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Leveraging microformats

From: SEO Fundamentals

Video: Leveraging microformats

Search engines do a good job identifying what the overall content of a web page is about. But you may have parts of a web page that contain very specific types of content, like product reviews, an embedded video, or even a food recipe. Search engines can stand to benefit from a little help in understanding the semantic focus of these bits of content, and fortunately, we can give them some assistance. One universal code format that will help us do this is the schema.org microformat. Microformats give us a special syntax to use to help search engines identify very specific types of content on your pages.

Leveraging microformats

Search engines do a good job identifying what the overall content of a web page is about. But you may have parts of a web page that contain very specific types of content, like product reviews, an embedded video, or even a food recipe. Search engines can stand to benefit from a little help in understanding the semantic focus of these bits of content, and fortunately, we can give them some assistance. One universal code format that will help us do this is the schema.org microformat. Microformats give us a special syntax to use to help search engines identify very specific types of content on your pages.

This not only helps search engines identify these pieces of content, it also helps them identify very specific attributes of your content. Here is an example of some recipe text. We can look at this quickly, and identify it as a food recipe. But for a search engine, the short sentences and many line breaks are a bit awkward, and they can't possibly understand what each line really means. By augmenting the code behind this recipe text using the schema.org microformat for recipes, you have the opportunity to explicitly tell search engines exactly what this content is.

You can see that there are properties for ingredients, prep and cook times, and just about anything else that you could think of for a recipe. If you think about this from the search engine's perspective, knowing not just that this is definitely a food recipe, but also knowing all of this metadata around the recipe, will help it to return this content to users that are looking for it. If someone is searching for a particular chef's recipes, or has an abundance of apples, and needs something to do with them, the search engines will have a much deeper semantic understanding of what this content truly is, and they can return it in the search results for an array of relevant search queries.

Head over to schema.org and browse the various types of content that have supported microformats. Recipes are just one of many. You could use micro-formatting to describe a book, with things like title, author, publishing date, and number of pages, or you could use micro-formatting to identify an upcoming event by its name, location, dates, or even pricing. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, or you're doing ecommerce sales, make sure that you're using micro- formats for your local business content or your product content.

As a general rule, anytime you can specifically identify content for search engines, you probably should. Explore the different formats to see what may be relevant for the different types of content on your site, and get started sharing all that great information with the search engines and your visitors alike.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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SEO Fundamentals

64 video lessons · 43237 viewers

David Booth
Author

 
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  1. 1m 34s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the Facilitator's Guide
      15s
  2. 11m 46s
    1. What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
      4m 6s
    2. Reading a search engine results page
      2m 17s
    3. How SEO affects your business
      2m 38s
    4. Setting SEO expectations
      2m 45s
  3. 20m 49s
    1. Why you need a keyword research plan
      2m 47s
    2. How to research keywords
      3m 23s
    3. Tools to help you analyze keywords
      4m 43s
    4. Understanding keyword attributes
      3m 46s
    5. Understanding keyword distribution
      3m 50s
    6. Ongoing keyword evaluation
      2m 20s
  4. 26m 8s
    1. Understanding content optimization
      2m 14s
    2. Optimizing for site structure
      3m 41s
    3. Recognizing different types of content
      2m 23s
    4. Optimizing textual page elements
      8m 30s
    5. Optimizing non-text components of a web page
      4m 0s
    6. Analyzing content quality
      2m 39s
    7. Exploring the benefits of user-generated content
      2m 41s
  5. 22m 12s
    1. Interpreting the code behind web pages
      3m 9s
    2. Understanding how search engines index content
      2m 37s
    3. Working with canonical URLs and redirects
      2m 59s
    4. Leveraging microformats
      2m 39s
    5. Working with server-side factors
      3m 18s
    6. Using Google Webmaster Tools
      3m 58s
    7. Using Bing Webmaster Tools
      3m 32s
  6. 30m 53s
    1. Overview of long-term content strategizing
      2m 44s
    2. Planning a successful content strategy and avoiding common mistakes
      3m 46s
    3. Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style
      4m 17s
    4. Understanding different types of content
      4m 25s
    5. Getting ideas for content
      4m 0s
    6. Working with an editorial calendar
      3m 33s
    7. Promoting your content with social media
      3m 52s
    8. Measuring content performance
      4m 16s
  7. 18m 28s
    1. Understanding the importance of links
      4m 49s
    2. Building internal links
      2m 5s
    3. Building external links
      4m 19s
    4. Finding link-building opportunities
      4m 36s
    5. Executing a link-building strategy
      2m 39s
  8. 16m 32s
    1. Measuring SEO performance
      4m 10s
    2. Analyzing keywords
      5m 13s
    3. Analyzing links
      4m 9s
    4. Analyzing the impact of social media
      3m 0s
  9. 18m 45s
    1. Understanding SEO and ecommerce
      2m 36s
    2. Working with semantic HTML
      2m 22s
    3. The technical components of ecommerce
      3m 9s
    4. Exploring ecommerce information architecture
      2m 38s
    5. Producing ecommerce content
      2m 33s
    6. Leveraging link building and social media for ecommerce
      3m 12s
    7. Adapting ecommerce websites for international audiences
      2m 15s
  10. 25m 38s
    1. Understanding local search
      3m 14s
    2. Understanding Google+ Local
      3m 0s
    3. Setting up and optimizing Google+ Local
      4m 46s
    4. Getting more citations
      3m 52s
    5. Getting more reviews for your business
      3m 43s
    6. Optimizing your website for local search
      4m 13s
    7. The future of local search
      2m 50s
  11. 15m 48s
    1. Understanding cultural aspects of international SEO
      2m 30s
    2. Optimizing technical content for international audiences
      2m 57s
    3. Optimizing translated and localized content
      2m 9s
    4. Building links for an international audience
      2m 47s
    5. Analyzing and measuring an international SEO campaign
      2m 17s
    6. Avoiding pitfalls with international SEO
      3m 8s
  12. 1m 10s
    1. Determining your next steps
      1m 10s

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