Business

What is Structured Data and Rich snippets?

Rich Results:

Have you ever searched something on Google and found results that look a little different maybe you’re looking for recipes and you get this specific section. Where you get some star ratings you get the number of reviews how long it’s going to take to cook that specific recipe and more or maybe you’ve seen results.

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On Google that have different types of star ratings all these votes and then also an FAQ attached to it. If you’ve looked for movies or events you might have seen this type of result on Google so all of these are rich results. There’s actually a whole series of them that we can take a look at in this article written by Google.

So all these different type of rich results are results that we can be a part of right. So if we have a book that we’re selling we can show different breadcrumbs carousels courses data sets events it goes on. If we want to take part in these rich results and gets our own rich results and rich snippets.

What is structured data?:

We need to use structured data so what is structured data. A structured data is a really small piece of code that we can add to our website that helps Google understands the content that we’re looking what actually look like. We are going to take a look at some code but it’s going to break this down with you. So you can understand exactly what we’re talking about when we’re talking about structured data. I’m gonna take this example uh nyc parking and I’m gonna go to the page source.

I’m just commanding fschema.org i’m gonna copy and paste a couple of things onto Google docs. So we can see exactly what we’re working with. I’m going to take this right here so I’m going to paste that there and then I’m also going to take another piece of schema which is this one right here. So let’s separate this a little bit so we see that we have a piece of text that’s talking about an aggregate rating so if we separate this out a little bit we’re gonna see that we have a specific rating value and a rating count.

If we actually go back to the search result we see that we have this rating that’s 4.8 and 146 000 votes if we go back into this Google doc. We’re going to see that what’s actually present so that little piece of code that we found right now is exactly what’s coming up in the search results so we have that 4.8 and 146 000 rating counts or votes. Then another thing that we have here is this faq so is parking suspended today in nyc and we’re going to see. If we separate this out a little bit as well so we have this question and then we have this answer so question let me just make this bowl so you guys can see it and then answer so the question is parking suspended.

Today in nyc and then the answer is the following right so this is exactly what’s being brought up in that search result and this is something that we can play around with, so this is exactly what structured data looks like. It’s just a little piece of code and if we break it down like we just did it’s not as scary as it might seems but why do we need to add this type of structured data. However may be search engines were smart enough to understand what we were talking about so even though search engines have been getting smarter over the years they still can’t read blog posts and view images and understand things as easily as we can from a quick glance. By using structured data we provide an additional level of support to help Google understand what we’re talking about just a little bit better.

How to add structured data to our website?:

I’m going to give you an example later that’s going to really help you visualize this concept. And what do we even add to our website so this is where we go to schema.org. This is an initiative that was started by Google by Bing and by Yahoo to basically dictate how we add structured data and what that language is going to be look like what that markup looks like.

Schema.org walkthrough:

If we actually go to schema.org this is where we can find everything relating to structured data right so if you click on the docs what we’re interested in here is the schemas. We can check out a book maybe a movie and we’re going to use the recipe example later so this is going to tell us exactly what we need to provide to have that structured data for the specific type of schema or type of property that we’re looking at. So if we want to have a structured data for a book then this is exactly what we need to provide so for now all we need to do is just take a look at this section right here. Where it says properties from book anything under that right now isn’t super relevant these are all the things that we can add to that structured data for that book right.

So we have book edition so edition of the book the format the illustrator the isbn if we’d like and the number of pages once we have that set up on our website that’s then going to come up in the search engines result page another. For example let’s take a look at movies so properties from movie again we only need to check it out until all the way down here and these are all the things that we can talk about for that structured data for a movie. So an actor it’s telling us exactly what it is so actually can be associated with individual items in a series uh the country of origin the director duration music by all these other things.

And then finally we’re going to take a look at this example so properties from recipe right. So we have the cooking time cooking method nutrition category cuisine and again we have the description on the right. If we’re not exactly sure what we need to provide we also have a separate property of a how-to this is also applicable not just to recipes but basically to anything where you’re teaching someone. How to do that specific thing and then we have another subset of properties for that type of schema.

Now I know this might look scary guys but if we break it down piece by piece it actually isn’t as scary as it seems. We’re just providing that little bit of extra data just to help Google understand exactly what we’re talking about but the question is how we actually add this to our website. So directly on schema.org it’ll give us three different ways that we can add that to our website. If we scroll all the way down to any of the schema types we’re gonna have different examples. And how they’re gonna look like in different markups and markups are just different ways of providing that data we don’t have to worry about that too much so we see down here.

Schema markup guide:

So we’re looking at example of a recipe and we see that the example we’re looking at now it says no markup right so this is just plain old html without any markup. So we have world famous banana bread there’s an image by john smith this is the prep time the cook time the yield so on and so forth so this is the example that I was talking about guys right now. If Google were to see this specific page they would read that text and they would understand it to a certain extent.

When we set up the structured data and we tell it exactly what each piece of this recipe is it’s going to understand that this is a recipe a lot better. So there are three different ways three different markups that we could use to present that structured data we have microdata rdfa and jsonld. If we actually check out one of Google’s documents about understanding how structured data works and we scroll all the way down. We’re gonna see that Jason ld is actually the recommended markup the recommended way that we want to present structured data on our website.

So again let’s go back to that recipe we want to take a look at jason-ld and this is exactly what we saw in that previous example of the parking example we saw the aggregate rating and the faqs this is how it was set up so now we’re breaking down that recipe. And we have all these different layers of properties of that specific recipe and Google can understand this lot better so we know that the type of schema is a recipe the author is john smith the cook time the date published the description. And the ingredients right so now Google understands that this is specifically talking about an ingredient and it’s in the structure that they can read and they can understand a lot better. So even though this might sound really complicated and really technical it’s really important to understand. Why we use schema and how we add it to our website so if you have a technical team definitely talk to them about it.

Structured data/ Schema markup WordPress plugins:

If you’re using something like a wordpress there’s actually quite a few things we can do to add structured data to our website. So let me show you guys a couple examples here if you go into the wordpress plugin marketplace and you type in structured data there’s going to be a variety of plugins that are going to help. You get structured data on your wordpress website. The interesting thing about these plugins is that sometimes these plugins are specifically built for one type of schema right so this one right here it’s built specifically for reviews right and then we have another one down here that’s built specifically for events. And then you’re gonna have other ones that are all around structured data schema builders right and so it’s important to scroll down and just check out all the different types of schema that are supported right.

So we see article book course how-to so on and so forth so these are really interesting to look at and they can really help you add that structured data to your website. I actually want to show you guys an example because I ended up buying for this specific website I ended up buying a plug-in that would help me out specifically for structured data relating to recipes. If we actually I want to show you guys exactly how this works if we click on edit recipe this is exactly what that’s going to look like and what some of these plugins are going to look like right. So we’re going to have all these different fields that we’re going to have to fill in so the name the summary the author the servings the prep time all the stuff the categories any equipment. We want to add ingredients instructions so on and so forth so once we filled all this in this is what that recipe is gonna look like it’s gonna come out like a rich result, with all the right things in all the right places so rich results are definitely really cool but the step after rich results is getting featured snippets.

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