What is structured data and what effect does it have on SEO?

What is structured data?

Structured data, also called structured data in Persian, is translated as structured information in some Iranian sites, and in some articles, structured data is called rich data markup and semantic markup. HTML markup language was created to specify different page elements such as image, paragraph, table, article, book, movie, even cooking instructions, and و to tell browsers what to do in which part of the page. to be displayed. These tags, while sufficient for browsers, did not work well for search engines, and search engines such as Google did not respond to such data, confusing large chunks of data in the net, and search engines were unable to do so. To be able to make the most of all the data available on websites, to solve this vital problem, data structures were created with a variety of different standards, and data structures created this awareness for search engines with different standards. If it sounds a bit complicated, please wait and read the rest of the article to make it easier to understand.

Structured data is data that helps search engines like Google get a better view of the content of a page of the site. Many standards have already been created for data structure, by which we can optimally provide information about a movie, article, book, cooking recipe, and more to search engines.

Site searches have been done for a long time to find keywords, but using Structured Data standards, search engines can be helped to understand what real web pages are and from keyword-based web to object objects. Some of you friends may find this article difficult to understand, but I suggest you follow the rest of the article to easily understand this issue.

After this training you should be able to:

Understand the meaning of the term Structured Data and how search engines use Structured Data to tag words and information.
Understand some of the key Structured Data standards that currently exist
Understand how search engines and intelligent bots use Structured Data to enrich search
Understand how Structured Data is effective in increasing a site’s ranking in Google and how its structure works in a new and intelligent way.
As Internet users, almost all of us have searched for keywords. For many years, search engines like Google have indexed the data and information of a site pages by analyzing keywords on each page. Among other factors, when a page contains the keyword you are searching for, the search engine will rank that page based on the search results of others.


From web-based keywords to web objects

Using only keywords on pages for search engines to understand the content of the page can be incredibly restrictive and miss other opportunities to use the data. The use of structured data in web pages is an example of Berners-Lee’s semantic web dream that, in addition to humans, machines are allowed to understand the knowledge on the web.

Note: Do not confuse the word web of things with the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things usually refers to the connection of electronic devices to each other via the Web. This definition does not include placing structured data on web pages.


Consider a normal page like this. The search engine usually makes decisions about the contents of the page by looking at the words on the page. For example, when a search engine encounters this page, it may encounter terms such as Structured Data.

Creating an understandable context of the data on the pages can create a good understanding for the search engine and for them this issue is very important. So words within the page alone can not determine the contents of the page for the search engine. What exactly do we mean?

Here are some examples of things you might see on regular pages:

  • Person (name, profile picture, contact information)
  • Places like businesses, cities or parks
  • Events (list of events, including time and place of the event)
  • Products (such as what we sell or products we are interested in that include price and image)

Articles on various topics
The search engine can not automatically extract this data and turn it into usable information for users by looking at a list of words on the page. Paragraphs for search engines do not have enough structured data and need a context to show additional data (remember, a search engine is a machine and not a human).

Structured Data helps search engines extract textual data from web pages by providing tools and standards. Now, in addition to the keywords and keywords on the pages, we can use the indexes, places, events, products and things on the sites page in the search engine results in an optimized way.

The question may arise as to how effective this change of approach is in disseminating information on the Web. In this tutorial, we will look at some of the possibilities of using Structured Data.

Remember: Search engines like Google cannot extract structured data from sites and web pages without help. Structured Data standards give us tools to mark data in a machine that can be read.


Examples of Structured Data Uses

It does not take much effort to use Structured Data standards on web pages. Here are some examples of using Structured Data.

You may have noticed that in recent years, when you search for a celebrity or a place, it not only displays a list of related pages, but also shows a separate piece of information in detail in the same SERP. For example, we do a Google search for the popular Mary Poppins movie. You will see that in addition to the titles of the pages that match the search term, they display some useful information (in this example, the rating of the video by users on the IMDB website).

The user rating for this video is data that is on the Mary Poppins page and is also recognizable to the search engine because it is placed on the page in the form of Structured Data. Now I have a question for you, if a site without a star and another site with a star appear in search results, which one will be more attractive to you? Definitely with asterisk, structured backlinks have a significant impact on SEO and increase click-through rates in search results

Note: Google is not the only search engine that uses rich snippet. Other search engines, such as Bing, also display small, key information through structured data.


Knowledge Graphs

Search engines like Google and Bing are increasingly building a Knowledge Graph from the Structured Data found. For some searches, you can see the Knowledge Graphs (sometimes called the Information Box) on the right side of the results page. If you want more information about Knowledge Graphs, read the article What is Knowledge Graphs

As an example, we do a search for the play of the famous English author William Shakespeare, on the right you can see a collection of data about William Shakespeare. This data is listed in the form of Google Knowledge Graph.

Google is not the only search engine that builds Knowledge Graph. Microsoft, for example, has a Knowledge Graph called Satori.
Of course, there are many uses for Structured Data, two of which we mentioned above. In the rich answers article, we covered each of the Structured Data used in the Google search engine.


Structured Data Standards

How can data be published in such a way that search engines can detect the fine data on the page? For this purpose, we use Structured Data.

In this tutorial, we will not go into the details of Structured Data standards, but Structured Data is usually embedded in the HTML code of pages. We will examine this issue in a practice-oriented way in the next tutorial.

Structured Data standards are always emerging, but some key phrases and sentences in this field are repeated over and over again, including:

Types of Structured Data

  • RDFa
  • Microformats
  • Microdata

This article is over. In the next sessions we will learn more about the types of Structured Data and how to use it, you should now understand the following concepts:

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