Rich Snippets for Ecommerce: Schema.org and GoodRelations

You may have noticed some search results seem to get a bit of extra search engine love – star ratings, prices, stock information, and even breadcrumbs.

Ever wonder what’s their secret?

These sites have taken advantage of semantic markup read by search engines that exposes additional information about page content. A set of conventional vocabulary, or “schema” has been developed and evangelized by Schema.org, and GoodRelations has added a vocabulary for ecommerce sites.

Google calls enhanced search listings “rich snippets,” which benefit websites by standing out more, which may drive more traffic. Though using semantic markup will not give you a ranking boost directly, if click through improves, rankings may also improve, as search engines want to reward sites that attract clicks.

Let’s take a closer look at the tools:

Schema.org

Schema.org is a joint initiative between Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, who have teamed up to support the vocabulary. The vocab is quite deep – a full list can be found here.

GoodRelations

GoodRelations is a set of vocabulary for product, price and company data that fills the gaps for ecommerce not covered by Schema.org. For example: product types, shipping options, payment methods, eligible countries, etc. E-tailers like Sears, Overstock and Best Buy are already taking advantage of it.

Productontology.org

Productontology extends Schema.org and GoodRelations’ standards for ecommerce markup by supporting over 300,000 product type identifiers. So long as the product tag has a corresponding Wikipedia page, it can be used. It can also be used with the Facebook Open Graph Protocol, and can translate to 100 languages.

After adding semantic markup to your HTML, be sure to preview it with Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool, and submit your site to Google for review. It could take a month for your rich snippets to appear, and Google reserves the right to display your markup in search results at all. If you find after several weeks your rich snippets are still not appearing, submit a request for Google to review.

Right now, semantic markup is highly under-utilized, so it’s a great opportunity to explore its use to have a competitive advantage over other pages in search.


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