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Web Design | Using Structured Data or Schemas Within Your Blog
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Nov 12 '12

By: Richard Guidry
Subject: Web Design
Title: Structured Data (Schemas)

Web Design | Structured Data - A 'How To' For Your Blog

Web Design | Schemas

Using Structured Data or Schemas Within Your Blog

Structured data is information that is formatted in such a way that it can be understood by humans and by computers and machines. Because search engines often have a hard time understanding the relevant information involved in the text, or data, many times that data will be transferred into HTML. Once it is transferred into HTML, some of the original data may have been lost and may have changed how the information showed up to the reader in the browser. Structured data has been created in order to add things to the existing code of HTML in order to enable the search engine to understand the information without changing how it shows up in a browser to your readers. This new concept is incredibly important to websites and blogs that are looking to increase traffic to their sites.

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How Will This Help Your Blog?

Without this type of formatting and information, it is left up to the search engines to comprehend and compact certain amounts of complex information. This process is never done perfectly, although most search engines do a good job. An example of this is when a page lists an event, such as a concert. Without structured data, some vital information may be missed, such as the time or venue of the concert. This new technology can help to fix this problem.

One simple reason to use this tool for your blog is that the search engine Google seems to prefer it. When viewers use this search engine, it is becoming more common that pages that use this data are listed at the top of their search results. Simply be adopting this new technology for your information, you can increase your ranking in search results.

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When you have a website, you are constantly looking for ways to increase traffic to your website and stay up with your competition. In doing this, it is important to adopt new technologies as they become available. Structured data has been developed as a way to help webmasters increase online presence in search results. Simply put, this gives you an opportunity to be ahead of the competition and ensure that your website comes high on the list for relevancy when discussing a specific topic.

Applying Structured Data To Your Blog

Computers can perform many tasks that make your life easier, but they still cannot process information the way a human can, at least not without the right programming. For example, a human can easily read a review of a book online, figure out what the title is, and all the details within a matter of minutes. A computer cannot do this on its own because it simply doesn't understand the structure of the information. Computers lack the ability to ignore pieces of information that may not be relevant to the information you are seeking.

In order to take advantages of all the positives offered with structured data, there are no specific steps to take. Search engines such as Google are adopting this new technology as a way to provide information rich snippets from structured data on your website or blog. The search engine will read the information on your blog, and condense it into rich snippets of information that then show up in the search engine. This gives readers a good idea of what is listed on your blog, and makes the information come across clearly to potential readers.

Understanding The Structured Data Dashboard

Google has developed a dashboard in order to navigate the complicated waters of your website. This dashboard is separated into three separate views in order to make understanding the information easier for your Webmaster.

Site – level view.
  • This view shows data by root item type and the schema of the vocabulary. Root item type refers to an item that is not a part of another on the same page. Basically, this will show you information about the specific topic on the page.
Item – type level.
  • This provides per-page details for each item. Newer items will be listed first, and gives you a chance to see the items viewers are most interested in on your blog.
Page-level view.
  • This shows all attributes for each item type on any given page.

As you can see, Google has developed this tool as an easy way to keep track of what is popular on your blog or website.

Structured data is quickly becoming important for any blog or website interested in optimizing their presence on the Internet. By learning about and applying these new tools, your will increase the traffic to your blog significantly.

Examples:

Article Summaries Page (Summary or Excerpts from Blogs - Not for the Full Article or Blog)
<section itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Blog">
    <article itemprop="blogPosts" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/BlogPosting">
    	<hgroup>
        	<h1 itemprop="name headline">First Post Title</h1>
            <h2>First Post Sub-Title</h2>
        </hgroup>
        <div class="content" itemprop="articleBody"><p>Excerpt... Excerpt... Excerpt...</p></div>
    </article>

    <article itemprop="blogPosts" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/BlogPosting">
    	<hgroup>
        	<h1 itemprop="name headline">Second Post Title</h1>
            <h2>Second Post Sub-Title</h2>
        </hgroup>
        <div class="content" itemprop="articleBody"><p>Excerpt... Excerpt... Excerpt...</p></div>
    </article>

    <article itemprop="blogPosts" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/BlogPosting">
    	<hgroup>
        	<h1 itemprop="name headline">Third Post Title</h1>
            <h2>Third Post Sub-Title</h2>
        </hgroup>
        <div class="content" itemprop="articleBody"><p>Excerpt... Excerpt... Excerpt...</p></div>
    </article>
</section>
Article Page (The Actual Article or Blog)
<article itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/BlogPosting">
	<h2 itemprop="name headline">Blog Post Title</h2>
	<div class="content" itemprop="articleBody"><p>Content... Content... Content...</p>
    </div>
	<div class="byline">
        Written by
        <span itemprop="author" itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/Person">
            <span itemprop="name">
                <a href="https://plus.google.com/110026100082641101690" itemprop="url" rel="author">Richard Guidry</a>
            </span>
        </span>
        on
        <time datetime="2012-08-24T22:00" itemprop="datePublished">Friday August 24th 2012</time>
    </div>
</article>

 

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