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What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup was developed by four top search engines in 2011: Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex, and its principles can be found on schema.org.

They started the collaboration to create a set of microdata designed to enhance the descriptions that appear on search engine result pages (SERPs).

But what is microdata? It’s a list of semantic vocabulary tags that, when added to your site’s HTML, improves how search engine read it and present it on SERPs.

Why is Schema Markup important?

It provides search engines with context. This helps search engines better index a website or webpage and improves the quality of search results shown for a given query.

For example, let’s say your site publishes cooking recipes, one of your sections is dedicated to chocolate dishes, and its URL is “yourwebesite.com/chocolate.” Chocolate is a very general term, it can refer to the raw material, but it can also be about any product made with it, or even a color or flavor. You can use schema markup to tell search engines exactly what the context of your use of the word chocolate is.

How? By using a set of predetermined tags on your HTML code.

Below is an example of how you would tag a brownies recipe:

<div itemscope itemtype=”https://schema.org/Recipe”>

<span itemprop=”name”> Deliciously Fudgy Brownies</span>

<span itemprop=”author”>Your name</span>

</div>

You can also add microdata about the cooking time and instructions, the ingredients, and even about nutritional value.

Do you need to know HTML to use Schema Markup? Not necessarily. Google has developed a Structured Data Markup Helper, which you can use to generate your code. This tool is easy to use and allows you to create relevant code for any URL of your website.

Is Schema important for SEO? Does it help sites rank higher?

There is no hard evidence indicating that using schema markup helps sites improve their rankings. However, rich snippets make webpages stand out on SERPs. In turn, visibility and click-through rate certainly improve.