Rich Snippets and Structured Data

Traditional site design and development uses HTML tags to identify parts of a website and how those parts should look. You can specify the header, content, and footer along with many other things. These traditional HTML tags don’t provide much context for the meaning of the information inside them.

But did you know that you can use microdata, also known as structured data, to give search engines an even better idea of what you do?

Microdata is a new set of tags that was introduced alongside HTML5. These tags use a collection of schemas, available on schema.org, that are commonly used by all major search providers. By using these new tags along with your traditional HTML, we are able to give search engines more accurate data.

Take, for instance, the movie The Great Gatsby. Regardless of whether you’re imagining the Leonardo DiCaprio or the Robert Redford version, imagine you’ve written an entire site devoted to this movie and want to make sure you don’t get visitors who are looking for information about the book. You can make sure that search engines understand you’re talking about a movie by using itemscope itemtype =”http://schema.org/Movie” inside your div.

You can use tags from this same set to identify recipes, music, events, products, special offers and many other things.

If this sounds too complicated you can also try the new Data Highlighter tool available through Google Webmaster Tools. This makes marking up the content on your site really easy and even has an element of automation if you’re using content types. It’s primarily used for event markup, but is still quite useful.

And remember that site optimization is an ongoing process. If you’re not sure what’s on your site, give us a call and we’ll help you with a site audit!

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