Lauren Kaye

Most of the recent search marketing updates Brafton has covered have been about SEO tactics that don’t provide real-world results. However, the latest Google Webmaster Help Channel video offers a suggestion about a tactic that has search impact: Adding schema markup to web content for rich snippets.

Add markup for more content context

“In general, the more markup there is – schema, video or whatever – the easier it is for search engines to be able to interpret what really matters on a page,” explained esteemed Search Engineer Matt Cutts.

“The more markup there is – schema, video or whatever – the easier it is for search engines to … interpret what really matters on a page.”

He added that webmasters should also make their Java script and CSS crawlable so the search engine’s spiders understand more about what’s on the page and use that information when displaying digital content in SERPs. It’s even advisable to make the video file itself easy to crawl because this helps Google understand the information on the page and, in a bigger picture, how it fits into the context of the site.

The value of structured data & benefits of rich snippets

This isn’t the first time SEOs have heard about the merits of adding structured data to their brand content. Brafton covered a session from this year’s SMX East in which panelists listed benefits of adding the semantic data to their pages. Some of the benefits include added visibility in SERPs that comes with rich snippets – not to mention the potential for additional clicks. But the advantages go even deeper than that. The additional code can help marketers better segment their website traffic for content analytics reports and gather more granular information to advise their SEO strategies.

Authorship rich snippets even more valuable?

Perhaps more importantly, this update from Cutts dredges up the old theory that Google might one day use structured data (such as the information used to attribute Authorship) in search rankings. Although the search engine has vehemently denied that writers’ social authority and online credibility will have a direct impact on organic search results, Google has been keeping the rich snippet discussion on the front burner for some time. Smart marketers will spot opportunities to add semantic data to their web content, if not to improve their search rankings, than to give internet users clearer insights on the information behind their SERP links.

Check out Brafton’s related resource on Authorship, which explains how brands can benefit by setting it up for their content writers and corporate leaders.