Schema is the new way of Google, Yahoo and Bing to sort the whole internet out. It is a system that will make it easier for their search engines to identify what a site, or even a paragraph, is all about. So now that we know, the question to ask yourself is, how will Schema affect SEO?
A Different Kind of Code
One thing you need to know about Schema is that it isn’t something like Meta Tags. It’s much different from that. Schema codes are inserted into div tags and h1 tags and span tags. The way the Schema code is integrated is such that the whole HTML code will not be affected. Very nice.
Search is becoming more and more complex as humanity, technology, lifestyle and everything about our world becomes more complex. There are now more things and more categories than ever before. Schema is just a tool to help search engines know which page falls under which category. It is merely a helping hand for the big three search engines – Google, Yahoo and Bing. You can read all about their take on Schema here:
In Simple Terms
Schema is just a small piece of code added to your HTML that indicates to search engines what a certain page or paragraph is all about. There’s nothing magical about it. Google, Yahoo and Bing are using it to further enhance the artificial intelligence of their search engine.
The Schema code
<div itemscope itemtype =http://schema.org/CreativeWork> <h1 itemprop="about"> Why Schema Might be the Next BIG Ranking Factor</h1> <div itemprop="author" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person"> Author: <span itemprop="name">Sean Si</span> (born <span itemprop="birthDate">September 6, 1988)</span> </div> <span itemprop="genre">SEO</span> <span itemprop="keywords">Schema, SEO, Ranking Factor</a> </div>
In your browser, this code would look like this:
Why Schema Might be the Next BIG Ranking Factor
Schema, SEO, Ranking Factor
Do you understand it?
It’s a bit technical, I know. So let me break it down for you:
Itemscope is a shortcode for specifying what kind of an item you are discussing about. It usually comes with the itemtype shortcode which is for tagging your page/entry as to what it is about instead of the search engines depending on the number and placement of your keywords. In this example, I used the itemtype CreativeWork because my blog entry falls under that category.
Itemprop is a shortcode for identifying the properties of that which you have specified an itemtype for. For example in this code, I identified what the properties of itemtype CreativeWork is about using the itemprop=”about”. In english, I’m telling the search engine that the Page is about CreativeWork and it’s about Why Schema might be the Next BIG Ranking Factor.
You could see several itemprop codes inside this short set of words because I tried to specify the properties all of the itemtypes as much as I could. I figured this might make a positive impact on search engines. The more specific, the better. It’s also more work. You can have as much itemscope, itemtypes and itemprops as you deem necessary as you could see – I have 2 itemscopes, 2 itemtypes, and 5 itemprops.
You can check out the complete documentations by Schema.org here:
As you’ve already guessed, the downside about Schema code is that it is very tasking to install and implement in all your pages. Unless you have only a handful of pages. Take this website for example – SEO Hacker. I have numerous pages in this whole site and implementing Schema code in each will take me hours and hours.
I won’t be implementing Schema on every page – just on the ones that I would like to test on. After all, there is no real solid proof yet that Schema-embedded sites do rank higher than those which are not.
Another disadvantage of Schema is that it cannot be implemented in a WordPress post – this is because WordPress automatically deletes HTML codes that it doesn’t recognize. You can put it inside your template editor though. For example, if you’re using Thesis theme, you can put it inside using your Thesis Hook plugin.
So how will Schema Affect SEO?
Right now we can only make so many guesses and projections. But as of today there is no real evidence that Schema has helped the ranking of some websites which have embedded the Schema code.
But my mindset and take on this is that if you have it and if Google, Yahoo and Bing says they give a damn about it, then why not try it out? After all, the internet is a fast-feedback loop platform where you can do trial and error as you please.
Tips for keeps: Implement the Schema code in one or two pages in your website where you want customers/readers to land. See how it affects your rankings.