Structured Data for SEO: How to Implement It
Schema.org (often called Schema) is a specific vocabulary of tags (or microdata) that you can add to your HTML to improve the way your page is represented in SERPs.
<div itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/Book"> <span itemprop="name"> Inbound Marketing and SEO: Insights from the Moz Blog</span> <span itemprop="author">Rand Fishkin</span> </div>
What is Schema.org Structured Data?
Schema.org is the result of collaboration between Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! to help you provide the information their search engines need to understand your content and provide the best search results possible at this time. Adding Schema markup to your HTML improves the way your page displays in SERPs by enhancing the rich snippets that are displayed beneath the page title.
For example, the first search result above contains both a star rating and a publication date. Both of these can be added using Schema. The second example does not have rich snippets and instead displays either the meta description or other information chosen by Google. To get the review rich snippet, you would use the following code:
<div itemprop="aggregateRating" itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/AggregateRating"> <span itemprop="ratingValue">[Aggregate rating given]</span> stars – <span itemprop="reviewCount">[Number of reviews]</span> reviews </div>
To generate your own code, you can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
The difference between Schema, microdata, and structured data
Structured data is a system of pairing a name with a value that helps search engines categorize and index your content. Microdata is one form of structured data that works with HTML5. Schema.org is a project that provides a particular set of agreed-upon definitions for microdata tags.
Does Schema replace Open Graph?
Open Graph is a type of markup used by Facebook to parse out information like what image and description to display. Schema provides a more detailed list of options than Open Graph. They can be used together, but Open Graph cannot be used in place of Schema.
SEO Best Practices
Types of items described by Schema
Structured data can be used to mark up all kinds of items from products to events to recipes. It is most often used to provide additional information about the following:
- Creative work
A full list of items you can mark up with Schema is available here.
Each type of information has properties that can be used to describe items in more detail. For example, a “book,” which falls under the category “creative work,” can have the properties “name” (title), “author,” “illustrator,” “isbn,” and more, depending on how fully you want to describe it. Similarly, an “event” can be classified as anything from a “businessevent” to a “theaterevent.”
Search engines that use Schema
Schema is recognized (and in fact the vocabulary is maintained) by Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex. It’s unclear whether other search engines are using this markup to change how they display search results.
Structured data’s effect on rankings
Whether structured data affects rankings has been the subject of much discussion and many experiments. As of yet, there is no conclusive evidence that this markup improves rankings. But there are some indications that search results with more extensive rich snippets (like those created using Schema) will have a better click-through rate. For best results, experiment with Schema markup to see how your audience responds to the resulting rich snippets.
Using Schema with other structured data
Schema can be used with RDFa and JSON-LD, but it is not supported by microformats.