SMX Advanced 2013: Microdata, Schema, Rich Snippets

As Bruce Clay opened with the spotlight, he explained that has seen increased traffic by implementing schema and rich snippets. (Perfect opening for this session on rich snippets!)

Google Power Search by Stephan Spencer
Google Power Search by Stephan Spencer

Stephan Spencer (@sspencer) of Koshkonong LLC kicked off this after-lunch session.

Stephan starts by giving away books for those who answer his geeky semantic markup questions! (I lucked out by getting a signed copy prior to the session! Thank you, Stephan!)

Rich Snippets

Known to boost CTR in organic listings. Perhaps, they might be known to enhance rankings.

  • More compelling search snippets: increased clickthroughs
  • Bonus search results: More clicks to more pages on your site. If they spent 2.5 minutes or more looking at your article and then click the back button. They get more of your articles you’ve written.

He now admits he has 58 slides in 15 minutes … oh, no …

Google Authorship

Stephan provides steps for creating Google Authorship.

One way is what I did here for liveblogging for Bruce Clay:

Link back from site to Google+ profile. Also link from profile to the site.

Authorship Misfires…

The mention of Eric Enge overroad Stephan’s bio image for posts mentioning their book, “The Art of SEO.” He had to remove Eric’s name to stop Eric’s Google Authorship image from showing.

Video Thumbnail Markup

  • video option
  • Facebook Share format for videos
  • Yahoo! SearchMonkey RDFA search format

Test by:

  • Using Google’s Rich Snippets Testing tool.
  • Going into Google Webmaster Tools to make sure it’s working.

Video Thumbnail Misfires …

Yes, they have them, too!

  • Why don’t all videos get the markup? For Zappos example, he has no idea why. (Neither do we!)


Clever use of microformats is using aggregate reviews by putting them on one category page.

Product / Offer:

Add product information, and in the Offer add some pricing information and availability and if it’s in stock.

Price and availability is displayed in the SERPs. (Side effect is putting the comparison shopping engines out of business.)


Use them! (Period.)

Location Data:

You get hours of operation and display hours for the day you are searching. Google pulls this from semantic data.

He then shows examples of rich snippets for events and attractions.


Data Highlighter

Bring up the page in Google Webmaster Tools and highlight sections of the page.


  • Page by page basis
  • It doesn’t provide the markup in the backend of the HTML or to Bing. It only sends it to Google.

Good for non-techies. (You have to have technical people maintaining your website!)

Google Structured Mark-up Helper

Outputs HTML but is only on a page-by-page basis.

Facebook Open Graph Markup

You’ll have to download the deck for this info on OG.

What do I do?

  • RDFA
  • RDFA Light
  • Microdata
  • Microformats

Answer: RDFA Light mirrors’s microdata in 96%. It’s not as complex. is the other option. (He leans toward RDFA, because it’s cleaner.)

What’s Next?

  • More and more data types
  • More integration of semantic data
  • Search engines displaying more data directly to SERPs
  • Ask yourself how you can add extra value?

At least implement one of the formats.

Contact, and his assistant will email you resources.

Next …

Marcus Tober (@marcustober) of Searchmetrics Inc.

What’s Going On In The Real World

Google is using ratings from sites. What about Amazon?

Amazon is not using Schema, but Google shows rich snippets in the SERPs for Amazon products. They are essentially using “schema light.” (Google figures it out.)

Marcus showed some fun pictures that I laughed so much that I missed some.

Examples shown of eye-catching rich snippets: reviews, ratings, recipes, authorship.

Searchmetrics Study: 450,000 domains, 60,000 keywords

Structured data snippet were evaluated for these sites.

  • Keywords with at least on structured snippet had 60.70% increase.
  • Domains without schema integration was 99.73%.

Most small to medium-sized businesses are not using Schema.

Stats of SEO Visibility

If you rank for more keywords, then you get more visibility and more traffic. If you take average SEO Visibility and then compare with domains not using Schema, there is much lower SEO Visibility.

Most popular types of Schema:

Schema - Most Popular Types
Schema – Most Popular Types

Movies and Offers has the highest penetration.

Distribution of different elements in site:

You can use 100s of different elements on your page, but if you take a look at the SERPs, then more than 60% of the elements.

If you implement too many elements, Google cannot display in the SERPs. They are not fully ready for it!

The sites that are implementing Schema are having higher rankings.

Searchmetrics Findings:

  • Only 0.27% of domains are using Schema.
  • 47% higher rankings on average for those sites that are using Schema markup.


Julia Gause of Scripps Network

Integration of Rich Snippets on Network of Sites

She opens with a definition of a Rich Snippet – bottom line that is “might” show on a page.

Back in Time…Google contacted them to be an early adopter of the hRecipe markup. (Her company deals with food networks and chefs who cook up yummy stuff like the Cooking Channel and

So why would Google want to implement rich snippets? Food Porn!

What exactly are rich snippets for recipes?

Rich Snippets for Recipes
Rich Snippets for Recipes

On the surface they look the same, but in one recipe, calorie count is missing. (Heck, people may not make that recipe if they knew how many calories it may have!) Results

  • Implemented hRecipe markup in October 2010.
  • 42% increase in entries to the recipe pages in October over September 2010
  • Year-over-year CTR was 50%. They were already ranking well, but adding the recipe reviews and pretty pictures affected the CTR significantly!

Switch from hRecipe to in early 2013.

  • No big change of how it looked in Google.
  • Bing showed rich snippets but no picture.
  • Yahoo! didn’t show anything.

When you search for recipes and get a horizontal top module, it’s running on

Julia explained her network has implemented the following objects:

  • Recipes
  • Ratings
  • Reviews
  • Video (length and description)
  • Person (for show hosts) – NOTE: This is different than Google Authorship. It’s “About” not link to the profile as in rel=author.


  • There appears to be modes grown due to the image object.
  • Person schema increased rankings of the show host pages.

Elisabeth Osmeloski once again kicked it as the moderator by asking the panel questions that generated further discussion.

In the end, Schema means you can give the search engines structured information about the elements of your site with richer snippets in the SERPs.


Dana Lookadoo founded Yo! Yo! SEO, a boutique agency based around the concept of Word-of-Mouth SEO.

See Dana's author page for links to connect on social media.

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One Reply to “SMX Advanced 2013: Microdata, Schema, Rich Snippets”

Great and easy to use info! Thanks for publishing.


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