Schema markup is significant for anyone that wants to contribute to today’s web.
Many think of structured data as the future. Yet it is the present. Many big players understood the importance of structured data a few years ago already. Now small players have the chance to take advantage of those technologies to win the SEO game.
When you go to schema.org you’ll see the initiative was launched and founded by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex. It is not a case those big players contributed to the foundation of the Semantic Web. It was the most logical step in the evolution of search engines.
Facebook, Google, and Amazon spent the last years building their knowledge graphs. You might think that is irrelevant for a small player. Yet it’s not. In a world where big players control the web, it is crucial to guarantee that each of us can contribute to the development of the internet. Structured data and Knowledge graphs are the tools that allow anyone to build today’s web.
Now those technologies are available to anyone with tools like WordLift.
It doesn’t matter how well-written is your content. If machines can’t read it, humans can’t find it. If people can’t find it, your content will get buried in the organic search. Thus, no one will know you ever wrote it.
Using Schema markup is like translating that content for search engines. Eventually, they’ll be able to find it more easily. Also, through Schema markup search engines will be able to read better and interpret the user’s question to locate the content he/she is looking for. That is how your content goes from nada to armada in a few clicks.
In this way, rather than having your piece of content buried in the organic search, you’ll make it easier to find and more prone to be suggested to a user.
2. Who finds the right related article finds a treasure
Slow content doesn’t ride news waves, but it can ride the longer, smoother industry waves to create stellar, valuable content that is quoted and cited for years to come.
One huge issue that any website or online magazine faces is the lack of essential interconnectedness between one piece of content with the other. Often you land on a cool website. Read an interesting article, just to find at the end of it a “related article” widget. That widget too often points toward a plethora of junk items (from how to get tanned, to which razor to use when shaving!). For dismal ad earnings, many websites and magazines are losing their opportunity to build quality traffic that will make them successful in the long-run.
With Schema markup you can connect each piece of content to the next semantically, meaningfully and consciously. Therefore making it easier to navigate to the user.
3. Let me hang out with your website
If you want your prospects and customers to think of your brand as exceptional, you have to deliver exceptional experiences with content. Every time. At every touch point. Period.
We often think of a website as a static place. The user clicks in, scrolls a bit, then clicks out. Our perspective is quickly changing. With the rise of voice search, websites become interactive. More and more people will want to hang out with a website. Rather than just click, tap and scroll; users want to ask, argue and talk. In this scenario Schema markup, and Knowledge Graphs are the tools that allow machines to read, and manipulate enough connected information to extrapolate knowledge that can answer the reader’s questions.
For instance, when I meet new people. They often ask me “what’s your job?” and I say “I’m BizDev at WordLift.” Next thing they ask is “what is WordLift?”
What if your website could interact at the same way with a user? It turns out it can, and our website already does!
Wrapping up and Conclusions
Structured data is what can bring your business to the next level. In fact, through that you can achieve several goals:
Make your content machine-friendly. Therefore, easier to find for your tribe
Let users navigate within the website by finding meaningful content. Thus, allowing them to create a long-term relationship with your website
Have your website ready to talk. In this way, it won’t be a static page but a place your tribe would love to hang out
In conclusion, people in the future won’t ask how many clicks your website is getting but rather if that is a place people would love to hang out. Is your website that place?
What if artificial intelligence was the nurturing humus that the publishing industry and blogs need to bloom again? What if the future of blogging was in the virtual hands of an army of machines that can work together with professional writers to build and spread knowledge? This is the story of Samur Isma, founder and publisher of the online design magazine FREEYORK, which publishes 25-30 articles a week employing just two editors. How do they do this? Let’s look closer to understand Samur’s visionary model.
A.I. is a mindset.
Eclectic and creative, Samur is halfway between tech and design with a strong entrepreneurial mindset. After starting his career as a freelance graphic designer, he has studied computer science at the Eastern Mediterranean University in Mersin and, then, at the Technical University of Wroclaw – where he graduated in computer science and marketing. In 2009 he founded FREEYORK, and nowadays he divides his mind and his time between his daytime job at IBM as a project manager, the management of his editorial project FREEYORK, and the organization of the Startup Weekend in Wroclaw. And he still manages to have some fun!
