Do you want your site description to stand out from the rest in search results in Yandex or Google, be more informative and attractive, so that the user will go to your site? Start using semantic markup!
A bit of background
Entering sites, search robots read all the information available to them and transmit it to search engines. Using numerous and complex algorithms, search engines try to figure out what is on this or that page of the site. The more correctly a search engine “recognizes” sites, the more the search results match what the user is looking for.
Site owners can submit additional information about their site’s content to search engines. For example, in Yandex – through Yandex.Webmaster and Yandex.Directory, in Google – through Tools for Webmasters and Google Addresses.
Let’s say I have an online store. I can transfer to Yandex information about prices for my goods and delivery cities. To do this, I need to prepare a file in some specific format (YML) and send it to Yandex.Webmaster. Then it will be necessary to periodically send updated versions of this file to Yandex (since the assortment and prices in the store will change).
The same situation is with Google – to add or update information, you will need to periodically log into certain Google services.
Considering that there are other search engines out there, submitting additional information about a site to them (as well as keeping it up to date) becomes a rather tedious task.
There is another approach – semantic markup of the site!
In 2011, the search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo, which Yandex later joined, proposed a different approach: search engines themselves will read additional information from the site if users help them and in a certain way “describe” (or “mark”) the meaning of this information on their website.
The rules for such a description, or “semantic markup”, have been compiled into a standard and posted on schema.org so that everyone can use semantic markup on their sites.
How it works?
Let’s say that my online store sells smartphones. I can add additional semantic markup to the Sony XPERIA Sola MT27i model page (those attributes are highlighted in red that distinguish it from normal markup):
Smartphone Sony XPERIA Sola MT27i Black
Sony Xperia Sola is a new smartphone that uses both popular technologies and innovations. The 3.7-inch display will amaze you with a clear, lifelike picture, both when watching videos / photos, and when working with any applications. By the way, applications launch quickly, work without delays, thanks to a dual-core processor with a frequency of 1 GHz.
Rating: itemprop = “ratingValue”> 4.3 (itemprop = “reviewCount”> 13 reviews)
itemprop = “price”> 9 490 rub. itemprop = “availability” href = “http://schema.org/InStock” content = “In stock” />
With this markup, I indicate that I am describing a product according to certain rules:
I indicate where its name and description are located using attributes:
itemprop = “description“
Then I indicate the rating of this product (and how many reviews there are):
And also – the price and availability of this product:
Since all the values of the itemprop attributes are strictly defined (I use schemas from the schema.org site), search robots will be able to easily and, most importantly, correctly recognize this information.
For example, after Google reads the semantic markup from my site, it will show it in search results with additional information (rating, price, product availability):
Agree that in the first of the search results in the picture, we see more useful information.
Some more examples
1. Yandex – Recipes
If we type the phrase “pilaf recipe” in a Yandex search, then one of the usual search results will look like this:
Everything is as usual here – a title with a link to the site, a short description and again a link to the site.
But another search result looks a little different:
Here we immediately see pictures for each cooking step, and above them is a list of necessary products.
The thing is that the owner of this site added additional semantic markup to the recipe pages according to the rules for recipes (http://schema.org/Recipe).
2. Google – Developments
Let’s type in the Google search box the text “concerts in Moscow”. A typical search result is:
And here’s what Google shows for a site that has additional semantic markup for event rules (http://schema.org/Event):
Here we see a list of the three closest events by date that are presented on the site.
Now you yourself can tell search engines the exact description of what is on your site, and be sure that they will understand it correctly!
The schema.org site stores rules for describing a wide variety of objects (pictures, videos, books, films, reviews, events, people, etc.). At the moment, search engines recognize only some of them, for example, Yandex reads descriptions of company addresses, reviews, pictures, videos, recipes and films. But both Yandex and Google continue to actively work with semantic markup in order to use it to show users more informative descriptions of sites in search results.
You can read more about semantic markup using the links below:
– in Yandex help: http://help.yandex.ru/webmaster/?id=1127476
– in google help: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=ru&answer=1211158&topic=1088472&ctx=topic
Also Yandex has a good video about semantic markup:
PS: If you decide to add semantic markup to your site, but do not know how to do it, you can contact our specialists for help.