It’s harder and harder to get above-the-fold Google rankings, especially for the competitive queries. Thanks to Rich Snippets you can enjoy higher click through even without top rankings.
Schema.org is one (preferred) of the ways to structure data on your page in a way that’s easy for Google and Bing to understand. They help the search engines pick some important things and show them in SERPs (search engine result pages).
If you produce and market content, here are the three Schema markup types you need to be aware of:
- /VideoObject Schema.org
- /Review Schema.org
- /Article Schema and In-depth Articles
Below is some info on each, without getting too technical.
/VideoObject Schema.org Markup
Google recommends using schema markup for videos. Matt Cutts says schema should be used on-site even for Youtube videos if you embed them into your page.
Here’s a quick HTML template to help you with the video template. Everything that’s IN CAPS in the code should be replaced with your video details. Here’s a handy Schema.org cheatsheet. The only hard thing there is this line:
meta itemprop=”duration” content=”T1M42S”
It translates as follows: “Time = 1 minutes + 42 seconds”. Here’s some more information on the format that’s being used here.
After implementing, make sure to check the Rich Snippets tool to make sure Google can recognize and read your markup. You should see it translated like this:
Video Schema versus Authorship Markup
Video image thumbnail may override your authorship photo in search: It may preserve and show your “by Author Name” part or it may remove it. I am seeing the latter more often recently:
I have no data as to which picture (author photo or video thumbnail) will result in higher click-through, so it’s worth experimenting. It may depend on user intent. People who are more interested in watching a video tutorial, for example. Also note that the image thumbnail is larger and may stand out more in SERPs.
Review schema markup has been largely abused (many people are using the markup without having the actual review and rating ability on the page). Google does note that the rich mark-up should be “representative of the main content of the page” otherwise it’s misleading.
Keeping the above in mind, I wouldn’t suggest using any plugins that add review markup across the board. This wordpress plugin allows you to enable the markup on case-by-case basis. So you can show the markup only when you are actually reviewing a product or a service.
Review Schema and Authorship Markup
Review schema may override your authorship markup but if you are using itemprop=”reviewer,” the reviewer’s name will appear in search. I’ve seen cases where rel=”author” works the same way even when there is no itemprop=”reviewer” markup. But it’s better to set up the /review schema properly.
/Article Schema and In-depth Articles
In-depth articles have been announced this year. It remains very vague as to who qualifies to be ranked in in-depth section of SERPs. To be considered you need to set up the combination of schema types /articles (most important) + Authorship markup + pagination and canonicalization (only if your content is paginated) + rel=publisher or /Organization schema.
Basically, setting up two Schema types: /Article and /Organization.
Review Schema and Authorship Markup
An image thumbnail will override your authorship picture. Note that unlike with the above cases, you are not sacrificing anything as the “In-depth section” is not replacing your search listing. It’s an added benefit.
Rich snippets still have a long way to go. Google is still figuring out what to display, how to better meet searchers’ needs and how to prevent abuse. But being an early adopter always pays off.
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