What is schema?

Schema.org Markup Overview

If you were hoping for a few sentences that make Schema.org markup something easy to do or to understand, you are not likely to find it anywhere. Why not? It is because it is not, actually, a markup language or a protocol. As one author writes, “It’s the collection of Microdata markup vocabulary explained and organized on the official [Schema.org] site.”

The site is a website that has the support and input of such massive search engines as Bing, Google, and Yahoo!. Google recommends all webmaster implement it, describing the use of the site as the preferred way to structure the content of your website, if you are hoping to have a good outcome from web searches.

What Schema.org will provide you is a way of learning about structured markup which can help your website reach its goals – whatever they may be.

The Information

If you visit the website, you will see that it offers some basic documents that explain the ways that you should be using structured markup. For example, in a Basic Hierarchy document, they explain the general order of information on a page, the kinds of tags to use, and then a URL for a good example is provided.

Why should Schema be necessary?

We can turn to Schema.org to get a clearer understanding of their information. They say that the use of their materials will: “Improve the web by creating a structured data markup schema supported by major search engines. On-page markup helps search engines understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results. A shared markup vocabulary makes easier for webmasters to decide on a markup schema and get the maximum benefit for their efforts. Search engines want to make it easier for people to find relevant information on the web. Markup can also enable new tools and applications that make use of the structure.”

Let us briefly analyze why search engines, that are in competition with one another, would seek to standardize the design and markup of pages.

Firstly, there are now many different types of standards, making it very challenging for any webmaster to know just which markup standards to use. If all of the major search engines were in agreement about these issues, a webmaster could employ the same standards and more readily release their websites relevant information.

This, in turn, makes for a much richer overall experience for all website users. Clearly, this would not narrow the field or opportunities for the search engines. Instead, it would simply allow all search engine users to find information, relevant information, consistently and easily. It would enable site owners to better communicate without a lot of guess work about the appropriate schema and markup to choose.

Of course, you cannot assume it is as simple as inserting the appropriate tags and layout. There are still some complex matters at work.

Schema.org and Microdata

When the major search engines announced the launch of the site, they also explained that the markup selected was based on what is known as microdata specification. This was explained in a press release that indicated that “microdata strikes a balance between the extensibility of RDFs and the simplicity of microformats.” Obviously, this is something that only the well-informed can understand easily and fully, and yet it is also an approach that is going to improve website performance and search engine results because it is SEO friendly. There are ways to implement it on your website especially if you have a local business, as you can upload a plugin that can do some of the work for you. Other times you might need to manually input it yourself or get your wp developer to do it for you.

In essence, the Schema.org markup tells a search engine what the data means and not only what the content says. As an example, you can insert the name of a film such as ”Casablanca” into text and the search engines will not know whether you are describing the film or the city in Morocco. With the Schema.org markup, the correct context is given in the code so the search engine bots can understand and the search engine results can be enriched for the user.

Take time to visit the Schema.org website, learn all that you can about the use of markup and begin employing it today, since it’s the way of the future for the biggest search engines.