Micro data is a way to tag content in your website as machine readable data. This data is used by Google to learn specific information about your product, service, organization, event, blog post, and much more. This can be read by any service, not just google. Your website is being read by machines that are looking for this data - give it to them. Incorporating micro data into your website will result in more accurate indexing of your data by search engines and other services and will often include this data right in the search results as rich snippets.
Common Examples of How Micro Data Should be used:
Micro Data for your Business or Organization
Your business information can be passed in your website as micro data to google. There are many different data values you can include, but some of the most common would include:
- Business Name
- Business Type (there are many special designations)
- Hours of Operation
- Payment Methods accepted
- Map coordinates
- Photo of your business
- Customer Reviews
In this example, we can see how microdata is in use by the Google search results for a search of wine tours, paso robles. The paid ads are in the darkened area (and they're paying big bucks to be there), microdata is highlighted in the yellow areas. Uncorked Wine Tours passes micro data to google in it's webpage that includes the fact that it is a local business, their name, their reviews, a google + page url, full address and phone number. Not only are they at the top of organic search results, but this information is also displayed directly in the search results!
Additional microdata passed in your website can be used in a variety of ways. If google or some other web service knows your location, price, name, and hours of operation, a mobile search (with a mobile search your approximate location is known) for your type of service may yield a search result that lets the user know not just your name and website address, but that they're only a few miles away and open now!
Micro Data for Your Event, Concert, Convention, Trade Show
If you have an event to promote, this is one of the top uses of micro data. You can specify a start date, end date, times, location, performer, and more!
Many uses of micro data can get a bit complex and involve several layers. Say, for example, you have a county fair. First, the Fair itself is an organization (from our example above) but it's also an event. The fair as an event is then classified as the "superevent" and the variety of concerts and entertainment during the fair would be considered "subevents". Each subevent - in this case a specific category for music event exists along with music venue - would have it's own set of attributes to identify the name, start time, etc. Each subevent would contain have a performer and each performer would then have their own set of attributes to identify their name, website address, etc. We can also incorporate "offer" data to show the ticket price and website address to buy the ticket.
In this example, a search for live music in San Francisco shows a site near the top of the results with specific concerts displayed right in the search results. This is made possible because they pass the specific show information as micro data and the shows are occuring in the future. Even though this site was in the 8th position on the page, the specific listings really make it stand out.
View how they incorportate their micro data.
In this example,
Wholey's passes their organization name, product, price, image and product url as micro data. This information is shown in the Google search results above the highly competetive paid ads.
These examples are really just scratching the surface of what you can and should be doing with micro data. You can also indicate micro data for your services, articles, images, creative works (audio, video). As you can see from the examples above, Google is making use of the micro data it has available in a variety of ways, but it appears most sites aren't using it at all. There is a very large list of factors that contribute to your website search engine ranking. Adding micro data may not be the magic bullet to lauch you to the top of search results, but it will help Google clearly understand who you are, what you offer and how people can get it, and that can do nothing but help.
Please contact us for a quote to include micro data in your website.