Structured Information or Structured Data is code used by SEOs and Webmasters to highlight or annotate important machine-readable facts embedded in HTML code that describe a webpage.
The creation of quality Structured Data that clearly describes the content on a webpage enables Search Engines to collect and index information for later retrieval and present information in Search Engine Results Pages to Search Engine Users in the most pertinent and meaningful way.
In the past, headings in the form of title and description helped Search Engines with this process, but in our brave new world where the highest quality Search Results rule, Google and other Search Engines prefer the use of quality Structured Data to help them both index and present your ideas.
Using HTML 5 code or Microdata, you can annotate content with machine-readable labels in order to communicate your ideas with non-human website visitors.
I am not going tell you that Structured Information is the new holy grail of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that will boost your organic search traffic. I have not seen that happen. But this can help you to increase the click through rate (CTR).
However, please take note that all major search engines collaborated as schema.org to develop a standard mark-up vocabulary to help them index pages and deliver better Search Results to Search Engine Users.
Taken from the schema.org website:
schema.org is a collaboration by Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! to 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 webpages and provide richer results. A shared markup vocabulary makes it easier for webmasters to decide on a markup schema and get maximum benefit for their efforts.
Google states that use of Structured Information or rich snippets of information that describes what is on your webpage may equal more traffic.
Some digital marketing agencies like ecoVME manage websites that provide information rich Microdata and others that use Google’s own Webmaster Tools to add Structured Data. I see no appreciable change in those websites’ rankings even post Google’s Hummingbird update that I can clearly attribute to Structured Information.
Some clients opted to make their own updates due to cost (and of course many failed) and Google did not penalize their websites – so far. Their sites with typical Meta titles, descriptions and keywords are still ranking well.
You may already know how search engines collect information from your webpages – if not – we explain how search engines work in an earlier fact sheet.
My advice, to save time and resource, is to add your ‘’Rich Snippets’’ to your HTML code.
MICRODATA is HTML5 markup language used for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web. Think of it like this – Microdata as a machine-readable summary statement that tells Search Engines exactly what a webpage seeks to communicate.
Google wants to understand exactly what your website’s content is all about. Why – to present your content how you intended and deliver the best possible search results to its users.
What Google said, “For example, our algorithms can enhance your search results with “rich snippets” when we understand that your page is a structured product listing, event, recipe, review, or similar. We can also feature your data in Knowledge Graph panels or in Google Now cards, helping to spread the word about your content.”