This post contains the notes for the presentation by Robin Macrae at the WordPress Demos, Tips and Tutorials | WordPress Toronto Meetup on 2016-11-23. See the Data Markup Strategy for SEO presentation, 2016-11-23 post for the presentation itself.
Articles and posts (site name ordered)
- Microdata, yea nor nay? In the latest on The Beautiful, Tormented Machine ((always loved that blog title) | Aaron Bradley (2013), Semantic Search Marketing | Google+
- Google makes massive, AMP-facing changes to its article structured data guidelines | Aaron Bradley (2016-11-17), Semantic Search Marketing | Google+
- Top WordPress Plugins for Adding Structured Data | Ahmed Kaludi (2016): recommends WP SEO Structured Data Schema; criticizes Schema
- Schema Structured Data – SEO Guide by Raven (see his code example in Basic JSON-LD markup example): Schema App (free version for 10 pages or less): Schema App Structured Data | WordPress Plugins
- Schema.org Rich Snippet Plugins for WordPress Users | SEJ (looks at five schema.org (rich snippets) plugins)
- Why Is Structured Data Important | WordPress Schema Plugin | SparkLogin: Raven’s Schema Creator WordPress plugin
- How to add semantic data to your WordPress site in 20 minutes or less (WordSesh 2013) | illuminea ( ; 2013).
- Schema Markup – Rich Snippets in WordPress to boost SEO | WPism (includes stats on usage; lists commonly used schema.org item types; comment: Markup (JSON-LD) structured in schema.org | WordPress Plugins (4k))
- WordPress SEO Plugin For JSON-LD Structured Data Schema | WP Mayor
- Best Plugin To Add Schema Microdata To WordPress Pages | WPSites
- 5 Best Rich Snippets & Schema Markup Plugins For WordPress In 2016 | WP Superstars (2016-10): cites SEL post
- WP Rich Snippets By Author hReview Reviewed | WP Superstars (2016) is a review of WP Rich Snippets
- Microformats and Schema.org | Yoast Knowledge Base (2016-06-23)
- Schema.org | Yoast category
- Use JSON-LD to add schema.org data to your website | Yoast (2016)
- Schema.org & Genesis 2.0 | Yoast Dev Blog (2013; Event schema example) excerpt:
Why implement Schema.org markup?
… Not just Google uses schema.org, all 4 major search engines, Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex use it for several different purposes. … So, in my opinion, schema.org markup is a must for everyone serious about their websites optimization.
- The JSON-LD Markup Guide To Local Business Schema | Whitespark (2015-05-28; excellent quality)
- A Guide To Schema Markup & Structured Data SEO Opportunities | Markova (2016-04-20; examples of the code for various popular schema types)
- Enrich SERP Results Using GTM | Simo Ahava’s blog (2015; dynamically inject JSON-LD specifications on your pages using Google Tag Manager)
- Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Rich Cards expands to more verticals
- Introduction to Structured Data | Google Developers
- Markup Helper
- About Structured Data Markup Helper | Search Console Help
- Articles | Search | Google Developers addresses the difference between the treatment of AMP pages with and without structured data
- Structured Data Markup Helper
- How to Add Structured Data to WordPress | YouTube (plugin adds some schema.org markup to your pages)
Microdata and JSON-LD are two different ways to mark up your data using the schema.org vocabulary. It’s best to choose either microdata or JSON-LD and avoid using both types on a single page or email. Google prefers microdata for web content. Microdata uses HTML tags and attributes to define data. S: Markup Helper.
JSON-LD is the recommended format. Google is in the process of adding JSON-LD support for all markup-powered features. The table below lists the exceptions to this. We recommend using JSON-LD where possible. S: Introduction to Structured Data | Google Developers.
Google’s structured data format preference?
Of the three supported formats, JSON-LD, RDFa, and microdata, Google preferred format Structured Data Markup microdata vs JSON-LD:
… a summary of the format of structured data markup Google recommends for specific goals. S: Structured Data Markup Formats: Microdata vs JSON-LD vs RDFa | Engage The Crowd (2016-04-18).
We have seen lots of evidence that Google seemed to be skewing towards JSON-LD as their preferred schema markup, particularly as new types are introduced. They said a year ago that they were supporting more JSON-LD and did recommend JSON-LD for some specific types of rich snippets at that time. They began showing JSON-LD for recipe rich snippets last year too. S: JSON-LD Google’s Preferred Structured Data Markup | The SEM Post (2016-10-21; jsonld | The SEM Post).
