Lesson 16: What is structured data – SEO for beginners training
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Lesson 16: What is structured data – SEO for beginners training

Hey, we’re going to be talking
about structured data. What is structured data? Well, structured data is a piece of code which gives the search engines
additional information about your page. It basically gives them more information
about your page than they would otherwise understand. So Google uses it to better understand
the contents of a page, and it uses it to create rich results. Let’s try an example, because structured data is a term
that really drives me off and it probably does you too. Let’s talk about a recipe. As humans, we can make sense
of a recipe immediately. We’ve known what recipes looks like,
we’ve seen thousands of them in books, online, and everywhere. We can make sense of them. When we look at a recipe like this, we immediately know
what all these numbers mean and what they represent,
what they mean to us. But a search engine is basically
a very dumb thing, so we have to give him the metadata
to look at that and realize, “Okay, what does that all really mean?” So what extra information
do we need to tell the search engines? Well, we need to tell it that this is a name,
this is the description, this is for how many people we’re cooking,
what the cooking time is, and all these other things. These things make sense to us, but they don’t to a search engine if we
don’t add structured data to our markup. With that structured data we basically use
a piece of code to tell to Google: “Hey Google, this number represents
cooking time, and this number here represents calories”. And we do this in a markup language
called JSON-LD. There have been several formats
to do this kind of structured data, and JSON-LD is relatively new,
but it’s the easiest way to do this because it’s completely separated from all the markup and design
of your page. And then we use a database
called Schema.org for the structured data itself. Schema.org defines all these pieces
of structured data, it defines what a recipe should look like and
which entities are within a recipe. So, let’s see what this looks like in code. We have a blob here,
that shows you basically a script tag. A JSON-LD blob is basically
a Javascript object blob of content. And then we give it specific pieces. The first line tells us:
“hey this is a Schema.org based markup”. Then: “this is a recipe”. And then we give it all the things
below that: “it’s made by Jamie Oliver,
it’ll take you 4 hours to cook (which means I’ll never cook it,
because I don’t have that long), and it contains 420 calories (which seems not too much
if it takes 4 hours to cook)”. And then at the end,
there’s the “/script” and that closes it off. As you can see this is completely separate
from all the other markup on the page. So there’s a couple of takeaways
that you should remember after this video. First of all, structured data
is a piece of code which provides Google and other search
engines with extra information. You should use that structured data
to enable Google to display rich results, and you provide the structured data
in a markup language called JSON-LD. You can find all the structured data types
in an online database, that’s actually maintained
by all the search engines, called Schema.org. That’s it, good luck.


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