Semantic Markup Pays Off But For Whom?

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schemapix1by Jennifer Zaino

Many eyes are turning to research being done by SEO optimization vendor Searchmetrics about the virtues of semantic markup. Exploring the enrichment of search results through microdata integration, it says it has analyzed “tens of thousands of representative keywords, and rankings for over half a million domains from our comprehensive database, for the effect of the use of schema.org markup in terms of dissemination and integration type.”

Its study is still underway but so far its initial findings include good news – that is, that semantic markup succeeds:

  • Larger domains are more likely to embrace structured data markup, and the most popular markups relate to movies, offers, and reviews.  That said, overall, domains aren’t flocking to integrate Schema HTML tags.

  • The SEO Visibility score – the visibility of domains and of their individual URLs in search engines – of domains using schema markups is about 60,000, while those that do not include similar integrations is just over 1000.
  • The overall proportion of keywords resulting in SERPs (search engine results pages) displaying snippets with additional markup information (not necessarily schema.org markup) has risen. The percentage of keywords without any markup-derived snippets has fallen, to about 34 percent.
  • It concludes that both developers that are taking advantage of semantic markup and Google seem to be integrating more and more types of structured data. The average domain sports 3 types of integration schema rather than two, and snippets returned with three different schema-types are becoming more prominent in SERPs.
  • Though it’s treading cautiously on this one because of the complexity of this evaluation process, it does point out that domains with schema integrations rank better by an average of four positions compared to domains without them.

schemapix2The post about the research summarizes the disparity between domain adoption and potential impact of that adoption. “it can be stated that Schema integrations are included on very few domains currently, even though the markup language has been a standard feature of the development landscape for a long time,” it reads, “and is widely used by Google to enrich snippets with additional information.”

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