Introducing Schema Creator for Google’s new structured data format
Written by Jon Henshaw and published
Schema.org does its best to explain how schemas work.
But do you understand them?
I thought I did. The first time I created schemas for my own blog, I got really excited. Knowing me, I probably bounced up and down a little and told everyone how awesome schemas were. Then, later, I tested my schemas and found out I had no idea what I was doing. I ran my code through Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tools, and they pretty much said, “You’re an idiot, Jon.”
Update: We’ve now added a Schema WordPress plugin that will help you create Schema code right in the WordPress dashboard.
The thing that was missing was a resource to help me get started. I needed something I could enter data into and then have it give me the proper code. Since that didn’t exist, Raven made one.
Thanks to the backing of Google and other search engines, a structured data revolution is about to begin. Google, Bing and Yahoo! recently published a collection of structured data schemas that they plan to use for influencing rankings and enhancing the display of search results. The collection of schemas can be found at schema.org.
If you’re not familiar with structured data — as it relates to HTML — it’s data that’s formatted for both humans and machines. For example, in the past, if your website published information about a concert, you wouldn’t have to consider how the HTML was coded. The only thing that mattered was how it rendered in a browser for a person reading the information. That method made it difficult for search engines to interpret all of the relevant data for that event—the venue, the price, the time, and so on.
Structured data provides new HTML attributes that can be added to existing code, without changing how it renders in a browser. When the attributes and values are added to the HTML, it makes it easy for search engines to fully understand and use the context of the data.
Schema.org uses attributes that were recently added to the living standard HTML (a.k.a. HTML5) called microdata. Their schemas define the values for those attributes and are intended to create a standard for microdata use.
If all of this sounds a bit confusing, that’s because it is. For many web designers and search engine optimizers, the concept of structured data is relatively new and somewhat daunting. This is especially true when you try to dig into the entire schema set.
We believe that structured data is one of the most significant changes to SEO in quite some time. In an effort to grow the adoption rate of structured data — in particular the schema.org microdata standard — and to prevent stupid schema mistakes like mine, we built the free Schema Creator.
How to create schema.org microdata with Schema Creator
Raven’s Schema Creator helps designers and SEOs get up and running quickly with schema.org microdata. We picked the six most popular schema types, and then added the most popular item properties to a form. Entering data into the form automatically creates your HTML with microdata for you.
As you fill out the form, a preview is instantly updated on the screen.
After you finish filling out the form, you can click on the code in the text area, and then copy and paste it into your HTML document.
Schema Creator is designed to get you started with microdata, which means it doesn’t provide you with every possible schema type and item property. However, it should give you enough data to help you understand how to enhance or build your own schema types.
You can use it right now at schema-creator.org.