SEOs, don’t ignore structured data

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A lot of SEOs are still leaving structured data out of their onsite optimization. If you’re one of them, you may be missing out on better rankings, and subsequently forfeiting targeted traffic to your competitors.

Structured data has been around for a few years, with the dominant formats being RDFa and microformats. When the concept finally got on the radar of search engines like Google, it was seen as insufficient.

Search engines wanted to have more control over the structured data standard, and the introduction of Living Standard HTML (aka HTML5) and the new microdata attributes allowed them to create their own standard, known today as

While RDFa and microformats are still used by search engines, their preference appears to be towards, so that’s what I’m going to focus on.

Why structured data makes sense

Without structured data, it’s up to search engines to parse and comprehend complex information. They do a good job of this, but it’s never exact and hardly ever perfect. For example, a page might list an event, but without structured data, there’s a very good chance that search bots will miss some vital data. fixes this by providing schemas for writing HTML in a way that doesn’t change how the user views the content, but simultaneously provides all of the pertinent data to the search bot.

Thanks to, there are now schemas for just about every type of structured data you can think of. Some of the most commonly used schemas include Person, Product, Event, OrganizationMovieBook, and Review – all of which can be easily created using Schema creation tools.

Why you should be using structured data

Search engines are committed to structured data – particularly Google, as seen by their addition of a Structured Data Dashboard in their Webmaster Tools.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to use microdata is that Google seems to prefer it in their search results. More often than not, pages using structured data appear at the top of their organic results.

And usage of structured data continues to grow. Here are a few examples from Google that include results from pages using microdata.

Ticketmaster uses

IMDB uses and others

Eating Well uses

4 Responses to “SEOs, don’t ignore structured data”

  1. semseogurus

    I recently added microdata in my html site and also tried it in my wordpress site earlier but cannot confirm if using it in a wordpress site with the use of plugins really worked for me…I am going to implement it again 🙂 and now measure the results….

    • Dave Swan

      I used a plugin called WP Social SEO Booster, its really good. like you i wasn’t sure if it was working but sure enough a couple of weeks later the results have started showing up in the structured data section of webmaster tools