Structured Data – Enhance your Search Visibility through Structured Data

June 24, 2015
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In the last few years, Google has increasingly used Machine Learning to improve its search algorithm to relevant results. Google & other search engines (Bing, Yahoo) have made “Structured data markup" as one of standard way search engine understand the content of an  webpage / company / person .

For Search engines, especially Google, it is easy to understand & comprehend content on the Web-pages which include data in structured data markup format. This information / content will be indexed by Google to provide relevant results to the user and these results will be displayed more prominently

E.g.:  If you are Digital Marketer of Insurance Company “Matrix Insurance” and you have customer care number. You can annotate this customer care number to Google through Structured Markup as designated customer care of the company .So whenever a customer searches for  “Matrix Insurance customer care”, the number comes in search results automatically. (See Amazon example below)

Advantages Of Structured Data Markup

Why Google uses Structured Data Markup?

  • Enhance search results & Presentation – This can be done through various features such as Rich Snippets, Breadcrumbs , Site-links , Search bar etc
  • To generate & feed Answers to & from  Knowledge Graph . This is applicable mainly if one’s site is popular and content can be treated as factual information Eg: Wikipedia.
  • Google uses data / content available in structured data markup in various experiments such as Voice search, Mobile search, Maps, and Google Now, Google Now Cards etc. also it takes structured data as input to knowledge graph.

Schema.org

  • Google, Bing, DuckDuckgo and other search engines support vocabulary set by non-profit agency schema.org for structured data. Schema.org has numerous standard set of names and property names such as Organization, Person, Place, Local Business, Restaurant, Movie, Reviews, Aggregate review etc.

E.g.: For a movie definition at http://schema.org/Movie, it has Director Name, Producer, Release data, Actors , Duration , Production Company as elements

These data can be embedded in the HTML page using either the following format

{

"@context": "http://schema.org",

"@type": "Movie",

"actor": [

{

"@type": "Person",

"name": "Johnny Depp"

},

{

"@type": "Person",

"name": "Penelope Cruz"

},

],

"aggregateRating": {

"@type": "AggregateRating",

"bestRating": "10",

"ratingCount": "200",

"ratingValue": "8",

"reviewCount": "50"

},

"description": "Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive
fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.",

"director":

{

"@type": "Person",

"name": "Rob Marshall"

},

"name": "Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides (2011)"

}

Search Engines support JSON, Micro-data & RDF’s format of Data markup. However, the simplest markup format and most search engines support is JSON

The Google’s Knowledge Graph is system where it annotates, organizes information about millions of well-known "entities". Entities such people, locations, countries, companies, products, facts, etc. Google continuously updates, merges this data in to information using its own algorithms. The best source about this information is website/entity itself.

For a sporting event such as IPL, the best source of information is IPL website itself. i.e iplt20.com

Similarly for any company, the best source of information is company website only.

Companies and people can now customize their own data in the Google Knowledge Graph by adding structured data markup to their official website. The following data types can be added to markup

  • Logos
  • Company Contact Number
  • Social Profile Links

In the below snapshot, one can see on the right side about Flipkart. It has details about customer service, CEO and Founder’s name and social profiles name.

Flipkart knowledge graph

Similarly for any company the following JSON script can be added it its webpage

For Logo

{

"@context": "http://schema.org",

"@type": "Organization",

"url": "http://www.yourcompanyname.com",

"logo": "http://www. yourcompanyname.com/images/logo.png"

}

For Customer Care

structured data markup

{ "@context" : "http://schema.org",

"@type" : "Organization",

"url" : "http://www.yourcompanysite.com",

"contactPoint" : [

{ "@type" : "ContactPoint",

"telephone" : "+1-800-343-3333",

"contactType" : "customer care"

} ] }

For Social Media sites as displayed in the below images, one the following script

amazon knowledge graph

{ "@context" : "http://schema.org",

"@type" : "Organization",

"name" : "Your Organization Name",

"url" : "http://www.yourcompanysite.com",

"sameAs" : [ "http://www.facebook.com/your-profile",

"http://www.twitter.com/yourProfile",

"http://plus.google.com/yourprofile"]

}

Sometimes one needs to check the JSON script to make sure there are no errors.

For this Google has provided excellent tool to verify the syntax. The link is https://developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/

Through this tool, one enters the JSON Data, and output is what Google has understood from the JSON.

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About the Author
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Techno Marketing & Product Manager with over 8+ years of experience across IT, Banking & Financial Industries He loves History, Science ,Comics ,Web . He believes that, We are in most exciting period in Human history. He is Marketer during the Day and Coder at Night.

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