Google, Bing and Yahoo announced this week that they are partnering in an initiative to establish a set of universal data schemas that will create a common markup language across all search engines. You can read the announcement from Bing on their blog: Introducing Schama.org: Bing, Google and Yahoo Unite to Build the Web of Objects. This new project, schema.org, will provide developers with the data necessary to tag site elements appropriately to improve their organic listings in search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo.
The possibilities for developers to tag data for search engine optimization go well beyond images and videos. Let’s say you publish recipes, for example. By tagging your data appropriately, searchers can view more pertinent information on search engine results pages, enabling them to more quickly identify the recipe their looking for. In the screenshot below, you can see that from my Google search for “chicken soup recipe” I get back results that show me ratings, cooking time and even calorie information.
You can imagine that the process of tagging all this data to be recognized appropriately by search engines would be even more of a headache if the tags for the various search engines were not consistent, making schema.org that much more valuable. The value of taking the time to implement some of this code is in creating a much richer search experience for users, and as a result more success for you as a site owner in your search engine optimization efforts. Schema.org initially provides data schemas for over 100 categories, including music, movies, places, products and organizations, with the intention of expanding the category list with help from the larger web community.
Schema.org is a very powerful tool for site owners, and will go along way in improving and unifying search engine results across providers. With its breadth of categories, schemas can be utilized by just about any organization or website, so it’s definitely worth the time to browse through the categories and find some ways to optimize your data.
Do you currently use schemas to enhance your search engine listings? If not, will the launch of Schema.org cause you to consider it? We’d love to hear about your experiences with schemas. Let us know in the comments below!
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Sarah is an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.