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Structured Data & Schema.org

What is Structured Data Markup & Schema.org? 

Schema.org is a community founded on June 2, 2011 by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex with the initiative of collaboratively developing schema vocabularies for structured data markup on web pages, emails, the internet, and more. This shared vocabulary creates ease for marketing and website developers to maximize their efforts and the benefits of those efforts. 

In order to provide the most relevant result in the SERPs for a user, search engines like Google work hard to best understand the content and information on a web page. To assist search engines in understanding the content of a page a webmaster should implement structured data to provide context to the site’s pages in an authoritative way. 

The benefits of implementing structured data markup on-site include

  • Search engines understanding the content of a page
    • Through search engines better & authoritative understanding of the content, a site can improve keyword associations, ranking, and visibility in the SERPs.
  • Search result features and enhancements
    •  Depending on the structured data implemented a page may receive enhancements to the “regular blue link” (also known as Rich Results) in the SERPs, which in turn provides greater information to users and can impact click through rates (a ranking signal).

General Guidelines 

In order for structured data to be effective and recognized by search engines, and specifically by Google (international/world wide market share of 87%), the structured data markup must describe the content of the page and include information that is visible to the user. 

There are a few ways that Structured data markup, a standardized format of implementing schema vocabularies, can be implemented on a page but the recommended format is via JSON-LD. Also, Structured Data objects can be placed on-page individually, nested, or through the use of sameAs attributes. 

Google utilizes schema.org vocabularies for its recognition of structured data, but also has its own set of guidelines for markup that creates the eligibility of features and enhancements. Those guidelines list out the recommended and required properties (aka data attributes) of each structured data object rich result that must appear on page.