Home  › Search › SEO
rich-snippets2

Embracing Data Structure Is the Future of SEO

  |  January 12, 2012   |  Comments   |  

Search engines today are increasingly emphasizing content structure. If you are still optimizing tags and links, think again.

Google's Rich Snippets give users convenient summary information about their search results at a glance. In my opinion, it has huge implication for search engine optimization (SEO). It takes the usability of your website and puts it in the search engine results page (SERP), which greatly improves the clickability.

Rich Snippets are a step forward to the structural web. The first time I was introduced to the concept of structural web was in the International World Wide Web Conference 2001 when Tim Berners-Lee talked about the XML roadmap. I realized that the efficiency of presenting vast data files and the indexation of humongous information with relevance were impossible if the web is continuously flooded with non-structural data. The HTML tag just wasn't good enough for presenting information. The information world needed a better data definition.

If you have some database programming background, you know that when an information relationship is established and a master key is defined to point the slave records. It means a great deal for the performance of the data retrieval and will dramatically improve the efficiency of answering data queries. This is exactly how Google's Rich Snippets works - if you are willing to do data entry for Google by structuring your web page content according to the markup format, which are microformats and RDFa.

If you are always wondering how content should be formatted such as when to use <h1> or <ALT>  tags for the best SEO result, from now on, I suggest you should replace the question "how to format the content" by "how to structure the content." After all, the way you structure the content is going to help the search engines to understand what your content is about.

I have no intention to make things sound sophisticated. In fact, content structure can be as intuitive as designing a website navigation plan.

Let's think about how we present an online product catalog - all the information is presented in a table where the rows are the product listings and the columns are the data labels. The records of each row will be linked to each column for its own characteristic accordingly. This is a kind of data structure.

Now with the Rich Snippets, Google gives you a nice treat. Just follow the way to define the data and then they will be picked up, indexed, and "be there" when your customers search the information that is relevant to you. You have better control in the usability of the information and how they should be displayed in the SERP.

Go check with your content management system (CMS) administrator and see if your CMS supports the new markup format. Start embracing data structure in your future SEO plan. This is my advice.

For more information about the data schema supported by Google's Rich Snippets, visit www.schema.org.

Tags:

Subscribe to ClickZ Asia to receive your weekly dose of the region's latest trends, tips, and insights straight to your inbox.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eddie Choi

Eddie is the founding partner of Frontiers Digital and the Executive Director of Milton Exhibits Group. Although Eddie studied classical theory of sociology in college and has a MBA, technology always has been a passion with him. He believes that a combination of technology and communication is what the modern marketing is heading towards in the future. Eddie is a member of Search Engine Strategies Global Advisory Board.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Search newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Fort MillWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager to join the...
    • Online Marketing Coordinator
      Online Marketing Coordinator (NewMarket Health) - BaltimoreWant to learn marketing from the best minds in the business? NewMarket Health, a subsidiary...
    • Call Center Manager
      Call Center Manager (Common Sense Publishing) - Delray BeachWanted: Dynamic Call Center Manager with a Proven Track Record of Improving Response...