How important is Schema markup to SEO?” Schema markup is a hidden code that you put on a web page or website that basically gives meta-information about that page to the search engine. For example, if you have a company or organization, it would mark up that organization, saying, here is the company name, logo, address, hours, business description, etc. If it is a product, it would say, “here is the product, the SKU, price, availability or unavailability of stock, etc.”
There is Schema markup for specific things such as events, products, and places, and it can take the form of ratings and reviews. The reviews that you see on web sites are aggregate ratings, which is schema markup. Now, how important is it? Well, schema markup is nice to have and many WordPress themes include it. In fact, you can also use something like Yoast SEO to include the schema markup about your organization. Other plugins such as WooCommerce also include schema data about products.
While you still see results on the first page of Google all of the time without schema markup, they are becoming increasingly less. In fact, the majority of websites seem to have schema data already embedded in them and most sites on the first page of Google, in the top 10 or 20 results, seem to have schema markup. However, it doesn’t mean that you will not rank if you don’t have a schema markup on your site. Again, this just gives Google a little bit of extra information about that page.
You might be able to have your site display extra information in the search results if you include schema markup for specific things. For events or products for example, if you have a mechanism for collecting reviews on those pages, schema can help aggregate the ratings for that page, and that data can be displayed in the search engine results page (SERPS).
All in all, schema data is probably most important for products and events. But there are certain types of services where it can be beneficial too. However, keep in mind, it doesn’t mean that ranking your website on the first page of Google is impossible without schema markup. In fact, there are tens of thousands of sites that rank without any type of schema markup at all. Many WordPress themes claim that they are SEO friendly because they include schema markup, but that is just data about the website itself, and not about the organization, any products, services, or events that are part of your website content. That data can be provided by additional plugins.
If you want to test your website to determine if it has structured Data, or whether it has schema markup, or Microformats, or any other type of structured data that Google recognizes, search for “structured data testing tool”. This is a Google tool that lets you run any web address and any URL and shows you exactly what structured data schema markup, or microformats that page contains. If you are not familiar with how to do this, you may want to get an audit from a SEO company to help you out.
To sum up, a schema is one of the dozens of variables that are part of the overall ranking equation. Schema alone is not going to help rank your website but combined correctly with other variables it can only help. Having just a little bit more data you are feeding the search engine can help you inch out your competition. However, it cannot be the basis for ranking or not ranking in Google. As long as Google understands what this page is about, then the absence of schema markup or other structured data may not have any effect at all.
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