Will Adding Schema.org Markup Really Help Your Rankings?

There has been a lot of talk about structured metadata and schema markup in recent months, but is it as useful as certain SEO gurus claim? Structured metadata can be incredibly useful when you employ it correctly, but it could harm your rankings if it abused.

What is Structured Metadata?

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When you search for something like “London web design”, you might have noticed that the top results are rich and detailed, with links to contact pages, service pages and more underneath the main search result. These are examples of a good use of structured metadata. They allow Google to better understand the pages in question.

Google is always expanding the metadata that it can understand. It recently added a markup for live blogs, and there will likely be more to come.

The Schema.org Standard

The Schema.org standard is one that has been created by a community group that collaborates to find better ways to explain data on the web so that machines can understand it. The standard is always evolving, and it can be thought of as a set of rules. What matters is how we use those rules.

Google has begun issuing penalties to webmasters who are abusing structured data. If you use it too often – for example, by placing review markup on list pages or landing pages – you could be penalised. If your markup is poorly structured, you could also be penalised, even if your intentions are good.

Avoiding Penalties

If you want to avoid penalties, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you use structured metadata only on pages where it is appropriate. Do not attempt to make every page rich. Landing pages, list pages, and product category pages add little value to the SERPs and should not be marked up.

When you are marking up pages, make sure that the syntax is perfect. If you aren’t confident in writing your own metadata, consider getting London web design by Vizion Online or another company in your area. It makes sense to hire a team of experts if they can help you to avoid such penalties.

The semantic metadata technology is very much in its infancy, but those who use it well can enjoy significant improvements in their prominence in the search engines.

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