Semantic Data – Making Search Engine Friendly Websites

The internet grows faster and faster each day. For many, it is the main medium to connect the world. Because of much the internet grows,  we have to sift through more and more to find what we want. The way we find  information has also changed and likewise the way we create website must change. More users now rely on digital assistants (Siri, Amazon Alexa and Cortana ) to sift through the internet for them. Businesses have to evolve and have websites that are not only visually appealing but are also semantic as this article will explain. Website should now be designed to be

First, let us get some of the big words out of the way.

Semantic: Having meaning.

Semantic Data – Put simply this is data that machines (computers) can understand.

What is Structured Data?

By Google’s definition structured data is:

A standard format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content; for example, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on.

Although search engines like Google and Bing are getting better and better, they are not good at telling what a website is about. AI is getting better each day however it is still hard search engines to understand webpages at the moment. Furthermore, similar content may refer to entirely different things.  For example, if you created a website about “Orange”, it could refer to the color, a place, the fruit or even more things. Structured data is a standard method of specifying exactly what the website is about.

Them most widely accepted form of structured data can be is documented on Schema.org. It was founded by Google, Microsoft and Yandex to create, maintain and promote schema for structured data on the internet.

An example of such data for our organisation:

Why is it important for websites to be more semantic?

One reason is that the way people find information is always changing . An example of this in are price-checking websites which crawl through different websites for similar products. The data on most major e-commerce sites is semantic. The data is standard and as a result easy to compare. The important thing to note is that users did not actually go to all the sites whose prices they saw. People find a lot information on others websites in this way.

Another example is when some user digital assistants (voice or otherwise).

gif of Siri going through numerous semantic content

“Hey Siri, whow me something new”

What happens afterwards is very much like a web search. After which she will return data on nearby restaurants. Services such as Siri understand semantic data therefore they can tell users about it.

 

 

Tools

Structured Data Testing Tool – For testing Structured Data on a Website.

Additional Reading:

If you would like to dive deeper into structured data and make  use of it, here is some recommended reading material.

Introduction to Structured Data – Google Developers.

Schema.org – Schema Documentation and Website.

Finally, we will also be adding a couple more articles ourselves right here.