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Google is always hard at work to provide better organization and structure for all of their search results and listings – and this is where rich-snippets and Schema.org come into play. See If Google understands your website’s content in a structured way, it can present that content more accurately and more attractively to other Google users. Last week Google announced two brand new features to make working with structured data-types even easier. The first feature is an expansion of the current data highlighter – bringing in 7 brand new types of structured data.
The Google Data Highlighter launched in December 2012 as a point-and-click tool for teaching Google the pattern of structured data about events on your website — without even having to edit your site’s HTML. Now, you can also use Data Highlighter to teach Google about many other kinds of structured data on your site: products, local businesses, articles, software applications, movies,restaurants, and TV episodes. To access the Google Data Highlighter visit Webmaster Tools, select your site, click the “Optimization” link in the left sidebar, and then click “Data Highlighter”.
While the Google Data Highlighter is a great way to quickly teach Google about your site’s structured data without having to edit your HTML, it’s ultimately preferable to embed structured data markup directly into your web pages, so your structured content is available to everyone. To assist you with that task, Google has launched their second new tool: the Structured Data Markup Helper.
Like with the Data Highlighter, you start by submitting a web page (URL or HTML source) and using your mouse to “tag” the key properties of the relevant data type. When you’re done, the Structured Data Markup Helper generates sample HTML code with microdata markup included. This code can be downloaded and used as a guide as you implement structured data on your website.
Videos are some of the most commonly viewed media on the web, and one of the most common search result types on Google. So it should come as no surprise then that Google has been working hard to bring support for video markup – and as of Tuesday, February 21st – that support has finally arrived. Adding schema.org video markup is actually very simple - just define an itemscope, (
itemtype=”http://schema.org/VideoObject”), and make sure to set the name, description, and thumbnailURL properties that Google requires. You’ll also need either the embedURL — the location of the video player — or the contentURL — the location of the video file. A typical video player with markup might look like this:
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/VideoObject">
<h2>Video: <span itemprop="name">Title</span></h2>
<meta itemprop="duration" content="T1M33S" />
<meta itemprop="thumbnailURL" content="thumbnail.jpg" />
<embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" ...>
<span itemprop="description">Video description</span>
I’ll leave you with the following video from Google showing you exactly what the benefits of adding the Schema.org video markup to your site are. If you need any help with this, feel free to leave a comment here or check out the Google Developers Help Guide for Video Markup.
Almost 2 months ago I wrote to tell you about the launch of Schema.org - a project aimed at creating and supporting a common set of schemas for structured data markup. Microsoft recently announced the first Schema.org workshop to be held in Silicon Valley on September 21st, 2011. Bing describes the event as a “working session” where they will interact and accept feedback and discuss options to make it easier for site owners and publishers to incorporate the data markup defined by schema.org into their sites and ultimately the search engines.
Over the next couple of weeks Microsoft will be reaching out to various leaders in the appropriate standards communities, tool vendors and other various industries, and inviting them to participate in the discussions. If you would like to be involved you can send an email to [email protected] or follow the Schema.org blog.
Google, Yahoo and Bing have teamed up recently to develop Schema.org – a project aimed at creating and supporting a common set of schemas for structured data markup. To quote Google “Schema.org aims to be a one stop resource for webmasters looking to add markup to their pages to help search engines better understand their websites“.
Since Apple doesn’t support Flash, a large section of websites use html technology to run interactive web pages. The structured data, when converted to html, loses the tags -a problem which has been tackled so far by engines with rich snippets. In the new scheme of things, the webmasters can assign mark-ups from the universal common source directory of Schema.org which is a far more efficient way for SEO.