A new tool for helping site owners with structured markup for events has appeared recently in Google Webmaster Tools.
The interface for this new tool called the ‘Data Highlighter’ is shown below:
At the moment the tool is restricted to Events markup, and the video shows you how to set about Highlighting.
On selecting the ‘Start Highlighting’ option, you get the following screen:
All you need to do is enter the URL of the page containing events to start with. This looks to be the start of a move by Google to make decorating html and adding schema somewhat easier than relying on development cycles. As we move into 2013, the data highlighter tool is likely to become much more comprehensive.
Schema has been big news for SEO for quite a while now, yet very few people are using it. Whatever the project I’m involved in, I make sure schema forms part of the basic on-site recommendations. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of improved snippets, especially when all that is required are simple html decorations.
This post shows a few examples of the impact of using schema for improvements in search result snippets in Google.
Example MusicRecording Schema
The MusicRecording schema has been used to enable the rich snippet above. The code for the MusicRecording schema was as follows:
Example Recipe Schema
hrecipe is currently the most popular mark-up method, however the schema.org recipe can help dominate the SERPs.
This is how the common hrecipe microformat appears in SERPs:
In contrast, using the recipe schema can help occupy more space, the more ingredients you add…
The code used to achieve the result above is as follows:
It’s easy to see how schema could be used for tactical snippets.
Example Movie Schema
The code to create a snippet for movies as above is as follows:
The movie SERPs show the beginnings of how decorated data can be used to create readable text. ‘Directed by xxx, starring xxxx’ is the first step towards producing content created entirely automatically from an enriched data source.
Example of TV Series Schema
The TV Series schema offers ratings information:
To create the TV snippet above the following code was used:
If they’d included the optional TVSeries schema information above, then the snippet could have been better still.
Example Event Schema
Events and news get special treatment in Google (fresh content), so if you want to get ahead in SERPs, then add a properly marked-up events page to your site.
Using vevent, the search results will look like this:
The code for vevent to create the snippet above:
Very few sites currently use the schema Event markup, here’s an example from the SES site:
and the code used to create the snippet above is the result of a minimal implementation. Schema.org offers many types of richer event markup, so this entry could have included much more information.
Sites are still not using schema.org to its full potential, despite the major search engines announcing that they support this format as the standard. There is substantial scope for all sites to incorporate pages with schema in order to improve appearance in SERPs and encourage the click.