There was a Search London event last Tuesday in London focusing on Schema and Google +.
Lisa Myers, the CEO and founder of Verve Search and Paul Chaloner, Head of Social Media at Fresh Egg were speakers at the event. Lisa has been in the press recently. She is also the co-founder of State of Search blog which won best European blog earlier this month.
Schema is a collection of markup vocabulary tags in HTML, which allow you to microdata for search engines to take more detailed notice of certain bits of information on your page. This microdata allows you to put item types such as “localbusiness”, “recipe”, “event” and “place” to name a few.
For example, if you were writing information on a blog or webpage that referenced your business, your code might look something like this
Using Schema’s microdata, you can go a step further and tell the search engines what exactly you are talking about, which is a business.
You can go much further and identify location and names of employees with other item types as well. You can see the scope of the markups here. http://schema.org
Some of the advantages of using Schema are yet to be determined, but since Google has confirmed that their robots will take notice of the microdata, it is possible that Schema can:
1) Attract the attention of search engines to certain, pertinent information on your page.
2) Assist in ranking factors.
3) Increased CTR if the microdata is expressed as a rich snippet (similar to sitelinks).
4) Use in PPC
Many naysayers are wondering whether in time, Schema will fall by the way of the ‘keywords’ meta tag, and eventually be useless, as it is easy to see how it can be used for spam. Time will tell.
Google is not giving anything away, but using schema may lead to an increase in rankings as the vocabulary is extended and indexed. One valid point Lisa made was that while Page Rank was important, now Personality/Author Rank could be complicating it, as mentioned in our previous post AuthorRank Google Update.
Google+ was only introduced last year but already has around 400 million users. Those sites that use Google+ may have see an influence on their rankings. It is important to integrate and sync all your social media activity, you cannot afford to ignore Google+. It is important to optimise brand pages, and post regularly in Google+. Share other content, not just your own. You really need to link your Google+ profile with your website to reap the full benefits.
Google+ Local replaced the Google Places system, but there are still a lot of updates and information needed to ensure a smooth transition for most Places users. At the moment double listings for your business are still common and the dashboard for mulitple accounts is for Places instead of Local. It will take off but at the moment Zagat is being integrated for reviews and as Lisa mentioned this is one element of rich snippets.
Every company should be using Google+ and Schema. If you want to find out about how to implement both, contact your local Perth SEO agency, White Chalk Road. We will be happy to help you with your SEO to ensure your site is as optimised as possible for the SERPs.