Why use and what is microdata & structured data? Get better SEO!

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Original source url for this article: Why use and what is microdata & structured data? Get better SEO!

Why use and what is microdata & structured data?
So what is microdata and structured data and why use it?
Structured data / microdata:

  • Is not visible to your visitors and will not affect the layout of your site
  • Helps Google understand the content on your site
  • Can be used to display rich snippets in search results
  • Helps higher ranking
  • Makes your content more accessible and transparent
  • Will protect your content against scraping / stealing in the sence that you will be perceived as the real author of your own content.
    (sometimes you can be mistaken for a scraper although you are in fact the author)



How does microdata / structured data work?

Microdata / structured data came with HTML 5. Basically you add extra properties to certain elements in your html document. For example the author name, the publisher, the date, the url and so on. There are different codesnippets for different businesses and elements. It might look something like this, instead of just:

Your Name

You can actually specify that this is a person by the name of “Your Name” and also the author, all by adding some structured data:

<p itemprop="author" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person">
<span itemprop="name">Your Name</span>



What kind of structured data / microdata is there?

There are a lot of different properties in the microdata / structured data department depending on what kind of website you are running. Here are some of the most common ones:

First we tell search engines what the content is about:

  • itemscope – an item
  • itemtype – is the item: a movie, a person, a product, an organization?

The two above work togehter and can be put directly in the html element, in this case a div. You can have several itemscopes / itemtypes in the same document. The code looks something like this, telling us we have a person:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person">
Your Name

We can also add additional specific information, different properties:

You can add a lot more specific information. To isolate certain words just put a <span> around them, and put the structured data inside the span, something like this, telling us that this person has a name and is in fact the author:

<div itemprop="author" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person">
<span itemprop="name">Your Name</span>

Some common structured data to start out with:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person">
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article">
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization">

<span itemprop="name">Your Name</span>

<span itemprop="author">Your Name</span>
<span itemprop="publisher">Your Name</span>
<span itemprop="datePublished">Some date</span>

<span itemprop="url">Your Site url</span>
<span itemprop="articleBody">Your Article content</span>
<span itemprop="articleSection">Your article section</span>


An example:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/NewsArticle">
<meta itemscope itemprop="mainEntityOfPage"  itemType="https://schema.org/WebPage" itemid="https://google.com/article"/>
<h2 itemprop="headline">Article headline</h2>
<h3 itemprop="author" itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/Person">
<span itemprop="name">John Doe</span>
<span itemprop="description">A most wonderful article</span>
<div itemprop="image" itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/ImageObject">
<img src="https://google.com/thumbnail1.jpg"/>
<meta itemprop="url" content="https://google.com/thumbnail1.jpg">
<meta itemprop="width" content="800">
<meta itemprop="height" content="800">
<div itemprop="publisher" itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/Organization">
<div itemprop="logo" itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/ImageObject">
<img src="https://google.com/logo.jpg"/>
<meta itemprop="url" content="https://google.com/logo.jpg">
<meta itemprop="width" content="600">
<meta itemprop="height" content="60">
<meta itemprop="name" content="Google">
<meta itemprop="datePublished" content="2015-02-05T08:00:00+08:00"/>
<meta itemprop="dateModified" content="2015-02-05T09:20:00+08:00"/>



To get you started: use this automated Google Structured data markup helper tool

Simply click to select your type of content, and add your url and press “start tagging”. Your webpage will now be loaded inside the tool.

Highlight sections of your webpage for example the author, the date and so on to add structured data. When you are done, click "create html". The structured data is hightlighet in yellow. Add the code to your site and you are done.

Highlight sections of your webpage for example the name of the author, then choose “name” in the dropdown. Highlight and add as many structured data properties as you wish, for example the publishing date, the author, the url and so on.

When you are done, hit “Create html” to create the complete html code. The structured data is now added and highlighted in yellow. Copy and paste the code into your html document and update your website and you are done.


Test your website for structured data

Simply add your url and test your website for structred data with google webmaster tools:

Structured data is also displayed in Google webmaster tools.
why use and what is microdata or structured data? get better SEO and higher ranking
If you use Google Webmaster tools, check under search appearance > Structured data to find errors and display number of items using structured data.


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