Structured Data: SEO Mythbusting – What Google Wants

Structured data formats are rules that standardize the structure and content of a webpage.

Google is asking all of us to surface structured data to their crawlers by marking up our HTML with RDFa and Microformats.

Google’s John Mueller made it clear that Google preferred JSON-LD structured data.

Wow unless you are super technical this is all mumbo jumbo. “schema markup” and “structured data” WTH….

It sounds and looks complicated, but it is something anyone can learn to do.

So what does this mean and why should you care?

Basically Google wants this, and if you want your site to rank somewhere inside hte first 10 pages then, you has better do what Google wants.

After all just doing this can give you a significant SEO boost and also increase your rankings.

Most people simply put human readable dat on their site – this looks great but it makes it harder for Google to find and crawl.

This markup makes it easier for Google to know what hte page is about without guessing

Check out this code direct from Google

You would do that by using this markup:

So for example you have a receipe page 

The markup you could use is

———————————

<html>
  <head>
    <title>Party Coffee Cake</title>
    <script type="application/ld+json">
    {
      "@context": "https://schema.org/",
      "@type": "Recipe",
      "name": "Party Coffee Cake",
      "author": {
        "@type": "Person",
        "name": "Mary Stone"
      },
      "datePublished": "2018-03-10",
      "description": "This coffee cake is awesome and perfect for parties.",
      "prepTime": "PT20M"
    }
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
  <h2>Party coffee cake recipe</h2>
  <p>
    This coffee cake is awesome and perfect for parties.
  </p>
  </body>
</html>

—————————-

 

This looks complicated so to help you out Google has created the Structured Data Mark-up Helper so web masters can add schema mark-up to their sites easier.

 

 

SEO changes rapidly, what ranked a site quickly one day may not work the next. Especially if these are blackhat methods.

Google recognizes this so have put together a channel to help webmasters find out What Google Wants.

One of these channel that Google has created is called SEO Mythbusting. 
 
Below is a video from this series
 
Under this video is the transcript from the video so you can follow it if needed.
 
 
In this bonus material from the filming of last week’s episode (Googlebot: SEO Mythbusting), Martin Splitt (WebMaster Trends Analyst, Google) and his guest Suz Hinton (Cloud Developer Advocate, Microsoft) dive into the topic of “new microformats”: structured data!
 
Documentation mentioned in this episode:
Intro to structured data → https://goo.gle/structured-data-intro
Overview of supported structured data in Google Search → https://goo.gle/search-gallery
Structured data testing tool → https://goo.gle/2K9rTo5
Rich results rest → https://goo.gle/30SEWA3
Rich result status reports → https://goo.gle/rich-results-report
 
 
 

[MUSIC PLAYING]

 

SUZ HINTON: There
is one term that I’m

going to mention
to you just based

on this is the reason why
I had to submit the URL

to be re-indexed.

And that’s microformats.

MARTIN SPLITT: Oh!

All right.

SUZ HINTON: So can
we talk about–

are they still a thing?

I haven’t really had to do
a lot of SEO optimization

for a while.

And I knew microformats
was such a huge thing

because let’s say you’ve
got a product page

and it has reviews
on it and you want

to show the little stars and all
of that kind of rich content.

And every time I made a
tweak and we deployed,

I would have to then submit
to get re-crawled and see

if the results got more written.

And that was definitely a
very slow feedback cycle.

MARTIN SPLITT: Yes.

SUZ HINTON: So
what is the state?

Is microformat still a thing?

And are there better resources
out there right now for us

to be able to pull
that rich content out?

MARTIN SPLITT: You’re
going to be very happy.

And we have much better things.

SUZ HINTON: Yay!

MARTIN SPLITT: They
are still a thing.

But they are now
called structured data.

SUZ HINTON: Structured data.

MARTIN SPLITT: And we
are using JSON-LD, so

JSON for Linked Data.

SUZ HINTON: Yeah, this
is all new terms to me.

MARTIN SPLITT: Right.

And you probably used
literally the microdata

attributes in HTML.

SUZ HINTON: Yes.

Yep, exactly.

Yeah, we were using them.

And they were very hit and miss.

MARTIN SPLITT: Yes.

SUZ HINTON: It was very easy
to just mess up one tiny thing.

And the validator
didn’t catch it.

And then the stars
would disappear.

And we’d be like [GASP].

MARTIN SPLITT: And we
have moved on from there.

SUZ HINTON: OK, that’s good.

MARTIN SPLITT: So there is now–
schema.org is an open source

organization where people can
submit or discuss or change

or do stuff with
the semantic data

that they want to
put on the web.

SUZ HINTON: Got it.

MARTIN SPLITT: And people
that’s participating–

there is much more
semantic data out there

than we are supporting
in search results.

But a bunch of it is supported
in the search results.

So for instance, if you
have an event that we want

to have showing up
with the location

and if you can get
tickets and who

is the performer and
all that kind of stuff–

if you have a recipe
where you might

have an image or the
instructions on how to make it

or the time it takes
to make it and reviews,

how nice this recipe might
be, articles, books, and TV

series, all sorts of things,
we have documentation on that

specifically as well.

If you go to
developers.google.com/search,

you find all the
supported types.

And they show up nicely
in the search results.

So you get a little
preview picture.

And then you get the stars
and all that kind of stuff.

SUZ HINTON: Oh, this
would have been amazing.

MARTIN SPLITT: It’s fantastic.

And it’s JSON.

SUZ HINTON: Which
is so much easier.

MARTIN SPLITT: It’s the
script tags with JSON in it.

It’s so much easier.

SUZ HINTON: It’s just not
little meta attribute things?

