Structured data markup is a web content annotation system used by Google to show search results in a prettier way. You can accomplish this in a couple of ways. One way is by implementing what is generally known as “rich snippets“.
So, imagine how surprised I was when I discovered that my blog hasn’t got these things! I tested it with the Google structured data tester and the verdict was final.
So… where have my rich snippets gone?
Some time ago I changed my theme and I’m currently using OptimizePress theme. They are awesome when it comes to marketing pages, but not quite so with the blogging part. Fortunately, OptimizePress 2 comes in two flavors: theme and plugin.
The plugin version is cool because it runs on top of ANY blog theme. It’s like having two separate themes on a single WordPress installation.
The reason why I’m saying that OP theme is not so cool is because it is not very rich in customization possibilities, but the most important thing, it has no rich snippets support!
Regarding SEO I was relying on “Yoast SEO” plugin, which is cool, but it doesn’t cover rich snippets for posts and pages, unfortunately; it only partially implements Schema. By design, Yoast is relying mostly on the theme’s implementation for that. I’ve been using Yoast for a very long time, but today, when I figured out that Schema.org metadata is missing I decided to try other possibilities.
My solution (for now)
After testing almost a dozen plugins I stumbled upon a little known free plugin, “Add Meta Tags“, which covers almost everything you need, including what Yoast used to cover. Like Yoast, it adds various meta tags, like description, OpenGraph, Twitter and Facebook specific, can do tag rewriting and other SEO enhancements, in a word anything needed for smooth social sharing. In addition, it implements Schema.org metadata for the content, which is crucial for the rich snippets implementation.
With this plugin I gained a piece of the puzzle, but lost others. One thing that was missing was the canonical URL tag. OK, not a big deal, this should be simple enough to implement, and I found this plugin, “Canonical SEO Content Syndication WordPress Plugin” that’s doing just this. You can even change the default canonical URL at post or page level.
Another feature that wasn’t covered by my new solution is XML sitemaps. For this I simply installed one of the most popular one, “Google XML Sitemaps“, that is doing it’s job just fine.
To sum up, I implemented schema.org metadata to my pages and posts by replacing one plugin, “Yoast SEO” with three others:
This way I replicated the previous functionality and added a new one. The only thing that I definitely lost is the ability to analyse the post content from SEO point of view, but I think I can live with that, I wasn’t using it anyway.
I know, there are many themes out there having built-in Schema.org implementation, but for the time being this solution is working for me.
It would be interesting to see what impact will have this on the organic traffic, and most importantly, on Google SERPs, don’t you think?
Please comment and tell me what SEO/OpenGraph/Schema.org plugins are you using, and most importantly, why. What do you consider to be the most important features of such a plugin (or plugin combination)?