Companies put a heavy emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO), as they should. However, in the last two years, a new practice has come into play that requires a bit more technicality: microformats.
What Are Microformats?
Microformats are a schematic markup that you place on your website in order to improve organic search listings and lift overall website traffic. In other words, microformats are lines of HTML code that give search engines more information about the content found on your website.
Microformats create rich snippets in Google that provide users with valuable information on things like business location, hours and event times among others. We’ve all seen these rich snippets, you just may not have known how search engines found these listings.
In 2011, Google, Bing and Yahoo! got together to collaborate on a project known as Schema.org. The idea was simple: create microformats for structured data that will communicate across all search engines. The project was a success, and seven years later, web developers continue to use these microformats to communicate with search engine crawlers.
Do Microformats Help My SEO?
The short answer: yes, microformats will help your SEO. A better question though, is how and why do they help your SEO?
For Google to index your website or blog post into their search engine, they instruct the Googlebot to crawl your webpage. The Googlebot uses the headings, content, imaging, internal and external links to create a logical order of how valuable your content is. From here, Google dances to introduce your new piece of content into the search engine results page (SERP). However, the Googlebot in this case is only relying on the HTML headings, paragraph and alt tags to find out this information.
With the introduction of microformats and schema markups, Googlebot now has more information to crawl on. Done correctly, your microformats can introduce more content and provide data on the description of the article, who wrote the article, who published the article, the website URL and more – thus producing more value to a Google user, which is the main search criteria for the Googlebot.
Microformats are changing the way search engines index content. Moreover, microformats are also the way voice control systems like Google Home and Alexa are finding data for their users. Microformats not only help your SEO in the short term, but they will also be the way your company is found in the future.