SEO: Structured Data and Related Terms

Have you ever thought, when we search something on any Engine eg. Google, Safari, etc, How they reflect a set of results only despite having tons of data related to the same content.

How do Search engines filter out the data from huge data?

Why my website page is not reflecting on the top 10 results even though we also have content which user is searching for?

As human beings, we respond fast to the content which we encode fast in our minds. The same goes for Search engines, Whatever they decode fast, they will reflect on their top results. Keep in mind, It's not only about Speed, Content, authenticity, right information, etc keys also play a vital role.

Here Search Engine Optimization comes into the picture.

What is SEO ?

SEO is the practice of optimizing web pages to make them reach a high position in the search results of Google, safari, or other search engines. SEO focuses on improving the rankings in the organic/non-paid.

More traffic from organic content leads to more non-organic traffic. Users will explore more and use your website more.

What is Structured Data ?

Structure data is a way of presenting your website content in a certain fixed format that makes it easier for Search engines to understand. The big Search engines come up with some set of vocabulary which they can understand better. That set of vocabulary we called Schema. If we structure over data according to Schema.org, it would be easier for search engines to understand.

If Schema is implemented correctly, search engines can use the applied structured data to understand the contents of your website better. As a result, your site might be presented better in search results,

Let's consider an example to get an idea of structured data —

Structured Representation of Recipe data

In the above image, A recipe has data in a structured format with content: Image, Rating, Link, Title, Ingridentients, duration, etc. These are called Rich Snippets.

Structured data is a tool you can use to tell Google detailed information about a page on your website. Then, Google can use this information to create informative, rich results. And audiences love these rich snippets.

What is Rich Snippet?

In plain terms, If you give more information in a snippet that will look richer. For the example above image, When I searched for a recipe, I got some set of results but as a User, I will click on the link which gives me more data in the snippet. (For Recipe: I need Recipe Duration, Image, Major Ingredients, etc).

The more user will click, the more organic traffic you will get and that leads to more demand for your page.

Rich snippets are snippets that have a higher click-through rate. People just prefer to click on the results that give them more information..

Search Result with Very Less Data (Result 1)
Search Result with Some Content (Result 2)
Search Result with More Content (Result 3)

Which link are you gonna click? I think 3rd One right? Results 3 is richer in content compared to Results 1 and 2.

The better implementation of Schema with SEO will help you to make richer snippets.

What is Schema.org?

Schema.org, Founded by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex is a collaborative, community activity with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages.

Schema markup informs the search engine precisely what your content is trying to convey on your web page. It converts unstructured data into structured data. Adding schema will help the search engine crawl better, raising the website's ranking while keeping other best practices of SEO in mind.

Search Engine has an algorithm that helps to identify the content in the best way. The algorithm will comprehend the information on the webpage as well as the relationship between the entities. The content is then given a structure after which Schema comes into the picture.

For Example — The below snippet reflects the schema for my personal details.

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
"@context": "https://schema.org/",
"@type": "Person",
"name": "Akanksha Gupta",
"url": "https://ahrefs.com/blog/author/michal-pecanek/",
"image": "akanksha.jpg",
"jobTitle": "Engineer",
}
</script>

There are multiple ways to handle the structured data i.e are JSON-LD, RDFa, Microdata.

What is JSON-LD?

It refers to JSON for Linking Data. Currently, this is preferred to implement Structure data.

JSON: A plain Key value pair data.

Linked Data: It makes related content linked with each other. It is a way to create a network of standards-based, machine-readable data across Web sites. It allows an application to start at one piece of Linked Data, and follow embedded links to other pieces of Linked Data that are hosted on different sites across the Web.

So it’s a code snippet that tells you what price belongs to what product, or what zip code belongs to what company. Basically, instead of adding schema.org attributes to individual elements on a page, you’re providing a small block of JavaScript code that has all that info.

The below example represents, A JSON-LD for a personal profile.

{
"@context": "https://json-ld.org/contexts/person.jsonld",
"@id": "http://dbpedia.org/resource/John_Lennon",
"name": "User 1",
"born": "1940-10-09"
}

Resources:

  1. https://yoast.com/structured-data-schema-ultimate-guide/#old
  2. https://json-ld.org/
  3. https://developers.google.com/search/docs

Happy Learning !!