The Google Research blog is an interesting place. Lately they have noticed something about Schema. It is evolving.
What is Schema?
Schema was developed in 2011. It was a joint effort between the three biggest Search Engines of the time (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) to create a common language used in data mark-up so sites that optimised for one Search Engine were not found to detriment on another.
Thus Schema was born, a universal mark-up language, popularised by Google but used across all three Search Engines. Schema soon became a useful resource for web developers and SEOs looking to add mark-up to their pages so that all Search Engines could read them clearer. Although SEO for all three is fairly different, Schema created a common ground ensuring some form of quality control across all three Search Engines.
According to a recent study almost 1/3 of all sites that can be crawled now have Schema. This is a dramatic increase on last year when only around 1/5 of websites did. This is due to webmasters and SEOs using White-Hat techniques to do the best by their clients or for their websites. This is something especially true amongst challenger brands, where uptake has been the slowest.
So what is Schema: Phase 2?
The Schema evolution involves further development behind the uses of Schema. At the moment it is used for things like ratings, Social Media, specific locations, and even for things like related people. Now it is being developed further, not so much by Google but by the webmasters who control it.
Schema is now being developed to be able to dig deeper into information. The idea is that Schema could play a large part in machine learning, understanding geographic locations and events, and even understanding things like menus.
Specific dates for when this will roll out are currently unknown, but it is certain to be soon. It is worth webmasters keeping an eye on the Schema blog to watch for version 2.3 or version 3. If what Google says is to be believed, then this is going to be big. It will be important for both market leaders and challenger brands to make amends to their site.
To find out more about Schema please click here.
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