Schema.org is a standards project that provides a collection of schemas, i.e. descriptive tags added to the HTML, that content administrators and engineers use to markup pages and enrich content in ways recognized by major search providers.

In June 2011, Google, Bing and Yahoo collaborated to design a structured vocabulary geared to help search engines better understand the content on pages across the web. This resulted in Schema.org, a website dedicated to supporting a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages.

Since its launch, SEO gurus, bloggers, marketers and developers alike are applauding the value the approach brings to improving organic search results, both for content consumers and publishers alike.

The 'semantic web' has been talked about for years, but not until Schema.org did enriching content with intelligent metadata markup really take off. Marketers especially value Schema.org, as it guarantees search engines will understand organic content, and its use increases sites' organic visibility in search results.

So, what's all the fuss? Why is it now so important to markup your content?

Schema.org explains it like this: "Your web pages have an underlying meaning that people understand when they read the web pages. But search engines have a limited understanding of what is being discussed on those pages. By adding additional tags to the HTML of your web pages — tags that say, “Hey search engine, this information describes this specific movie, or place, or person, or video” — you can help search engines and other applications better understand your content and display it in a useful, relevant way." - Schema.org

What Are the Benefits to Adding Schema.org Microdata to a Website?

  • On search engine results listings, your web pages can appear as enhanced listings or “rich snippets.”
  • Users users are more likely to visit if the search result has a little more “pop.”
  • Case studies show retail firms can expect to get up to a 30 percent increase in organic traffic by using structured markup to add that “pop.”

What Types of Content Does Schema.org Support?

Schema.org offers many content types, so defining content types is an essential part of any CMS implementation project and should come early in the process. Here are just few common types available:

  • Article
  • Other creative works: CreativeWork, Book, Movie, MusicRecording, Recipe, TVSeries
  • Embedded non-text objects: AudioObject, ImageObject, VideoObject
  • Event
  • Health and medical types: notes on the health and medical types under MedicalEntity
  • Organization
  • Person
  • Place, LocalBusiness, Restaurant
  • Product, Offer, AggregateOffer
  • Review, AggregateRating

Where to Start When Implementing Schema.org?

Content creators, marketers, and developers should work closely together when implementing Schema.org. It's best to plan ahead to utilize item types and properties on web pages. This starts with architecting content types, defining structured content types, building data templates, and managing implementation.