What is Structured Data, you might ask? Well, it is data (like your company name, or phone number) that is placed in a particular field. That may not mean much to you, but it means a lot to Google.
So much that they have made their own Structured Data Test Tool. Want to see it in action? Go to the link and click the Fetch URL and type in www.CyberSpyder.net. You can ignore the code on the left side, but check out the results on the right! Pretty awesome, huh? Ok, go ahead, you know you want to type in your own site.
Basically, Structured Data is information on your website that is set up in a standardized format (or schema, based on those set up by Schema.org) that makes it easy for Google to index. There are schemas for businesses, products, recipes, articles and more. While this will give your regular search results a boost, it is required for inclusion in voice search, maps search and Google Now.
Using Structured Data, will make your search results more informative to users, and also can attract more attention. For example, if you add reviews to your schema, you’ll see stars under your search results, if you add an image, you can even have a photo. This type of search engine results is called a Rich Snippet. This is great for products or recipes especially. In a sea of text search results, there is your product photo, along with a rating and description. See example at right.
Even more importantly, if you sell products, there is a specific schema for that as well. This allows Google to know at a glance, how many products are on a page, what the name of the item is, the price and other bits of data. We believe this is going to be incorporated into the new Purchase on Google, something you should see in search results later this month.
Purchase on Google will allow searchers to “buy now” right from the Google search results. Right now, it’s only in a beta test, and will only include a small number of pre-approved vendors, but we feel sure it will be rolled out for all retailers soon.
Adding Structured Data to a website is not a DIY project, but once the schema is set up, it is automatically added to all your products or recipes or articles, or whatever you do!
This is just the latest in a number of updates that Google has made or is making that can benefit you as a website owner.