What is Schema org ?

By April 21, 2017Insights
schema org for seo

Schema.org is a vocabulary of code one can add to the HTML to markup pages on a website in order to improve the way the pages are presented on search engines.

It was a collaboration between Google, Bing and Yahoo in 2011, and later Yandex, to “create and support a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages” in order to improve search results and offer superior visibility on SERPs.

In addition, this meant that people no longer needed to use different code to try and have different search engines return the same result.   

The presentation of marked-up pages on search engines is done through what are referred to as ‘rich snippets’.

These rich snippets can take many different forms such as star ratings, images, telephone numbers, videoes, etc. .

The Schema vocabulary is extensive – it caters for many different scenarios. (View here the Full Hierarchy of Schema.org)

For example, if your site contains recipes, you can use markup to provide some information on each recipe by including a summary of the dish, a URL for the photo, and perhaps even ratings by users.

Or, if your website contains reviews, you can use markup in such a way as to show the star ratings on Search Engine Results Pages. The only problem you might face when presenting ratings is that even negative reviews can appear on SERPs, so you need to be careful when tagging content.

Basically, Schema describes a variety of items which fall under the following main categories:

  • Creative work
  • Event
  • Organization
  • Person
  • Place
  • Product

Details about a book, for example, such as title, author, isbn etc. would fall under the category of ‘Creative Work’.

Moreover, Schema also enables users to perform actions in SERPs. For example: Book a flight, reserve a site, check in, find my luggage.

Therefore, markingup data not only means adding attributes to your data to make it more accessible by Search Engines, but also to show more details of your page on SERPs.

Implementing Schema

Implementing Schema can be done in different ways. 

Microdata and RDFa

Both microdata and RDFa are markup syntaxes,i.e. attributes are directly inputted in the HTML code present on a page.  

JSON-LD

On the other hand, JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation – Linked Data), does not need HTML and is implemented separately from the HTML present on a page. This is because JSON-LD is JSON-based format to serialize Linked Data, meaning that it relies on JSON to provide the same results as microdata and RDFa.

Plugins

There are also some plugins that you can use on WordPress such as the All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets plugin.

Advantages of using Schema

Marking up your data is highly beneficial for several reasons, mainly because:

  1. Your content will become highly accessible and understandable by Search Engines, as they will be able to find you more easily when people search for certain specific terms.
  2. Your website will really stand out on search engines when they return results with graphics, stars, prices and other information.

Testing Marked-Up Data

After implementing schema on your website, the Search Engines might not start displaying the rich snippets immediately. Therefore, in order to check whether the schema was implemented correctly, you need to use the Structured Data Testing Tool. All you have to do is paste the URL of your marked-up page or just the block of code, into the tool to check for errors.

After verifying that your markup is well-formed, you can then use the Fetch-it Tool in Google Search Console to ask Google to crawl and index your page.

Schema for SEO

The million dollar question we all ask is: Does schema affect rankings? The answer to that is yes and no.

No because implementing schema will not increase your chances of ranking better.

However,  implementing schema can indirectly help rankings because search results with extensive rich snippets will have a better click-through rate.

We hope we have helped you understand Schema Markup better 🙂

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding Schema or any other topic.

And don’t forget to check out our ANCHOVY. Facebook Page and follow our ANCHOVY. Instagram Account to keep updated with the latest news and insights!

We hope to see you again on our next blog post 🙂

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Author Kyra Borg

Kyra Borg is an SEO content writer at ANCHOVY. a digital marketing agency based in Malta & Dubai, UAE.

More posts by Kyra Borg

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