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Just when we thought that these search engines couldn’t stand the sight of each other, they go and surprise everyone by working together to improve the way structured data is crawled and indexed.
Okay, well truth be told, this is a rare collaboration, however every now and then the world of SEO is given a piece of crucial information and yesterdays announcement from Google, Yahoo and Bing was one of those days.
The search engine giants knocked their heads together to come up with a website called Schema.org. The website has been designed to give webmasters standardised mark-ups to use on structured data within their sites.
Data markup is used by webmasters to provide rich and unique data within search sites, so that a user can interact with them directly from the SERPs. For example, recipes, review ratings, company names etc have all been visible in search results.
In the past it has been difficult to use markup data because each search engine wanted that data in a slightly different way. Each search engine has used different versions of markup and it hasn’t exactly made webmaster’s jobs easy.
And so Schema.org was developed. This website will provide webmasters with standardised practices applicable for the named search engines, as well as provide up-to-date information regarding markup language, categories and much much more.
This announcement doesn’t mean that all webmasters and website owners need to drop what they’re currently doing and start marking up their pages. However this is something that needs to be considered especially on new sites. As for existing sites, this does need to be considered at some point, especially to make use of rich data within SERPs, but work on websites should be prioritised – concentrate on getting the SEO fundamentals right first and then dabble with markup.