Does Semantic Markup Help SEO
Automotive Semantic SEO | Structured DataMany people are beginning to hear about and attempt to get a full understanding of structured data markup on automotive websites. This articles will hopefully shed some light on the true purpose, history, and future of structured data on websites.
What is the Semantic Web Initiative?The Semantic Web is an initiative that began over a decade ago and has remain largely unrealized in practice even to this day. The Semantic Web initiative is one that aims to make content on website easily readable, understandable, and able to be simply categorized by machines such as search engine spiders. The Wc3 (World Wide Web Consortium) initially implemented RDF markup as a way to begin to structure data in a standardized way across the web. The process of marked up content on automotive websites in a structured way allows machine readers like search engine spiders to be told explicitly what the element being marked up actually is. When a website marks up content in an structured way using vocabularies like RDF then the content on the page becomes crystal clear to the reader, it no longer has to guess and use multiple elements to try to determine exactly what that content is. With a deeper understanding of automotive website content that is properly marked up with a structured vocabulary schema, search engines can then provide much better and richer search results to their users.
Search Engines Get Serious About Structured Data On The WebSchema.org is an initiative launched in 2011by search engine giants Bing, Yahoo, and Google to provide an even deeper structured data strategy for webmasters that will be universally accepted by the search engines. The initiative included already existing structured data schemas such as RDF and Microformats and provides a much wider range of use using various vocabularies that are specific to types of content on automotive websites. Early adopters included review sites, restaurants, and movie databases. The project has expanded over the last two years to have vocabularies for other verticals including the automotive industry. As the search engines crawl and parse the structured data into usable bits of information, they are now able to provide much richer search results page to their visitors. It’s becoming more common to see review aggregate information, recipe ingredient information, authorship images, pricing on parts and more in the search engine results pages. You can see an example of automotive google authorship and automotive semantic markup on ratings that we have blogged about previously. The Future Is Structured Data To date, Google and other search engines maintain that they are using structured data on websites only to enhance the data provided in their search results. There is currently no publicly stated benefit for structured data to have an impact via the ranking algorithms being used by search engines. I would like to point out that this is one case in which, by chasing the benefits of the users, we are able to take advantage of a clear future SEO benefit of implementing identifying (authorship) and relevant (rich text snippets) content that is enhanced by being marked up in schema.org compliant structured data format, WILL have a positive impact on a web page in search results performance. Google continues to file patents relating to semantic markup on websites including not only text and images, but also documents and videos. If the use of this information is beneficial to users, and a website that is properly marked up and sending clear structured data to it’s search engines is providing a benefit to the users of the search engine, it only stands to reason that in the very near future search engines will want to show preference to websites that provide this extra valuable information over ones that don’t to their users. We have chosen to become an early adopter of structured data and are utilizing an automotive vocabulary that is accepted by Schema.org on all of the inventory on our dealer automotive websites. We also include identity linking, vehicle ratings, hcard information about the dealership and more via our semantic markup on dealer websites.
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I am the owner and Chief Operations Officer of Drive Digital Group. My role is to oversee the operations of the company across all products & Services. ChristopherBurns