active – and respected – voice in ensuring the concerns of marketers and developers are accounted for in the vocabulary development process, and schema.org is better for it.