Schema.org Announces Action Schemas

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You may be hearing a lot of chatter around the term “semantic search”. So what is it and how can it help benefit your website?

Simply put, “schemas” are html tags that are used to help markup data on a website so that the information is more clear to the search engines, hence the aforementioned “semantic search”. Some common schemas include events, organizations, persons, places, products, offers and reviews. As a result of this additional markup, the search engines are able to produce more relevant listings in the SERPs (search engine results pages), creating an overall better user experience. Schema.org is the the most widely accepted (by Google, Bing and Yahoo!) shared vocabulary source.

Schema.org recently announced a new type of structured data called “Actions”. Like other types of schemas, this new vocabulary also describes data but more importantly, allows users to take action on the data, as well.

There are a couple of different types of Actions that are currently defined in Schema.org:

  • Go-To Actions - can be an RSVP Action via email (that’s tied to an Event schema), can also be a Gmail Check-In
  • In-App Actions - handled inside Gmail and don’t take users away from the site

Schema.org has been around since June of 2011 and websites are already starting to incorporate semantic markup so why is this new Actions schema a big deal? It’s a significant addition to the schema collection because it’s the first type of markup that is actionable which helps merge the online and the offline world into one. Whether the Actions schema applies to your industry or not, you want to make sure your website contains some type of semantic markup to ensure that you get an edge up on your online competitors.

Banner image courtesy of Flickr user Pleuntje