Schema & SEO: Beyond Blue Links
There are over 100+ slides in Dr. Pete Meyers’ deck, “Beyond 10 Blue Links: The Future of Ranking” that show where Google’s search landscape used to be, how it has changed, and where it’s headed. Dr. Pete concludes with some time-old sagely advice that can be summarized by saying we may be wise to focus our attention first on designing with the user in mind instead of ranking tactics.
Now I’m admittedly a big fan of Dr. Pete and believe this to be yet another great example of the quality content he continuously delivers. That said, I believe there is plenty more that can be taken away from the 100+ slides prior to his conclusion. In my opinion the slides building up to the conclusion reveal the significance of SEO strategies in taking advantage of these search engine results page (SERP) changes.
Companies with strategies that revolve solely around moving their blue links to number one are really missing out! I’d love to see someone put together a deck that compares each different strategy that revolves around SERP changes. For example, what was the lift of adding video markup, compared to the lift from adding a G+ brand page, compared to schema X,Y, and Z, and so on, on through each tactic.
The reality is that results are really going to vary by industry.
Recently, I discussed this further with a good friend who said, “I think it all depends on the vertical you’re in and the product/service you sell. If I was blogging for a local business such as a restaurant I would focus on local schema, rating and review schema, G+ brand, and rel=’author.’” Larger brand sites may require different strategies depending on the product and services the site is offering. If your website is devoid of video, for example, video markup would be irrelevant. This would obviously change if your company decides to get into hosted video in the future.
As SEO folks it’s our job to think these things out on a case-by-case and site-by-site basis and to help our teams prioritize accordingly. Although I am all for designing with the user in mind, let’s not forget there is also a huge arsenal of SEO strategies that can really bring those designs to life in more ways than one.