SEO - Search Engine Optimization

The State of Schema.org: What are the biggest challenges surrounding Schema markup?

Last Updated: April 18, 2017

Using Schema.org markup, a form of structured data which helps search engines to interpret your webpages, is widely agreed to be beneficial from an SEO standpoint. While it may not correlate directly to an increase in ranking, using Schema.org markup allows search engines to pull through rich snippets and rich data like images, reviews and opening hours, making your site appear more attractive on the SERP and thereby increasing click-through. Schema.org markup is also becoming increasingly important in the age of voice search, acting as a signpost that points digital assistants towards the information that will correctly answer a user’s voice query. Voice queries depend heavily on implied context, and Schema markup can help give that context to an otherwise ambiguous page of text. But while the advantages of using Schema.org seem obvious enough on paper, actually implementing it can be much more challenging. As a result, a startlingly small minority of website owners make use of Schema.org. The figures vary as to exactly how many; Schema.org’s website claims that “over 10 million websites” use Schema.org markup, which translates into less than one percent of all websites; an investigation by ACM Queue put the figure at 31.3%, while a study by Bing and Catalyst found that just 17% of marketers use Schema.org markup. Either way, even the highest estimate of Schema.org adoption still comes in at less than a third of websites. With Schema.org being a well-known advanced search technique with well-established benefits, what is holding SEOs and website owners back from implementing it? The state of Schema markup Schema App – a provider of tools to help digital marketers use Schema markup – recently ran a survey which sheds some light on this question. The study, ‘The State of Schema Markup’, surveyed users of Schema.org markup on the size and type of their business, how frequently they maintained their markup, the challenges they experienced in using Schema.org, and any tools they used to tackle these problems. It’s worth noting that the survey results were drawn from a fairly small sample of only 75 respondents, which limits our ability to generalize them too widely, but they nevertheless give some interesting insights into the use of Schema markup among marketers. Perhaps surprisingly, respondents from the smallest companies – those with five or fewer employees – made up the largest percentage of Schema.org users, with two-fifths of respondents reporting that they carry out Schema markup for companies of just five employees or fewer. It’s hard to say exactly why this is – maybe smaller, more agile companies are better at keeping up to date with advanced search tactics; or maybe they will do whatever it takes to stand out on the SERP in…

Source: The State of Schema.org: What are the biggest challenges surrounding Schema markup?

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Rebecca Sentance

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