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SEO Services & RDFa Work Together

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Posted by Dave Lauretti on January 25, 2010

As WebProNews released an article outlining the benefits RDFa can have on SEO services the debate surrounding the RDFa is beginning to settle down as it is becoming more obvious each day that RDFa and SEO services go hand in hand.

Living and working in the Toronto GTA area to Burlington and watching many web design companies come out of the wood-work over the years; web design companies offering what they claim as SEO services and even working for a few of them myself, I’ve become slightly dismayed at the current state of SEO potentially being depicted as a pseudo web design service.

I’ve seen spam tactics being performed on customers while claiming they are a part of SEO service. I’ve seen article writing services (which when launched correctly and ethically substantially increase traffic and search rankings) being offered to clients who are paying top dollar for articles about their product or services written by 17 year old students who have absolutely know experience in those products or services and have no formal background in writing or marketing. We won’t be exposing these SEO companies just yet as this isn’t the time and this isn’t the forum.

The awareness that quite a few web development companies in Burlington and the  Toronto GTA area in general are simply winging it when it comes to SEO services, compels me to want to give them a primer on RDFa but since I didn’t write the primer I will provide a simple overview of how the RDFa is being used in the search results.

RDFa and Rich Snippts

RDFa or Rich Snippets in the search results isn’t a mystery. You’ve probably seen them in action and simply don’t remember. The following pictures are clear examples of both Google and Yahoo’s usage of RDFa. The rich snippets are highlighted in red. It has been observed by several sources that rich snippets in a companie’s search result listing can substantially increase click-through rates not to mention build consumer loyalty.

Google's Search Results With Rich Snippets

Yahoo's Search Results With Rich Snippets

The search that was performed to obtain these results was ‘cnet, ipod‘. As you can see both Google and Yahoo are reading RDFa markup. I would like to point out the rich snippet elements in the search result examples above.

a. the star rating
b. the number of reviews (with Yahoo)
c. The name of the reviewer
d. the date of the review
e. The price range of the product

Another area where rich snippets and through RDFa can be useful is in searches for movies. The following data can be displayed just underneath the title of the search results:

a. the movie running time
b. release date
c. movie rating
d. cinemas being played

Google has recently provided a means of searching for images based on license type. Using RDFa with your images allows the search bots know what licenses you are making your own images available under.

The following are some examples of the type of data that can be displayed. It is obvious that search marketers and SEOs will be utilizing this ability for themselves and their clients.

Personal Contact Information
Affiliation / Organization
Street Address
Locality (City)
Post Code
Title / Role

Business Contact Information
Organization Name
Street Address
Locality (City)
Post Code

Product Information
Product Description
Product Name
Product URL

So if you offer SEO services remember one important fact: eventually your customers are going to notice these rich snippets in the search results and most likely as you how their listing in the search engines can be enhanced in such a way. That is one reason why working the RDFa into your web documents is important and getting your head around how to implement RDFa as soon as possible.

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