Last week I wrote about how you can’t speak to search engines, but you can send them signals.
In keeping with the theme, I’d like to introduce you to Schema.org.
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, Yandex and Yahoo!
In other words, it helps translate code for search engines better.
Here’s an example from the Schema.org website:
Most webmasters are familiar with HTML tags on their pages. Usually, HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in the tag. For example, <h1>Avatar</h1> tells the browser to display the text string “Avatar” in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn’t give any information about what that text string means—”Avatar” could refer to the hugely successful 3D movie, or it could refer to a type of profile picture—and this can make it more difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user.
For SEO, this is fairly significant.
Schema.org uses microformatting, which allows us to mark up our code with some very relevant, very specific metadata, specific to a certain type of content. In other words, you’re site’s content will be better “understood” by search engines, and likely rank higher.
With Schema.org you can help search engines:
- Understand the contents of an image
- Understand an audio file and its contents
- Understand a video file and its contents
- Understand that your business address is a business address
- Understand the business event you’re hosting is a business event
For less techie people (including myself), the best way to explain Schema.org is with this clip from the move “Lost in Translation”.
In the clip:
- The talkative director is your website with lots of code (which can often be messy code)
- The translator is Schema.org who takes all the code, and makes it into something the search engines can understand
- Bill Murray is the search engine (who can take simple directions)