Samur Isma with a part of FREEYORK‘s team: Samur is holding the camera, while the girl on the right (covering her face) is an editor, the one on a left contributes to FREEYORK, the guy on the left (in sunglasses) is FREEYORK‘s Business strategy advisor and consultant, and the tall guy on the left, helps FREEYORK with graphic design.
FREEYORK: the editorial project
Born as a community-driven platform, FREEYORK aims to spread the works and stories of upcoming artists.
Previously, designers and other members of the community used to submit their artworks and their stories, reaching a wide audience of design-lovers. Until a few weeks ago, all the work was done by two editors, plus Samur: just three persons were covering photography, design, illustration, street art, architecture, fashion, and food. Now, content submission is available again for website members, through a newly rolled-out system.
FREEYORK is an eye wide-open on all kind of visual contemporary art and publishes a huge amount of inspiring content that helps artists and studios to get known and design-lovers to find new artists and creative ideas from all around the world.
Unleashing the power of A.I.
FREEYORK’s editorial team has a secret weapon to stay ahead of their competition, and that secret weapon is A.I.
Together with Samur and his small editorial team, there is a kind of cyber-team composed by A.I. tools, whose activities are now part of the magazine’s editorial workflow. Day by day, A.I. is helping the human team to do a better job in content writing, editing, and organization.
“Our current workflow involves usage of three A.I. tools: an A.I. that writes the content of an article, another A.I. that analyses it for grammar mistakes and replaces words that don’t fit into a context, and WordLift” explains Samur. “The first step is to collect some materials on a topic. After finding a few sources, we are giving them A.I. to rewrite. The second step is to analyze what first A.I. wrote, fix grammar mistakes, and replace those words that don’t make any sense. Finally, we let WordLift annotate an article and think of a catchy headline. A.I., unfortunately, is not good at this yet!“
So, basically, there is an A.I. working at each stage of the editorial process: writing, editing, and organizing. Oh, wait! What about human editors? What will they do in the future of the web? Here is what Samur has to say about this:
“It scares a lot of people for their future. Especially those who’re working with numbers. I think that writers that use a lot of statistics and numerical data have a bigger chance to be replaced by A.I. As a perfect example, we can take The Associated Press that is using A.I. to write Minor League Baseball articles. That must be an alarming sign for sports writers. As for FREEYORK, I’m hoping to find a perfect solution that will combine writing and editing in one tool and on the top of that if it should read the text and think of a catchy headline. But nothing ever will substitute a well-written writer’s opinion on a subject. In the future, I’m hoping to form a brilliant team of editors that will write long-posts expressing their opinion on an artist’s work, exhibitions, installations, and so on. Who doesn’t appreciate a well-written article?”
Put this way, A.I. is more an opportunity than a threat, both for writers and publishers. State-of-the-art A.I. is ready to free journalists and writers from boring and repetitive tasks in their work day. What do you do when A.I. is quicker and cheaper than humans to write news and analysis? As a writer, you can focus on critics, opinions, and storytelling: that’s human stuff and no machine can make it better than professionals.
See New York from FREEYORK’s point of view. Isn’t it wonderful?
As a small publisher competing with bigger players, Samur is working on a new business model which will rely less on display advertising.
“I wanted to make WordPress more intelligent and that’s exactly what WordLift does” states Samur. “At first, when I introduced WordLift to the team, they were skeptical about it and stated “Why we need this, tags are doing the same job with a less effort anyway”, but I kept on pushing because there is a huge potential in this.“
Samur is not ready to share the details of his new – A.I. powered – business model, but I’m sure we’ll come back on it to see where this adventure is going to land. 🤖 Meanwhile, he is seeing WordLift’s effect on his key metrics:
“We approached WordLift while experiencing a decrease in our organic traffic. After a few months using it, our organic traffic reached and exceeded previous figures and it is still growing at a stable rate.“
Our brainy CEO, Andrea Volpini, is analyzing Samur’s data to better understand the impact of our plugin on FREEYORK: I promise we’ll come back soon with more information and insights about it!