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I am a search marketing geek. Work as APM for one of the leading companies in UK. Interested in socializing and helping others.

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July 26, 2011

How is Schema.org relevant to you as a webmaster

The major search engines (Google, Yahoo & BING) has created a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages.

The main aim of Schema.org is to help search engines better understand the websites.

"Schema.org provides a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to mark up their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!"

Example of a rich snippet: a search result enhanced by structured markup. In this case, the rich snippet contains a picture, reviews, and cook time for the recipe.

With schema.org, site owners can improve how their sites appear in search results not only on Google, but on Bing, Yahoo! and potentially other search engines as well in the future.

Details on Schema.org

1) Schema.org contains a lot of new markup types.
There are more than 100 new types as well as ported over all of the existing rich snippets types. If you’ve looked at adding rich snippets markup before but none of the existing types were relevant for your site, it’s worth taking another look. Here are a few popular types:
  •     Creative works: CreativeWork, Book, Movie, MusicRecording, Recipe, TVSeries
  •     Embedded non-text objects: AudioObject, ImageObject, VideoObject
  •     Event
  •     Organization
  •     Person
  •     Place, LocalBusiness, Restaurant
  •     Product, Offer, AggregateOffer
  •     Review, AggregateRating

Or, view a full list of all schema.org types. The new markup types may be used for future rich snippets formats as well as other types of improvements to help people find your content more easily when searching.

2) Schema.org uses microdata.
Historically, we’ve supported three different standards for structured data markup: microdata, microformats, and RDFa. We’ve decided to focus on just one format for schema.org to create a simpler story for webmasters and to improve consistency across search engines relying on the data. There are arguments to be made for preferring any of the existing standards, but we’ve found that microdata strikes a balance between the extensibility of RDFa and the simplicity of microformats, so this is the format that we’ve gone with.

3) Existing rich snippets markup formats are still supported.
If you’ve already done markup on your pages using microformats or RDFa, we’ll continue to support it. One caveat to watch out for: while it’s OK to use the new schema.org markup or continue to use existing microformats or RDFa markup, you should avoid mixing the formats together on the same web page, as this can confuse our parsers.

4) Test your markup using the rich snippets testing tool.
It’s very useful to test your web pages with markup to make sure we’re able to parse the data correctly. As with previous rich snippets markup formats, you should use the rich snippets testing tool for this purpose. Note that while the testing tool will show the marked up information that was parsed from the page, rich snippets previews are not yet shown for schema.org markup. We’ll be adding this functionality soon.

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