Structured Data and SEO

This is the first post of a project that I have taken a long time defining in my head. In it we will talk about the relationship between Structured Data and SEO and how to make your site more semantic.

This blog I will write about a subject I am passionate about: THE SEMANTICSEO.
Here I will write articles and posts about my research, opinions and findings on the most advanced website optimization, the one that uses the studies in semantics, Artificial Intelligence, Ontologies, Connected Data and Data-driven Results Analysis.
And in this first post I’m going to do about:

Here I will write articles and posts about my research, opinions and findings on the most advanced website optimization, the one that uses the studies in semantics, Artificial Intelligence, Ontologies, Connected Data and Data-driven Results Analysis.

And in this first post I’m going to do about:

The role of structured data in SEO

Before we start talking about a change that has altered the way we search for information on the web and had a profound impact on the work of SEO: Google‘s change from a search tool to an answer platform.

From keywords to entities

I don’t want to talk again about the history of Googlehow he made the transition between a mechanism that put thousands of blue links together in a page for a platform that uses artificial intelligence deep learning, combining search open machine learning with system engineering and computation on a large scale to generate answers to all the questions in the world.

In the previous scenario, when search engines delivered a page with 10 links at a time, the importance of having the right words, on the right pages was huge. Get the word ratio right and get to the first places. Even without delivering good content to people.

That has changed.

Today the content you create needs a lot more to show up in searches, and in addition, keep people on your site. And this is where the substitutes for keywords come in: entities.

Today’s search engines are dependent, so to speak, on structured data markup schemes to show rich snippets in their search results. It may seem easy to tag any kind of data, but most of the tagging is limited to a few types of content, such as recipes, physical businesses, articles, videos, and others.

What is an entity and its relation to SEO?

In the Semantic Web, an entity is the “thing” described in a document.

The relationship between Structured Data and SEO

An entity helps computers understand everything you know about a person, an organization or a place mentioned in an online document. All these facts are organized into statements known as triples, expressed in the form of:

  • Subject;
  • Predicate;
  • Object.

For those who work with copywriting, you know what I am talking about; in fact, a child in school learns about this in Portuguese classes: Subject, Predicate, and Object.

These 3 elements together in a sentence give us the context, show us what is happening, give us meaning. In other words, they are semantic!


What is Semantics?

Source: ETIM fr. semantique, from gr. * sēmantikḗ fem. substv. from sēmantikós,ḗ,ón ‘which indicates, which means’

feminine noun

  1. LINGUISTICS: the synchronic or diachronic study of meaning as part of natural language systems.
  2. LINGUISTIC: In a linguistic system, the component of the meaning of words and the interpretation of sentences and statements.
  3. PHILOSOPHY LOGIC: Abstract theory of signification or the relation between signs and their referents (as opposed to syntax and pragmatics), and constituting with these a semiotics.
  4. PHILOLOGY: the science that studies the evolution of the meaning of words and other symbols that serve human communication.

This is where data structuring comes in.

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On the web, data can be thought of as any piece of content that you put online, whether on your website, application, or platform.

The data can be the names of your products or services, your headquarters, your managers and your departments, in short, everything related to your business.
And the key word is this: relationship.

Structured and related data

The relationship between the data you put online is just as important as the data itself. Without describing the relationship between their headquarters and the managers of each, how useful would this information be?

Google does not examine searches related to your pages, looking for information about a certain person, place or thing, but it also queries the information already recorded and analyzes the structured data associated with the page, executing queries based on this data.

But how can you use structured data in your digital projects?

This means that by using semantic markup of structured data in your online projects you help search engines understand what you are saying and how it relates to the questions people ask, greatly increasing the chance that you are the source for the results.

Once you start structuring your data by using Schema( you start working with relational layers of meaning to that content.

The studies done by the SEO community related to semantic studies found that Google brings much more traffic on long-tail keywords to sites on many different pages, but which were not being seen in Google.

This could indicate that something had changed, that Google was tracking something other than the text written on the pages of your site.

Add structured data to your projects

Adding structured data to your pages to identify them is something that anyone can do. How easy this process is will depend on the content manager you use for your projects.
If you don’t use any you will need to rely on a professional who specializes in data markup (an SEO with this knowledge is the best choice).

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You have to seek balance in the use of structured data to your projects. But we will talk about the relationship between structured data and semantic field in another post.

It is really a temptation to put more and more information on a page, turning it into a kind of repository about everything related to a certain subject.
But this adds unnecessary complexity, both for the people who read what you are writing and for the algorithms that try to understand your content.

You may want to include information, more information on your pages about entities related to your business, but remember that you need to manage your structured data, in a really precise way, without getting off the main subject you are talking about.

What I am saying is that you need to plan your use of structured data like you plan your content.

If you put emphasis on one aspect of content, then you must also make the appropriate markup for it.

Something that is relevant to the business should also be taken into consideration when structuring the page. The semantic value of your content is related to the semantic field in which your business is inserted.

SEO is strategic thinking that must be aligned with your business goals.


Alexander Rodrigues Silva

Alexander Rodrigues Silva

Consultor SEO

Especialista SEO, consultor internacional SEO e autor do livro SEO Semântico: Fluxo de trabalho semântico. Sou um defensor da Web Semântica e Bibliotecário em formação, com mais de 20 anos de experiência no Digital. Trabalho com Search Engine Optimization desde 2009, sempre buscando alinhar a experiência do usuário a estratégias como Marketing de Conteúdo, otimizando o investimento em SEO.

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