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GoodRelations for Semantic SEO

alt Using GoodRelations for semantic SEO

With GoodRelations markup in RDFa or Microdata syntax, you can send a rich description of your products and services to search engines, browser extensions, and mobile applications - all from one single markup!

If you have GoodRelations in your markup, Google and Yahoo will improve the rendering of your page directly in the search results. This increases the number of users that will eventually visit your page.

Updates

  • Google has confirmed that GoodRelations in RDFa will remain a fully supported markup technique for Rich Snippets, as compared to their new entry-level schema.org proposal.
  • Bing has announced plans to add GoodRelations support to their crawlers.

Overview

Adding extra markup to your page that preserves the data behind your site has three desirable effects for search engines.

Rich Snippets

Search engines use your markup (after a bit of filtering and quality check for blocking spam) to augment the preview of your site in the search results preview. Below, you find a few examples of this:

Sears.com
SEO-sears.png

Rachel Ray Store
SEO-rachelraystore.png

Tradoria
SEO-tradoria.png

Signals for Relevance

But the extra data you provide does a lot more that feeding rich snippets: Today's search engines try to assess the individual relevance of a page for a given query, taking into account the location, time, identity, profile, and preferences of the person behind the query.

Google, for instance, uses 200 - 300 signals from a page to assess the relevance and ideal ranking of a given page. So someone from London will see a different page on rank #1 for "pizza" than someone from San Francisco etc.

Now, rich data inside the page can be used by the search engines to do much more subtle assessments of the relevance, because GoodRelations allows site-owners to communicate

  • target regions for an offer (gr:eligibleRegions and gr:availableAtOrFrom),
  • structured opening hours (gr:hasOpeningHoursSpecification),
  • payment options (VISA, MasterCard, Cash, ...),
  • delivery methods (UPS, Pick-up, home delivery,...),

and much more.

Even if such data is not shown in the rich snippet for a page, it will increasingly be used by major search engines as a signal for relevance.

Training Data for Machine-Learning

Search engines also use structured markup for trying to extract data when it is not properly marked up. This means that some information can also be harvested by the search engines if there is no markup on a particular page. If you provide markup for your products and services, you help search engines understanding this particular domain.

This may not be such an important aspect for a single shop, but it is a major reason for manufacturers of brand products to use GoodRelations markup, because then Google, Yahoo, and Bing can augment the display of your products on any shop site in the world that is part of your retail channels.

Note that original markup will always have a higher confidence and relevance, so you need not to fear that your data helps your competitor more than it helps you.

Examples

If you google for "Eggplant Bubble & Brown Baker Set", you will see the following page very prominently:

In Google's tool: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rachaelraystore.com%2FProduct%2Fdetail%2FRachael-Ray-Stoneware-2-pc-Bubble-Brown-Baker-Set-Eggplant%2F316398&view=

GoodRelations is being used for SEO by companies like

  • Sears.com,
  • Kmart,
  • Bestbuy,
  • Renault UK,
  • Tradoria.de,
  • Otto Office,
  • Volkswagen,

and thousands of others.

For a longer list of companies using GoodRelations for SEO, see here.

by Martin Hepp