Schema.org‘s list of commonly used types:
- Creative works: CreativeWork, Book, Movie, MusicRecording, Recipe, TVSeries …
- Embedded non-text objects: AudioObject, ImageObject, VideoObject
- Health and medical types: notes on the health and medical types under MedicalEntity
- Place, LocalBusiness, Restaurant …
- Product, Offer, AggregateOffer
- Review, AggregateRating
Full Hierarchy | schema.org is the full list of types, shown on one page.
A Guide To Schema Markup & Structured Data SEO Opportunities By Site Type (2015-09-25) recommends which schemas you should use on your website. Excerpts:
Summary of recommendations:
- all sites (can and should be used across all different site types because they’re not specific to any vertical or industry.)
- The organization schema markup helps generate brand signals which can enhance your Knowledge Graph entry and website snippet presence in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
- The WebSite schema markup helps generate the Sitelinks Search Box feature for brand SERPs and can help your site name to appear in search results. You must, of course, have an existing site search on your website to enable the Sitelinks Search Box element.
- The BreadcrumbList schema allows you to mark up the breadcrumbs on your site to generate breadcrumb rich snippets for your pages in the SERPs.
- The SiteNavigationElement markup can help increase search engines’ understanding of your site structure and navigation and can be used to influence organic sitelinks.
- A site with embedded or hosted video content can leverage the VideoObject schema. Google primarily displays video rich snippets for YouTube videos, but this will help video rich snippets to appear for your Web pages in Google Video Search.
- Leverage the SoftwareApplication markup on your software apps to enable app rich snippets.
- E-Commerce Sites
- Schema Product & Offer Markup
- Schema Rating Markup
- Publisher Sites
- Schema Article Markup
- Local Business Sites: Schema Local Business Markup
- Event Sites: Event Schema Markup
- Recipe Sites: Recipe Schema Markup
- Personal Sites: Schema Person Markup
- 51Blocks JSON Schema Generator | WordPress Plugins (800) Add schema markup to a single page or entire site without outputting the markup on the actual site. Validate markup using Google Structured Data Testing Tool from a content editing meta box. The Schema WooCommerce Plugin fully implements schema for WooCommerce. (Schema WooCommerce Plugin by Schema App has a useful screenshot of the product forms)
- Author hReview | WordPress Plugins (4k; Hesham Zebida) adds Schema.org’s hReview and AggregateRating types
- itemprop WP for SERP/SEO Rich snippets | WordPress Plugins (3k) adds <meta tags> with schema.org item properties
- Organization Schema Widget | WordPress Plugins (6k) is a widget to display business contact info using HTML5 microdata markup from Schema.org.
- Schema | WordPress Plugins (4) JSON-LD format
- Schema App Structured Data | WordPress Plugins (4k) Use Schema.org structured data for all pages, posts, categories and profile pages on activation; use Schema App (pro) to customize any Schema markup; JSON-LD format
- Schema Creator by Raven | WordPress Plugins is no longer in the repo and included only because it had 40k in users and is recommended in older reviews
- WP SEO Structured Data Schema | WordPress Plugins (6k) JSON-LD format; 5 reasons why the plugin’s developer thinks that it’s best-in-class; recommended
- WPSSO Schema JSON-LD Markup – Schema / Structured Data / Rich Snippet Markup | WordPress Plugins (400) adds JSON-LD markup for article, event, organization, place/business, product, recipe, etc.
- Yoast SEO | WordPress Plugins (1m) plugin is noteworthy because it enables semantic tagging not only for Schema.org but also Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Note that its Schema.org markup is both limited and a mix of formats. Recommended. See:
- WPRichSnippets ($69/yr, $99/yr, $199/yr, $399; renew at 40% discount; Hesham Zebida) is an all-in-one plugin with a variety of options to build rich snippets; for review websites as well as product, organization, or restaurant; BlackFriday Sale 2016: Get Your Discount Codes (50% discount); reviewed in WP Rich Snippets By Author hReview Reviewed | WP Superstars (2016)
Plugins that use WordPress shortcode offer the advantage of the capability of editing the schema without starting over and preventing the microdata from breaking if you decide to edit a page or post in visual mode. S: Schema Structured Data – SEO Guide by Raven.
Google’s webmaster markup
Google’s free tool for generating structured data for a web page, Structured Data Markup Helper, allows you to choose the type of data to be tagged, enter the URL of a page and tag it up by highlighting the various content types and tagging it in a user-friendly and seamless process.
The tool’s limitation is that it generates semantic code per-page. While that works for a static HTML site, a dynamic WordPress site requires another tool, Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). Go to Other Resources and then Structured Data Testing Tool. It checks that Google can correctly parse your structured data markup and display it in search results.
