Today was SEMPO’s (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) fall event hosted at the Hubspot offices in the gorgeous Davenport building in Cambridge, MA. The topic of discussion was the evolution of search and how major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! are trying to create more targeted search engine results by improving their methods of categorization.
One of the interesting topics the presenters talked about was how search engines are going to the next level by making better categories for words with more than one meaning. Sherwood Stranieri, the founder of Skypromote SEO, cleverly broke down one of the major concepts into laymen terms: when a website includes a word like Avatar this could have two meanings 1) Avatar the film or 2) avatar the profile photo found on blog sites. Search engines are working to make better distinctions from these words in order to categorize them more effectively in search results.
This year Google, Bing, and Yahoo! introduced a new standard for writing the programming language HTML so search engines can more accurately categorize website content. This new standard of HTML incorporates additional tags that distinguish between Avatar the movie versus the avatar one uses as their blog profile photo. These tags help identify names of events, people, professions, titles, etc. Schema.org put it best:
“Your web pages have an underlying meaning that people understand when they read the web pages. But search engines have a limited understanding of what is being discussed on those pages. By adding additional tags to the HTML of your web pages—tags that say, “Hey search engine, this information describes this specific movie, or place, or person, or video”—you can help search engines and other applications better understand your content and display it in a useful, relevant way. Microdata is a set of tags, introduced with HTML5, that allows you to do this.”
How does this relate to marketing and SEO?
Using these new HTML tags will help websites categorize content so they show up in the right places within search engine results. If a website is writing about Avatar the film then using the HTML tag to this information will increase the chances of the site showing up in results related to Avatar the film. This might lessen the chances of the site being miss-categorized among search results related to avatar profile photos.
As a blogger, I’m curious to see how CMS WordPress will incorporate these new HTML tags. It looks as though third parties such as Schemaforwordpress.com are already creating plugins to help bloggers add tags without knowing HTML code. It will be interesting to see how companies adapt and what new tools will develop as a result of this change.
In order to learn more about Schema.org’s new HTML tags and how they relate to SEO, check out these sites: