What is schema.org markup?
Schema.org is an initiative launched in 2011 by the world’s biggest search engines (Bing, Google and Yahoo!) to implement a data schema structure to describe web pages. On 1 November 2011 Russian largest search engine Yandex also joined the community.
Schema.org is the first shared vocabulary that webmasters can use to structure metadata on their websites and to help search engines understand the content being published.
You can think of the schema.org vocabulary as the “lingua franca” for search engines; a universal way to describe web pages with structured data. Search Engines use these pieces of information to enrich the user experience on their search results and to generate rich snippets (small data-driven widgets).
Metadata written using schema.org can be extracted and processed from web pages by search engines, web crawlers, and smart agents to provide a richer browsing experience for users.
In December 2016 also Apple began recommending web developers to mark up web contents using schema.org to help the Applebot web crawler index their content and making it available to all iOS users in Spotlight and Safari search results.
Why is Schema.org relevant in the semantic web?
Like in language, where the lack of standard grammatical rules makes it hard for the same language to exist. So the Semantic Web wouldn’t be here without a gold standard. Schema.org is that gold standard.
In fact, out of all the competing standards that existed, Schema.org was the first linked open vocabulary that was introduced for a business-driven purpose (helping search engines organize the web and improve the quality of their results).
There are today 617 open vocabularies in the linked data world and they can be combined to organise and structure different knowledge domain.
In terms of SEO, Schema, being created by the search engine themselves is the most useful.
By adding schema markup to web pages, content is interlinked with data using standard linked vocabularies like schema.org and becomes more accessible.
How can I add schema.org markup to my website?
Schema.org markup can be added using various tools available online – including the Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper – or directly by adding the code to your web pages. There are different formats that can be used to add information to your Web content implementing the schema.org vocabulary, such as Microdata, RDFa, and JSON-LD.
If you are using WordPress you can use WordLift: a plugin for WordPress that helps content editors and website owners markup their content with schema.org markup, without requiring any technical skills. In fact, thanks to natural language processing, WordLift does it automatically.
Schema.org is a vocabulary of concepts, widely used all over the web and made up of more than 1.200 attributes organized in primary types: Thing, Action, Creative Work, Event, Intangible, Medical Entity, Organization, Person, Place, Product.
WordLift allows you to structure your websites around: Things, Creative Works, Events, Organizations, Local Businesses, People and Places. These types are grouped by the plugin in the 4Ws (WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHO) as followed:
- Who – Person, Organization, Local Business
- Where – Place
- When – Event
- What – Creative Work, Thing