What Is Schema and Why is it Important?

Technical SEO

Written byWayne Walker

June 8, 2023

Schema markup (also called schema or sometimes just structured data) is coding that allows for the creation of enhanced descriptions that appear in search results.

Schema allows you to optimize your website so search engines can read your site and provide more informative results for searchers.

Since only 30% of pages use Schema.org to markup their pages, Schema markup is also one of the best ways you can use to stand out from your competitors in search results. That’s why you want to use structured data for SEO.

Schema is recognized (and in fact the vocabulary is maintained) by Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex.

Structured data not only helps search engines crawl and index information, but it also helps the algorithms understand what they are reading.

Why Schema Is Important To SEO

Google uses the schema markup on your page to create rich snippets in search results, which provide users with information such as reviews or product information that make them more likely to click to your site.

The organic results below illustrate the difference between a result without a rich snippet and one with.

The top result is from a page with rich snippets (from a ratings Schema).

Google understands 32 types of schema including Article, Book, Breadcrumb, Course, Event, FAQ, How-to, Q&A, Video and more.

Some examples of information displayed in different types of Schema snippets are:

  • Products — Ratings, picture and price range
  • Events — Event, date, location, time (future events only)
  • Local business — Location and customer review
  • Author — Author photo, name and link to other articles/works
  • Recipe — Photo, recipe, rating and time to complete the dish
    Video — Video image with play button and time

Rich No Rich Snippets

What Is The Difference Between Schema Markup and Structured Data?

Schema markup is often used synonymously with structured data, however, there is a slight difference between the two:

Structured data is any code within your HTML that provides hints that lets search engines understand and classify page content, as well as information about the publisher’s entity.

Schema markup is structured data that has a standardized set of defined values and classes.
Schema markup, as a standardized structured data vocabulary, is the result of Schema.org, a joint effort between Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex.

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