Google, Yahoo and Bing have agreed to use a universal markup system to help improve search results.

The solution is to create a universal schema to help webmasters get the most bang for their buck. Given the fact that there are 50 million websites that use WordPress as their website platform, you would think that adding schema data would be easy.

Not so. Let me explain why and give you some solutions if you want to use schema markup to help improve your search results.

Why use Schema data?

People will come to your website and most likely, instantly recognize what your page is about. But search engines are limited in their ability to understand context. For instance, let's say that you have a camera website and a searcher is searching for cameras.

Websites that use schema markup can help the searcher find exactly what they are looking for by placing tags into their pages.

The same thing can apply to a variety of content oriented websites as well, such as recipes, as well as a host of other things.

How to build Schema microdata for your website

The nerdy way to build schema microdata is to take a series of itemized <div>'s and place directly into the html of your page. The div's will give the search engine clues as to what the page is about. The more information you give, the better the search engines can understand the page. To view the list of div's available, you can go to schema.org.

That's the nerdy way.

There is an easier way to do this though.  There is a schema creator created by Raven Tools which allows you to create and format the data so that it is as easy as copying and pasting it into your page.

Schema and WordPress

If you are using the WordPress platform, you need to do some additional steps because WordPress has a problem with microdata. The nerdy reason has to do with WordPress outputting microformatting markup in the ul_list_comments. That's geek speak for the two different markup languages don't play well together.

The result  is that WordPress strips the microdata from the page. Until wordpress fixes this issue, you will have to choose a workaround.

There are two solutions to this problem:

  1. Disable the visual editor (or place markup in the HTML editor and then publish without moving back to visual).- This is a workaround. The downside to this is if you decide to go back and re-edit the post after the fact, you will have to re-input the data.
  2. Use a plug-in that will do this for you- There are two. One is stand alone called schema for wordpress. The other is an SEO plugin (which you can disable everything but what you need) called SEO Ultimate.

Note that I have no relation to either of these plug-ins so use at your own risk.