Schema.org – A new, bright way of informing search engines

Exciting news this week for SEO junkies: Google, Bing and Yahoo are all backing a new standard for web page meta data, schema.org. More than simply adding keywords into the existing title, meta keywords and meta description, this new markup gives the tags you used a context that helps search engines find results.

For example, if you wanted to rank for “golf bags in Arizona,” you might include that phrase in the meta keywords, the page title, and in a sentence or two in the description.

With this, however, you can include information that helps search engines understand why ranking your page for “golf bags in Arizona” makes sense.

Also, the placement of these tags inform the search engines where this relevant information can be found.

<div itemscope itemtype =”http://schema.org/LocalBusiness”&gt;

This tag informs the search spider what kind of tab is being employed. Schema.org has several different definitions you can use, depending on the information you’re trying to call out.

Then you add similarly focused tags to call out the information that shows this as a “local business,” which you told them was coming in the line above:

<h1 itemprop=”name”>Sam’s Golf Shop</h1><span> itemprop=”streetAddress”>1212 W. Dobson</span>
<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Tempe</span>
<span itemprop=”addressRegion”>AZ</span>
<span itemprop=”postalCode”>85284</span>
</div>

In a way, this is a step back for search engines. For years they have endeavored to create algorithms that could read the page, and make decisions themselves about what a page was, and what it meant. Since these programs cannot actually read and understand a page yet, they call on the webmaster to include context that makes the tags make sense.

Because of that, I have no doubt these tags can and will be abused by smart-yet-nefarious SEOs.

However, this now also gives all of the good SEOs a way to qualify those tags. That way, we can both start getting better search results.

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