Bing’s Senior Product Manager, Duane Forrester, published a post on the Bing Webmaster Blog today vouching for the importance of Schema markup. For those unfamiliar, Schema is a markup language that website owners can use to help Bing, Google, and Yahoo better understand and identify content.
Duane admits using Schema requires a modicum of familiarity with website code, as it is something that needs to be done inside the code of a page. Though there are WordPress plugins available to help with that, just as there are plugins available to help with SEO coding.
Ultimately it’s worth doing, Duane says, as it helps provide a richer search experience. When it comes to rankings, Duane clears up some confusion by saying Schema does not directly lead to one site out ranking another because it used Schema markup and the other site didn’t.
The real, measurable benefit of Schema is higher click-through rates, Duane explains:
When we enable rich experiences in our SERPs, often powered by data which has been marked up, however, click rates on that content often outpace tradition CTRs. The benefits of this are obvious.
Duane goes on to further explain why Schema is important by illustrating how search has evolved. It’s no longer just typing a query into a search box, the search experience has extended to apps, voice search, and so on. Search engines are more like ‘data engines’, and with Schema markup you can help add to a search engine’s dataset. More data leads to more accurate results for searchers.
The bottom line here is this. If you’re marked up, and we enable a rich search experience, the opportunity for inclusion is much greater.
Having a deep understanding of content across the Web is more important than ever, Duane says, and marking up your content is how you can help with that.
For more information about Schema, I highly recommend this interview with Marcus Tober of Searchmetrics