Benefit From Rich Snippets & Authorship Markup While Helping Search Engines Understand Your Content
Web semantics and the use of structured data has been around for a while, but has more recently caught on as search engines utilize it to make search a much more dynamic experience. Essentially, web semantics is the process of giving machines a more human-like understanding of your website’s content.
It is such a growing priority that the major search engines have agreed upon a preferred standard of structured data language and vocabulary.
The primary, most visual result of the move toward structured data is rich snippets and the development of Google’s Knowledge Graph. Rich snippets are the additional elements that are shown within a search result in addition to the standard title, description and URL. Presently, these include (but certainly aren’t limited to) product images, ratings, number of reviews, price, dates, author, breadcrumbs, in stock/out of stock and even calories, prep time and cook time for recipes.
Semantic connections are the driving force behind much of the recent advancements within search engine results pages, such as Google’s Authorship verification—which also generates rich snippets, focused on the author—and Publisher verification.
Currently, there are hundreds of schemas to accommodate everything from pages featuring a particular book to event venues and florist shops. With the appropriate use of this markup, search engines see more than just code and content, they see a specific Person, Place, Product, Organization, Entity, Event, Creative Work or Intangable.
Having structured data baked into your site serves your business both in the short term with improved visibility and rankability in search engines, as well as in the long run as these elements become more widely adopted, supported and utilized.