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I was wondering if it was worth the effort of adding Schema.org markup to an existing local business website when it seems to me that Google already know most (if not all!) of the information I am marking up.

In the case of a local dentist Google already know:

  • Name
  • Opening hours
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • The fact that it is a dentist
  • I've added the logo at Google My Business

What's the point in adding more markup?

EDIT:

I probably should have stated what my concerns are:

  1. Misunderstanding of the schema.org markup specification. There appear to be many questions on this website alone about it.
  2. Making genuine syntax mistakes in the additional HTML markup.
  3. Adding more markup complicates the HTML.
  4. The additional knowledge that site editors need.
  5. Will a CMS's WYSIWYG play nicely with the markup?
  6. Keeping up with changes to the Schema.org specification.

I could really mess up Google's knowledge of my business if I make a mistake. So why take the risk when those smart Google algorithms do all this for me.

  • When you say "it seems", do you mean that this data is displayed in the Knowledge Graph sidebar? – unor Jun 21 '16 at 19:10
  • Yes, as well as info from Google Search Console and Google My Business. – vegemite4me Jun 21 '16 at 19:16
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    I think your question could be shortened to "What is the benefit of Schema.org markup for Google" and the answer wouldn't change much: "Pretty much no value" – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 21 '16 at 19:17
4

There is no boost in SERP placement as a result of using mark-up with one round-about exception. I will explain.

A page has mark-up and a search query makes a match against that page. Simply because the matched page has mark-up, one cannot assume there is a boost in SERP placement. That is not how it works and an overly simplistic view. There is no metric and/or algorithm that will boost a pages placement simply because a page has mark-up.

However, answers from the knowledge graph can influence trust for the match over others and early search query algorithms may place any match found from the knowledge graph over others. Mark-up is not necessarily a requirement for the knowledge graph since the knowledge graph predates mark-up, however, it is a tool for trusting the data from content. One requirement for inclusion into the knowledge graph is that the data is verifiable/corroborated in more than one trusted place. Please keep in mind that this is extremely early in the search query process. What has to be remembered is that are quite a few algorithms that influence SERP placement and can ultimately remove entries from the SERPs including filters that effect SERP level penalties. So again, mark-up in of itself does not influence SERP placement, however, matches from the knowledge graph that may be a result of mark-up may influence placement.

Pure and simple, mark-up is not available to all websites. For example, there is (last I looked anyway) no mark-up for whois and other network information. There are other examples primarily in the data presentation market. Mark-up is targeted to sites that can benefit most such as e-commerce, business, organizations, etc.

Be that as it may, mark-up is still a good idea. Mark-up is intended to communicate data directly to search engines in a way that can easily be understood without having to parsing pages. Parsers are difficult to write and can fail from time to time due to unseen exceptions. While Google has gotten it right for a long time without mark-up, mistakes are still made. I saw a few just yesterday! Mark-up is your opportunity to be unambiguous. It is wise to take the opportunity even if it does not appear to be needed.

  • Example: <span>President</span> This carries no identifying information about what that word is for. Schema markup can identify that as a title for a company officer. – Rob Jun 22 '16 at 12:55
  • @Rob Your example underestimates Googles ability to understand content somewhat. Google has had the ability to understand content extremely well without mark-up, however, I do take your point and updated my answer to reflect what you are trying to say. Cheers!! – closetnoc Jun 22 '16 at 17:16
  • My point was that markup gives a better understanding of the content when it's not obvious. – Rob Jun 22 '16 at 20:49
  • @Rob I gotcha! And I appreciate it. Cheers!! – closetnoc Jun 22 '16 at 22:08
0

It not only allows Google to know, but virtually all search engines to know what information you're providing. Google uses this for its "cards" when you make a search. You're basically specifying exactly what the information is that you're passing on to the search engine so there's no confusion on what is what. Google will favor you in search rankings if you do this.

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    Can you cite a source that says Google will favor you in their search results? I do not believe this to be the case. – John Conde Jun 21 '16 at 19:37
  • Google already knows all this information and is showing it. And the only other search engine is Bing, which also knows as I've added the info in Bing Places. Coding for any other search engine is not worth the time, sadly. – vegemite4me Jun 21 '16 at 20:56
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    "Only other search engine is Bing." Yes, Bing and Google control the market, but there are other search engines. I for one use duckduckgo, and while I'm sure if you optimize for Bing and Google, other search engines will find your content well enough, lets at least remember that there are others. You never know when your next important client or sale is not using Bing or Google. – CZorio Jun 21 '16 at 22:37

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