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What is Semantic Markup?

 

Google and other search engines have become increasingly semantic in nature.  What this means is that search engine results pages (SERPs) are more user-oriented and predictive in nature.  In a sense, search results have become a lot more “human.”

All you have to do is view the first page of Google results for virtually any search (person, place, or thing, especially) and you will see an example of semantic search: Google’s Knowledge Graph.  The Knowledge Graph is a sign of the times of search.  Another indication of semantic search are rich snippets.  Rich snippets appear in search results listings and are awarded by Google as a result of having properly-implemented semantic markup on your website.

Semantic markup (also known as structured markup), is aptly-named and plays a big role in the changing nature of semantic search.

Semantic markup (namely Schema.org and Good Relations) help search engines like Google identify the important “things” on web pages which can authenticate information so that they can then deliver highly-relevant results, instead of relying heavily on strings of keywords.

Below is an example of Schema.org markup for a generic item:

generic-type-item

Rich snippets of meta data (semantic markup) are the prized end-result of implementing structured markup.  Rich snippets that appear in SERPs help consumers determine the value of a site before they click on the link to that site.  Ratings, reviews, and imagery in the form of symbols like stars, drive attention to search listings that have them and Rich snippets have also been known to result resulted in higher click through rates.

General meta data is often boring and consists of text only.  However, with semantic markup like Schema.org and Good Relations, search engines understand information on webpages better and they provide enhanced search results, which in turn, make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web.  This also adds a call to action of sorts to a search result and internet users are more likely to react and respond.

Using semantic markup is great from a business standpoint as well, as it also qualifies potential buyers.  Semantic search results like this help users find the answers they are looking for and narrows their search to specific products or services.

Having rich meta data like Schema.org and Good Relations markup set up on your website and your site’s products is beneficial to you and your customers.  Going forward, it will be crucial to begin to implement this type of markup on your Ecommerce website and its products to compete in the age of semantic search.

Learn more about markup: what it is and what it can ultimately do for your site.  Semantic markup isn’t just the future of search; it’s here now.

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