Semantic SEO is a fairly new Web marketing tactic that combines search engine optimization and semantic Web technology. Semantic SEO includes a focus on artificial intelligence to understand a user’s intent (i.e., the meaning of the query) in addition to the reliance on text, keywords and links in search algorithms. I wrote before about using structured markup in How Retailers Can Improve Product Visibility Using Structured Markup.

A couple weeks ago in E-Commerce SEO Using Just Got A Lot More Granular, Aaron Bradley wrote that Google had integrated e-commerce schemas from GoodRelations into, explaining how that impacts and benefits retailers by significantly increasing “the number of classes and properties available for e-commerce websites.”

Importance Of Structured Data

That means now, more than ever before, it’s important for retailers to put a renewed focus on the vocabularies and syntax for structured data. As explained, above, structured data sends detailed information about the meaning of your webpage content to the search engines and other data consumers in a way that can be easily processed by computers.

While there are dozens of vocabularies available, there are only two that predominantly affect retail. The most important is the GoodRelations ontology, followed by the Open Graph protocol. Henceforth, we will focus on GoodRelations.

The two most popular syntaxes are RDFa, used in the GoodRelations ontology, and Microdata, used in the hierarchy.

Vocabularies and syntax for structured data can be summed up as semantic markup.

Semantic SEO involves the injection of semantic markup into webpages to enhance the meaning of your domain and your pages so they can be easily processed by machines, e.g., computers. As a result, these machines permit search engines to provide users with better answers to their queries.

I’ve been recommending GoodRelations ontology for retail since early 2010 and believe it’s now mandatory to include Semantic SEO as an SEO best practice, and here’s why.

Bill Connard, Rio SEO Senior Director Product Development says, “When applying these important automated local SEO techniques to local search focus, you can expect to dominate and achieve multiple page-one positions in the SERPs.” To get top results for clients, Bill is injecting [Place] and [Local Business] Microdata on all client websites.


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