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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

On 11:53 AM by Roderick Allan Baylon
Microformats

What are Microformats?

 Microformats, according to Microformats.org, are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. Instead of throwing away what works today, microformats intend to solve simpler problems first by adapting to current behaviors and usage patterns (e.g. XHTML, blogging).


Rich Snippets

What are Rich Snippets?

Rich Snippets, according to Google, are detailed information intended to help users with specific queries. For example, the snippet for a restaurant might show the average review and price range; the snippet for a recipe page might show the total preparation time, a photo, and the recipe’s review rating; and the snippet for a music album could list songs along with a link to play each song. These rich snippets help users recognize when your site is relevant to their search, and may result in more clicks to your pages.


OK that's enough geekspeak. =)

How can Microformats help in SEO? If you are not familiar with Rich Snippets, Google designed Rich Snippets to summarize the content of a page in a way that makes it even easier for users to understand what the page is about. Rich Snippets are available in Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Rich Snippets - Reviews
Rich Snippets - Reviews
The example above shows a rich snippet for a hotel review.  The snippet brings attention to the site whenever it's listed in the Google's search results.  If you compare it with other site listings, user's attention is brought to the site stands out because of the stars and high ratings.

Google Search Results with Rich Snippet
Google Search Results

The Rich Snippets gives more detailed information about a site and provides higher click-thru rates according to studies.

So how are these Rich Snippets implemented?

Microformat will be the your next best friend. Microformats are simple codes that you can use to identify specific kinds of data,  like products, people or events, in your web pages.

Google currently only supports six (6) major Microformat types. These are:
  1. hcard – Marking up business card / profile info
  2. hReview – Individual user reviews
  3. hReview-aggregate – A summary of hReviews
  4. hProduct – Marking up products, prices, and all product-related things
  5. hCalendar – Event dates and appointments
  6. hRecipe –  Marking up recipes and their ingredients

hCard

hCard is a simple, open format for publishing people, companies, organizations on the web.

Microformats - hCard (Profile)
hCard - Profile

Microformats - hCard (Organization)
hCard - Organization


hReview 

hReview is a simple, open, distributed format, suitable for embedding reviews (of products, services, businesses, events, etc.).
Microformats - hReview-aggregate - Movie
hReview - Movie


hReview-aggregate

hReview-aggregate is a format for embedding review information (of products, services, businesses, etc). Whereas hReview is intended for an individual review, hReview-aggregate is meant for summary information about a collection of user or critic reviews about an item.

Microformats - hReview-aggregate (Restaurant)
hreview-aggregate - Restaurant

hProduct

hProduct is a microformat suitable for publishing and embedding product data.

Microformats - hProduct (Acme Anvil)
hProduct - Acme Anvil

hCalendar 


hCalendar is a simple, open format for publishing events on the web.

Microformats - hCalendar (Conference)
hCalendar - Conference
hRecipe

hRecipe is a simple, open, distributed format, suitable for embedding information about recipes for cooking.

Microformats - hRecipe (Pommes Frites)
hRecipe - Pommes Frites

 
Use the Google Webmaster Tool's Structured Data Testing Tool / Rich Snippet Tool to test your Microformat markups.  This tool tests for your site markup's validity.  It returns errors and offers suggestions on how to fix these errors.

Microformats may not improve your site's keyword rankings but by adding these markups you improve your site's click-thru rates which indirectly informs your site's importance to Google.  More click-thrus means more prospects which could ultimately lead to more sales.

More power to your businesses and have a blessed Merry Christmas!