Microdata and Joomla!

in Uncategorized, Development, RSSeo!, Templates on 13 Mar 2015 having 0

Microdata or rich snippets were introduced back in 2009, as a way of helping search engines describe and understand the content is being indexed and thus displayed in search results.

Joomla! and Microdata

Yes, ok, but how does this affect me, the Google searcher ? Simple: less time spent on search pages, more time on the actual content, more exposure.

Microdata


Microdata is the term used to describe structured data markup that developers can add to their existing HTML, which in turn allow search engines to better understand what information is contained on each web page. Below you can see examples of how the search results look like when microdata is used.

Click the picture below and browse through a gallery of screenshots that we found relevant:

The microdata version of the results far outclasses the simple, boring text result, users will be more inclined to access the improved version of the search result.

Microdata, or structured data markup, can be used on the following content types

  • Reviews
  • People
  • Products
  • Businesses & Organisations
  • Recipes
  • Events
  • Music
  • Video Content

There are three different markup specifications currently recognised by the major search engines:

  • Microdata
  • Microformats
  • RDFa

...with Microdata being the most widely supported in terms of annotations, specifically the schema from Schema.org.

About schema.org


Schema.org is an initiative launched on 2 June 2011 by Bing, Google, Yahoo! and by the Russian search engine : Yandex to "create and support a common set of schemas for structured data markup on web pages". The initial announcement is a very good source to better understand why this was started.

schema.org is also based on structured data, using the microdata markup format and a vocabulary that is shared by all the search engines that supports a wide variety of item types and properties. You can refer to the Official Schema.org site for all the information required to understand the different item types and their available properties.

So, if I use microdata will my site rank higher ? Most reports will tell you that no, microdata will not increase your site ranking directly, but it might help you increase the overall click through rate that, in turn can lead to improved ranking.

Microdata in Joomla!


Starting with version 3.3, microdata actually found its way in the Joomla core output. At this time, this is limited to the output of the articles (com_content) and the contact persons (com_contact). The microdata syntax is hardcoded in the HTML, and there are no ways to configure this in either Global Configuration or on an article or menu level (probably switches will become available to toggle this on or off later).

You can improve the rich snippets/microdata from your Joomla! site pages through several methods:

  • Template overrides


    First you will need to identify the specific item type your page describes and use the correct properties, you can view a full types list on the schema.org site.After the properties are identified you will only need to add the properties to your HTML elements.

  • The use of 3rd party plugins


    The official Joomla! Extensions Directory contains numerous plugins that were specifically designed to help you add/control rich snippets in your content.

  • Add the item properties directly in the content


    You can add the item properties directly in the article body or in the description of certain component elements. These need to allow the use of HTML code.

    Example:

     
    <div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">
      <span itemprop="name">FIFA 15 Ultimate Team - Android Apps on Google Play</span>
      <div itemprop="aggregateRating" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/AggregateRating">
        <span itemprop="ratingValue">4.5</span> stars – based on
        <span itemprop="reviewCount">2,627,320</span> reviews
      </div>
    </div>
     

CONCLUSION


Use it on your own and with the use of 3rd party extensions that are designed for this task! You need to benefit from every possible mechanism to gain an advantage from your competitors.

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