Search Marketing

Bing Reiterates Importance of Schema Markup

June 10, 2014

While many people automatically turn to Google for information related to search, it can be helpful to remember that not all official search engine advice comes from Google’s Matt Cutts. Bing remains a credible resource for SEO guidance and is committed to sharing it with those that tune in.

Duane Forrester, Microsoft’s Senior Product Manager of Bing Webmaster Tools, recently published an insightful post on the Webmaster Blog about enhancing search listings with semantic markup.

In the post, titled “Mark It Up,” Forrester explains the value of semantic markup, particularly “It’s worth completing this work to help the engines understand your content more clearly. It’s like a sign post stating ‘this content describes this (movie, person, place, video, etc.).’ And when your content is marked up, we can use that data to make richer search experiences.”

Just as CSS and HTML tell a web browser how to display the information of a page to a user so that it looks stylish and appealing, markup tells the search engine more about the nature of the information it is scanning. This becomes increasingly important as technology advances and changes the way in which people search (e.g., across different devices or through conversational search).

How a search engine interprets the data on your web page in its index and relates it back to the searcher’s query can be informed by the markup attached to the web page’s information. Leveraging markup this way can shorten the distance between a user’s question and your brand’s answer. (and other markups such as micro-formats and RDFa) offers an additional benefit to marketers with rich snippets. Rich snippets include things like author headshots, video thumbnails, price, star ratings and breadcrumb trails that display in the results.

Search engines, research and the SEO community at-large all attest that rich snippets can increase click through rate from the search engine results pages. For brands already ranking high for a given query, this additional boost in click through rate can translate into traffic, leads and revenue.

Brands should consider using semantic markup to create richer search experiences and enhance their search ranking. By evaluating all of their major pages and page templates, and increasing the amount of rich snippets they include on their sites, they can best leverage enhanced markup and increase the success they see in search.

Cover photo via Search Engine Land