The Structured Data Testing Tool takes a URL and returns what the SERP would display for the markup in the submitted page. Use the two buttons in the Articles | Search | Google Developers page to see sample markup.
Google’s Data Highlighter
Data Highlighter is a webmaster tool for teaching Google about the pattern of structured data on your website. You simply use Data Highlighter to tag the data fields on your site with a mouse. Then Google can present your data more attractively — and in new ways — in search results and in other products such as the Google Knowledge Graph.
Data Highlighter excerpt:
Now there’s a new alternative to webmaster markup for helping Google understand your site’s data.
That page is an excellent one-page guide to using this technique on a page.
[You can also] tag your content with semantic data with the Data Highlighter tool. It works similarly to the Google Structured Data Markup Helper listed above, but instead of working on a per-page basis, it applies itself to groups of pages structured in a similar manner, like all individual blog post pages, or maybe the event pages in a calendar you may have. Once you have finished tagging your site, you submit the data to Google, and do not actually have to modify the code on your site itself. The way this works is both an advantage and disadvantage: it’s really easy to use so pretty much everyone can add semantic data to their site; but only Google will see your semantic data since it’s not actually implemented on the code level. Other search engines, screen readers and other parsers won’t see this data.
Google Knowledge Graph
JSON-LD Schema Generator For SEO | Hall Analysis LLC. Using a form specific to a Schema.org type, create, copy and paste into ay page the JSON for adding structured markup. Based on and an improvement of JSON-LD Schema Markup Generator | J.D. Flynn.
Despite the buzz around Schema, our data shows that use of Schema markup doesn’t correlate with higher rankings.
“… according to our analysis, the presence of structured data had no relationship with Google rankings.” However, “… Google’s John Mueller hinted that they might use structured data as a ranking signal in the future.” (S: Google May Add Structured Markup & Data To Ranking Algorithm (2016-09-11)). “… use structured data on your site. But don’t expect it to have an impact on your rankings.”
Structured data’s effect on rankings
Whether structured data affects rankings has been the subject of much discussion and many experiments. As of yet, there is no conclusive evidence that this markup improves rankings. But there are some indications that search results with more extensive rich snippets (like those created using Schema) will have a better click-through rate. For best results, experiment with Schema markup to see how your audience responds to the resulting rich snippets.
The Ultimate Guide to Factors That Don’t Affect Search Rankings | Neil Patel (2015-09-22) (October’s visitors, 406,821). Excerpts:
SEOs and webmasters have been using Schema markup over the last four years or so, for the purpose of improving their listings in search results.
Since the markup is HTML code, you can use them to markup your pages so that search engine spiders can understand your page better.
Schema.org is the site in charge of providing markup. The site came about when Google, Yahoo!, Yandex, and Bing agreed that search results should be somewhat consistent across the search engines.
… does adding a Schema markup improve search rankings? Absolutely not.
Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Webspam, in his popular video Q&A segment, said that the simple inclusion of Schema markup on a website won’t necessarily provide any ranking benefit.
Just because a particular web page is marked up with HTML codes that will help search engines understand the content of the page better doesn’t mean that the page is more useful or relevant than other pages.
So, what’s the benefit of using Schema markup? Well, if you want long-term search engine results – i.e., a higher click-through rate and better branding – then you’ve got to spending time optimizing your rich snippets.
According to data published on Search Engine Land, rich snippets like the one below can increase organic CTR by up to 30%. This also means that you’ll likely double or even triple your organic traffic.
“… structured markup actually leads to a 30 percent increase in your site’s click-through-rate .… a CMS with fully integrated and dynamic Schema support. What’s not to like about a 30 percent increase in organic CTR?” S: Structured Data Markup 101: Understanding the Importance | The SEM Post (2015). The “30 percent increase” is from How To Get A 30% Increase In CTR With Structured Markup, a 2011 post.
[The] latest research points out that more than 36% of the Google search results incorporate Schema rich snippets that attract greater attention and traffic when displayed in the SERPs. S: Schema Markup – Rich Snippets in WordPress to boost SEO | WPism.
The “latest research” is the URL of Schema.org analysis 2014 | Searchmetrics (2014). The lede is “Over a third of Google search results incorporate Rich Snippets supported by Schema finds new Searchmetrics study; But only 0.3% of websites are making use of the Google approved Schema tool.” The Searchmetrics study, Schema.org – U.S. 2014: Rich Snippets With HTML Microdata And RDF.