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Rich Snippets and Semantic SEO Make the Web Better

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Rich Snippets and Semantic SEO Make the Web Better 1180-daily-golden-nugget-624Before publishing every Daily Golden Nugget I send it through a review and editing process by other people in my office. Today's Nugget was not well received because it has higher than normal technical content. I thought about scrapping it, but I think the topic is important for website owners to understand. I've slimmed down the technical example from my original version. My hope is that this doesn't seem like I'm trying to teach a fish to fly.

One of the more advanced SEO techniques I've always liked was the use of Rich Snippets throughout your websites and especially in your product catalog. Google first introduced it in May 2009 but I didn't see many e-commerce sites rushing to add the extra programming code to their site. It just didn't seem important. Since my first introduction of Google Rich Snippets the method has grown into wide acceptance. Where this was once a suggestion for website programmers, it's now a must if you want to establish higher SEO ranking for your website.

CONCEPT INTRO: The basic idea is that you can add extra HTML programming code to your website to help search engines understand who you are, what you are all about, and what you are trying to sell. Normally the search engines just guess.

To remove the guessing Google, Yahoo, and Bing came together and agreed to publish a set of programming rules on schema.org. From this website the online community could come together and share exactly how to add the extra HTML programming code to your site.

HOW IT WORKS: Normally when you add HTML programming code to your website you see a visible result, or an improved user experience. The schema.org code, on the other hand, is completely invisible to the user and only readable by search engines. You can add a lot or a little to your programming code depending on what you need to tell search engines.

Now is the time to talk to your website programmer about this stuff. The phrase "Semantic SEO" is sometimes used instead of the original "Rich Snippets" name, but it's still the same process. "Semantic SEO" just sounds smarter. Under the umbrella name of Semantic SEO you will find a lot of other technical jargon like "Microdata" and "RDFa". These are the types of programming code syntaxes that the search engines understand. Microdata is the more well established and simple syntax, but RDFa is more flexible. You should use both depending on your needs.

Here's a really basic example of how microdata works when you use it to indicate your jewelry store's name.

Original HTML:
<h1>Perosi & Sons Jewelers</h1>

With Microdata the code would look like this:
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LocalBusiness">
<h1><span itemprop="name">Perosi & Sons Jewelers</span></h1></div>

As you can see that's a lot of extra code, but looking carefully you can also see that the store's name is identified as a "Local Business", leaving no possibilities for search engine misinterpretations. Adding this extra code to your page will take an extraordinary amount of time if done by hand. The popular content management systems have point and click modules that can be installed to do this for you. Those popular systems include Magento, Joomla, WordPress, and of course my favorite, Junior.

The latest additions to the schema.org markup and rich snippets family allow you to identify specific product details within your e-commerce system. You can identify product names, prices, descriptions, and even special offers.

The methods are still evolving and you mane need to make occasional changes to the metadata code.

One last important note about rich snippets... Vendor provided microsites and javascript/iframe product catalog will never be able to benefit from this. Rich metadata will help your actual website far surpass anything you would see from a microsite.
AT: 12/13/2012 07:28:50 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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