Richly Rewarding

There's a new frontier in search engine optimization. It's called rich snippeting, and it generates enhanced, clickworthyt Google's listings.

Richly Rewarding

There's a new frontier in search engine optimization. It generates enhanced Google's listings. They're known as rich snippets, and they're created on your website with a new marketing tool called structured data markup.

Using Structured Data

View of an actual working rich snippet as published by search engines

snippet example mobile

At the printer still to this day, graphic designers "mark up" a page proof as the press run begins. The markup tells the press operator how the printed product is really supposed to look. Now this venerable process and its language have migrated to the Internet. Similarly, we mark up the source code of an html page to tell search engines what the content is really about.

The process works in the background of the published page, invisible to the reader. Only the search engines can see it and understand it. When you apply it correctly, that page is liable to be listed higher and more prominently. Don't try this at home, though. While some of the principles of organic SEO are easy to grasp, the technical difficulty of this branch of SEO is extreme.

So extreme and so relatively new, there's no consensus what to call it. Following Google's lead, let's use "structured-data SEO." Structured-data SEO is how you transform a drab, minimalist Google listing into one filled with detail and more likely to be clicked. It uses a search engine innovation called "rich snippets."

The Google Structured Data Markup plugin automates the tedious part of snippet coding. Snippets Made Easy

Given the complicated and arcane tedium of writing rich snippets, they weren't for everybody, to begin with. Simply put, snippeting ate up a lot of hours and required the acquisition of highly advanced specialty knowledge. But that's now changing, as the Internet marketing world embraces the efficacy of this new, powerful tool.

Javelin Communications was an early adopter of a fantastic snippet generator which can be plugged into any Joomla websiste. It's called Google Structured Data Markup, from developer Tassos Marinos. GSDT automates the laborious part of rich snippet coding. Think of it as snippeting made easy for busy webmasters. We're using it all over javelincommunications.com. It is now part of our base web design package for all customers serious about search marketing. 

Snippeting Genesis 

From the earliest days of the html language, webmasters could mark up content by enclosing it within "H tags" signaling heightened importance. Most common - and most abused - is the venerable H1 tag. Over time it got easier and easier to use. And, surprise, some SEO providers used it to game Google and the other major search engines. The search engines eventually reacted by deprecating the entire system of H tags.

Nowadays H tags have minimal clout and are being supplanted by rich snippets. Rich snippets form the core of structured-data SEO. They're far more complicated to use than H tags but convey a wealth of detail to the search engine, which then shows up in the search results. While the H tag functioned as a simple exclamation point, trumpeting generalized importance, rich snippets provide us with some detail about exactly why the content is important.

Getting Rich

Google first added rich snippets to their search results back in 2009. Suddenly webmasters could give their clicks useful descriptive labels such as people, recipes, events and reviews. These dressed-up listings looked better, were more informative, and their click-thru rate (CTR) improved. Google went on to add many more snippet categories including products, video, music info, restaurants, organizations and authors.

Then in 2011 Google allied with Bing and Yahoo! to create a joint venture, schema.org, which has since been joined by the Russian search engine Yandex. Schema.org is a shared, cross-platform source of microdata for marking up html content to create rich snippets. It's the markup language upon which all rich snippets are built in the US.

With the coming of schema, rich snippeting exploded. There are now hundreds of labels to choose from, allowing us to add unprecedented, eye-catching detail to your listings. Content enrichment appears here to stay as part of the SEO toolkit. Google especially has been aggressive in pushing webmasters to add rich snippets to website content.

Why? Because rich snippets enhance the user experience, thus adding value to Google's search engine database. In all but name, Google has created a new rule to follow. It's always best to follow their rules, because they own the search engine and have the ability to punish or reward you.

If you looked at the source code of this site, you would notice at least one rich snippet on every page. It's a big part of why you found this particular article on the Internet, among all the many pages about Milwaukee SEO. Give us a call to chat about having us do the same for you.

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Enough about us, though. You need a website that converts visitors into customers. Plus maybe some highly targeted Internet marketing? Rather than drone on about our incomparable passion and superhero creative powers, we'd much rather hear about your project.

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May We Help You?

May we help you?

Enough about us, though. You need a website that converts visitors into customers. Plus maybe some highly targeted Internet marketing? Rather than drone on about our incomparable passion and superhero creative powers, we'd much rather hear about your project.

"Thank you, thank you for everything you're doing for us."
"The guy before you, it was like dragging around a limp noodle. You nailed it on the first try."
"With your creativity and imagination, you set a new standard which is going to be very hard to match."
"Wow, that's an awful lot of image for a small company."
"I love that site, it's one of the best I've ever seen. In fact I think it might be the best."
"The thing is, it's not just the design - it's written so damn well!"
"Nothing we accomplished this year would have been possible without that website."
"Congratulations, it's beautiful, Jim, like everything you do."
"Jim, everybody knows that everything you touch turns to gold."

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