So, Google’s John Mueller made a very big announcement a few days ago. He provided us with an insight into the search engine’s mind. If you’re like me, then this announcement will surely be an eye opener. John Mueller revealed that Google might consider structured markup in their ranking algorithm.
His exact words were:
“So, I think in the long run, it will definitely make sense to use structured data where you see that as being reasonable on the web site.”
If you recall, Google has repeatedly stated in the past that webmasters can add structured data, but it will not affect how their page ranks on Google. Could it be possible that Google now is considering structured data as a valuable tool to help it rank pages better?
If John Muller is to be believed, they are, but possibly in the future. If I were you, I would closely take what he said into account because when it does become official, you will say, “Been there, done that.”
Now, you will tell me that he’s giving mixed messages, which he does. Just look at this statement:
“I wouldn’t assume that using structured data markup will make your site jump up in rankings automatically. So, we try to distinguish between a site that has done technically well and a site that actually has good content.”
Friends, it means you need to have a combination of the two, structured markup and rich content. Google’s goal has always been to present users with the most relevant content. I wouldn’t want to search the name of a car and get results of an animal with the same name.
I want relevant content to show up in my search results and so do you. Google’s aim is to make our search experience better, which is why they focus on keywords, rich content, and rich snippets, but now, they have thrown structured markup into the mix.
Why Structured Markup? Why the Confusion?
Don’t you see what I see; the big dog of search engines is struggling to meet its goal. How did I see that point? Why would Mueller even hint at including structured markup into its algorithm rating in the future, if there wasn’t a chance of it actually happening?
Remember, they have adamantly said a countless times that structured markup will not help your rankings. So, why hint at adding structured markup into their line-up? Well, I like to think that they are struggling…a little bit to rank pages.
Hence, structured markup is becoming a reality down the line, which means you will have to get with the game plan and add it to your site if you want to rank better in the SERP (search engine results page) and increase your average CTR (click-through rate).
When you add structured markup to your site’s HTML, Google will generate that information in the search results. From your site, it will grab rich snippets to display above the Meta description.
Let’s say, you are looking for a particular restaurant. When the results come up, its name will not be the only thing you see. You will also see additional information such as stars, pricing, and hours. When you implement structured markup, it will display a richer snippet.
Google already displays a snippet of your website in the search results, but when you structure it, you will manually tell Google to display this, that is, your chosen snippet in the results.
Right now, Google is generating your snippets from stored databases. When you include structured markup, you are helping Google gain a better understanding of your site, your services, your location, your product, and more.
I will leave you with this and you can make your decision on whether to use structured markup or forgo it. Indirectly, structured markup can increase your site’s CTR, if not ranking. If you use the right kind of markup, your ranking as well as CTR can increase.
Google may not use it as part of their ranking algorithm, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Structured markup will give you indirect gains, and I think that is what Mueller is trying to tell us.
Kyle Gustin is the President of Executive SEO Inc., a Search Engine Optimization company based out of Winnipeg, Canada.