MARTIN SPLITT: Correct, yes.

So you have your JSON block.

And we have what’s called the
Structured Data Testing Tool.

That is a little dated by now.

But it supports– generally,
basically everything

that we know of shows up
as either valid or invalid.

And then we have the
Rich Results Test,

because the Structured Data
Test, while being very generic,

is also not very specific
to what you want to achieve.

You want to probably achieve
the nice little stars showing up

in the search results.

This is what we
call rich results.

And there’s the Rich
Results Test for it.

And that even
gives you a preview

of how that might look
like in the search results.

There’s no guarantee
that it does

look like that in
the search results

because people have been
using it to spam stuff, like–

SUZ HINTON: Yeah, true.

MARTIN SPLITT: I have
a bazillion reviews.

And then we’re
like, yeah, you just

have some JavaScript
generating fake reviews.

That’s not really–

SUZ HINTON: Well, how do
you actually use the tool?

Because I remember you used to
have to dump your entire HTML

file in there.

MARTIN SPLITT: You
[? don’t. ?] [INAUDIBLE]

SUZ HINTON: And if you
did it too many times,

you got timed out.

MARTIN SPLITT: Right.

SUZ HINTON: Yeah.

MARTIN SPLITT: But that
doesn’t happen anymore.

SUZ HINTON: Oh, OK.

That’s pretty exciting.

MARTIN SPLITT: So
you have two options.

You can dump a URL
in it, which is nice.

And you can even use ngrok or
something if you have a local–

SUZ HINTON: Oh, you
could do local host?

MARTIN SPLITT: Yes.

SUZ HINTON: Oh,
this is very fancy.

MARTIN SPLITT: Or
you can even also

still do like you dump
your HTML in there.

We execute the JavaScript.

So if you’re using JavaScript
within that code dump,

that’s fine.

SUZ HINTON: Oh, wonderful.

MARTIN SPLITT: If
you’re running it– yes.

And you can basically
live debug as you type.

You press a button and
it goes like, nope.

And you’re like, oh, damn it.

And you get the feedback here.

And it’s like, missing
performer for your event.

And I’m like, OK, sorry, sorry.

And you write it in.

And then it reruns it.

And you’re like, OK, cool.

This is what I want.

And I can take it
back to [INAUDIBLE]

SUZ HINTON: That is awesome.

MARTIN SPLITT: And
yeah, we have that tool.

We have Search
Console that gives you

a live view of what
happens on your page,

also for structured data.

Yeah, microdata is not
that much of a thing.

But the structured data
is still going strong.

SUZ HINTON: Well, it sounds
like it’s come a long way.

That’s very exciting.

MARTIN SPLITT: It does.

SUZ HINTON: If I’m ever
working for a large retailer

ever again, then I
feel like I got this.

MARTIN SPLITT: If you have a
blog, add the article markup.

You might get [INAUDIBLE]

SUZ HINTON: Oh, so OK.

I’m going to look at
the schema for that.

That would be like
author and stuff.

MARTIN SPLITT: And other sources
might pull the data as well,

right?

It’s an open source format.

So theoretically,
voice assistance

could use it as well.

So just imagine if
you have a recipe blog

and then you stand
in the kitchen,

go like, hey, assistant
thing– whatever

it is, whatever company
you’re choosing.

There’s a variety of
options these days, right?

And then the thing goes like
yeah, Martin’s apple pie.

First step– take some
apples and peel them.

And you’re like oh,
OK, fair enough.

That can come from the
structured data as well.

So that’s pretty cool.

SUZ HINTON: That is really cool.

I didn’t even think
of those use cases.

I just always thought
about search results.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

 

 

The Art of the Guest Post

If you own a website you know how much time and effort is involved with creating the perfect piece of content. However once you have created it you also need to find a way to get people to view it. This is the area that most people struggle with. The main reason is that the sheer volume of content created each day is astronomical.

It has recently been calculated that each day there are over 2 million blog posts. Or if you would like a more visual reference this is enough content to fill Time Magazine for 770 years. Your little piece of content can easily get lost and forgotten about.

There are a number of different ways to gain the initial traction and increase your sites viewer readership however there are a few that are more beneficial, especially if you’re willing to put in time, than piggybacking ‘ upon other people’s hard work. We can do this is by creating a super high quality guest blog.

Essentially you need to do is find a larger authority website in a similar niche to yours and then to offer them some free content in exchange for an author link back to your website. A few years ago this is a very powerful method of gaining a lot of SEO juice, however in recent years Google has reduced the overall flow on effect. However it is still a highly effective way to leverage an already established audience and readership.

The big issue is the way many people approach this method. Most reach out with a cold email, being leading to the content listed with was still sending in an already published piece of content. The key thing to remember is that a content manager running a successful blog does not have the time to babysit someone elses fledging business.

Guest posting is about leverage
When we are talking about leverage need to realise that it is really a two-way street. You need to be able to offer the blog owner enough value that they will be willing to directly post your piece of content on their website. After all they are risking their audience and credibility by letting someone new create a piece of content on their site. It really needs to be worth the time.

You need to write a piece that is as good as or even better than what is currently on the site, you also need to make it interesting so that people reading the piece become engaged and respond to it.

How does dropshipping work?

The question that we get asked time and time againĀ is:
How does dropshipping work?

Drop shipping may sound like a complicated way to sell products, how ever once you have looked into the sales process it is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to sell online.

Drop shipping is a form of supply chain management. Drop shipping dictates how you list items for sale, how you sell your items and how you send goods to customers.

So how does drop shipping work? Continue reading

How does dropshipping work?