Bing, Yahoo, and Google Team Up with Schema.org

It’ not often that you will find the top three search engines agreeing on anything – besides agreeing that they are the best. Bing, Yahoo, and Google, though, put competition aside for a brief moment to launch Schema.org, a tool which should enhance the quality of search results for users of all three engines. What is Schema, and can it benefit your business or personal site?

When webmasters mark up a web page, they are using microformats or RDFa standards to better identify the meat of their site for search engines. What this means for the user is that when they conduct a search query, such as “smoothie recipes,” they get a snippet of information extracted from the site, like this…

Looking for smoothie recipes? Allrecipes has more than 210 trusted smoothie recipes complete with ratings, reviews and mixing tips.

Schema makes the process of marking up pages easier. Google Fellow Ramanathan Guha says, “We know that it takes time and effort for webmasters to add this markup to their pages, and adding markup is harder if every search engine asks for data in a different way.”

Schema helps eliminate this problem by creating a common language for structured data markup. The upside is that publishers and webmasters can make themselves more visible and clear to search engines and more relevant to users. Schema.org offers a collection of schemas or HTML tags; Yahoo, Bing, and Google will use these tags to improve results.

Another benefit is that when people are searching for something like “Avatar,” as it is pointed out on Schema.org’s website. The simple HTML tag, <h1>Avatar</h1> will allow “Avatar” to be displayed as the title. But which one? The movie? The profile picture? This helps the search engines target searches more accurately and display the most relevant information.

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