Yesterday, the main players in the search space Google, Bing (& Yahoo which is really Bing’s search results) announced a new type of markup format called schema. In short, schema is a structured markup that will give details about your website to search engines in a way they can make better sense of. This means some changes are to come in both the web design industry and the search engine optimization industry.
Schema will prove important to search engine results moving forward:
ht now, there are markup types that each search engine may or may not support. These include the very popular hReview microformat that allows those little rating stars to show in the search engine results page when you search for a business or product in Google. While microformats will still be supported individually, the major search engines are going on record to say that they will support the new schema project. In addition, they are going on record to say that schema will be used to “improve search”:
Schema.org focuses on defining the item types and properties that are most valuable to search engines. This means search engines will get the structured information they need most to improve search.
What search engines are saying here is that they will use this new markup when deciding how your website will rank (or how it looks when it ranks).
A few types of websites that will benefit from using the new schema markup:
- Creative works: Books, Movies, Music Recordings, Recipes, TVSeries etc.
- Media rich websites: Audio, Images, Videos
- Event websites
- People: Public figures, Celebrities, Speakers & Average Joe’s
- Local businesses with a brick and mortar location
- Product websites
- Deal based & coupon websites
- Product & company review websites
Why schema is bad for website owners: We all know the web is a constantly evolving place, but having a new type of markup that is this important to the search engines, means more money spent to keep your website formatted in the best way.
Why schema is good for everyone: Standardized formatting makes life easier for website developers, which means money saved for company’s using schema and hopefully means more relevant search results for all.
Why we are happy to see schema: Trying to keep all search engines happy at one time is a bit of a juggling act. Having the main search engines come together and support one format makes our job on the SEO front, just a tad bit easier.
We will be putting much research into how we utilize schema in our web design services moving forward, but I don’t see any reason to hang on to microformats when schema was made to replace them (and the two do not play nice together). What’s your opinion?