A recent Google study by Searchmetrics.com revealed that "more than 33.3% of Google search results take into account Schema.org rich snippets. However, only a small fraction of websites are actively utilizing rich data markup."
This information was released at the end of March 2014 is is based on Google's U.S. search data. In the study, more than 500,000 web domains and tens of thousands of keywords were examined.
Further, the study revealed that 36.6% of Google's search results incorporate a minimum of one snippet with information obtained from Schema.org. The highest integrations were noted in various types of offers and movies at 21% and 27% respectively. These are followed closely by product and TV series tying up in the third position.
Schema.org is a joint effort by Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo to improve Web search by providing a structured data markup Schema that is braced by all major search engines. On page data markup helps search engines understand data and information on webpages making it easier to provide users with richer results.
Further, a Shared markup vocabulary makes it possible for webmasters to establish a suitable markup schema, and reap optimal benefits from their efforts. Few Domains Using Schema Markup
Regardless of high prevalence of rich snippets in Google search results (note that Yandex, Bing and Yahoo also use snippets from Schema.org but they were not sampled in the study), the study showed that only 0.3 percent of the domains were using markup codes on their websites.
In the words of Google CEO, "this is shocking since many domains are generated using structured data and which is mostly stored in databases. With this data formatted in HTML, it becomes very hard to decode it into the original structured information. Search engines benefit directly from immediate access to structured data. It enables them to quickly understand the information on the web page, and offer users high value results. As such, websites using snippets from Schema are ranked favorable. It is a great SEO strategy that we should adopt."
The study also revealed that large sites (particularly those invested in ecommerce and enterprise-level SEO) are more likely to utilize Schema markup. However, the study did not defined what makes a website large or small. This leaves the long pending dilemma on whether small websites may benefit from taking advantage of the rich snippet opportunity unresolved. Many people have argued that Schema markup codes are for big websites.
However, the bottom line as revealed in the study is that snippets are a valuable component in SEO. If you are not already using Schema markup, you are missing a lot. I recommend you get started today. 33.3% of your competitors are already in it.continue...
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