SEARCH TALK LIVE PODCAST
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FUTURE OF SCHEMA MARKUP
Robert O’Haver: [00:00:14] All right welcome back to search talk live. I’m your host Robert O’ Haver along with me is Matt Weber. Matt how’s it going.
Matt Weber: [00:00:20] Hey I’m doing fantastic and really excited to be back behind the microphone again.
Robert O’Haver: [00:00:25] Matt you sent me an email last week from Search Engine Land about the top five podcasts that John Mueller listens to.
Matt Weber: [00:00:33] Yeah. What a shout out that was.
Robert O’Haver: [00:00:36] No kidding right.
Robert O’Haver: [00:00:37] Those of you who don’t know who John Mueller is he is the Google Webmaster trends analyst. He put all this together of his top five we were number three.
Matt Weber: [00:00:46] So yeah. Yeah. Talk about one of the most listened to voices that Google John and he says Hey what are the top five most influential podcasts about search. And here we are number three.
Robert O’Haver: [00:00:57] Thank you John. I know you’re probably going to listen to this episodes I definitely want to give you your shout out.
Matt Weber: [00:01:03] And for everybody else listening you made a great choice.
Robert O’Haver: [00:01:07] Exactly.
Robert O’Haver: [00:01:08] So the other thing I want to mention if you have questions during the show you can do hashtag search talk live. Our guest will be happy to answer any questions you have or if it’s something for us we can answer with be sure if you are interested in being a guest on the show I’m starting to book now and the books are pretty quick. I was when we were running consistently every week I was probably four months out at any given time. So yeah we’d love to have you submit your information the best way to do it is submit three topics something that we haven’t talked about recently on the show that you feel would be valuable to our listeners.
Matt Weber: [00:01:50] It’s all about Robert. Today’s show is really valuable because today we’re going to go a little bit deep aren’t we have a word to talk about a part of search that we don’t often get to explore but it’s becoming more and more important as different devices become a more important part of our life.
Robert O’Haver: [00:02:07] Yeah absolutely. And we’re really going to be talking about guys today. Our guest. I met her. We spent some time together it was amazing she’s she knows her stuff. She’s well-known in the industry for schema. She is the CEO of Schema App with us today is Martha Van Berkel.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:02:29] Great I’m so happy to be here. Thanks Robert and Matt at that. My favorite thing to do is to talk schema markup strategy and know nothing better to do on and I’m lukewarm Canadian.
Robert O’Haver: [00:02:42] That’s right you’re in Canada. So the people that don’t know who you are want to give us your background tell us a little bit about yourself.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:02:50] sure So I’m the CEO of Schema app and schema app really we’re trying to unleash the power structure data and empower digital marketers to do Schema markup at scale without having to be coders without having to wait for a developer as a IT. And we’re just constantly trying to disrupt how digital marketers can embrace this new kind of language of search engines and voice while also getting additional strategic data for their company. I actually am ISO conservers off relatively new to the search world because I grew up at Cisco so I spent 14 years at Cisco Systems the big networking company leading strategy there. In the online tools and sort of self-service and automation. So I’m not actually maybe that far from what I’ve always done and love to do which is sort of look at how you help people do things in an automated smart strategic way but it’s sort of new in this industry and so it’s sad. The last five years has been great to just understand the who’s who and sort of how we can add value.
Robert O’Haver: [00:03:53] Yeah. And I want to touch on this a little bit more in the show but I do want to I want to talk about the biggest thing that I think is huge about your company is the fact that you do it at scale it’s a you know a giant e-commerce site or a large fortune for a company with billions of pages. This is something you guys can tackle quite easily.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:04:15] Absolutely. Yeah we you know we’re we’re sort of all about you know how do we help one digital marketer optimize hundreds or thousands of millions of pages like in a day. So you know it sort of shocks some people actually. One guy we’re showing what we do today because we use like Google tag manager in ways that sort of really take out the developer. He was like I can’t believe that just worked. And he was seeing his Schema markup live. So yeah we’re we’re we’re in the business of helping really complex complex Web sites do this really really powerful search engine marketing at scale.
Matt Weber: [00:04:51] For some of the listeners of the show who haven’t had a chance yet to really embrace schema.
Matt Weber: [00:04:56] Can you give them kind of a quick 20000 foot view of what is schema.
Matt Weber: [00:05:00] What role does a play in search.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:05:02] Sure so often how I describe it is as how we experience it as consumers. So when we’re searching for that brand new pair of shoes I’ve been looking at just as recently when you go to the search engine results and look an organic search there’s extra information that directly there.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:05:16] So whether it be stars or prices or images and that information is basically pulled by Google by code behind the scenes on the Web site. And that code is called schema markup. And what it does is the code explains exactly what the content of that page is and I use the word explicit often but also like so that Google can truly understand that content and rewards you where some of those those great results and it goes much deeper than we’re like. The code if they truly understand it plays an even more important role in voice since there’s only one answer in voice. But I often call Schema markup like the language of machines of the language. The search engines. And it’s a it’s a global standard that was created by Google Yahoo. Bing and Yandex Yandex being the Russian search engine back in 2011. So it’s not that new. And it really derives from like Symantec Technologies which is the idea of having to classify and structure information for kind of absolute or explicit understanding. And I laugh because aften say you know it was really great. The search engines did this and therefore they put the burden on all of us as digital marketers to help them do their job better and make money and said We’re and we’re seeing the use cases sort of expand beyond Google Now to Facebook Amazon even apples. Now kind of getting in and the voice playing so that’s how I have to talk about as like the language of search engines and you know it’s implemented through code and it’s really just translating it just like you translate from English or French but into this language of search engines.
[00:06:47] You know I really like the way that you explained it you know how the cold branches in to the categories and all that stuff.
[00:06:55] Yeah the connectedness. Yes. Very very long ago actually. So I was I was talking to Dan bricklayer recently at Google and you know kind of collided a bunch of times on Twitter and so my co-founder and I sort of had a phone call with him and one of the things he told me he was like You know I really love people to understand the difference between writing code on a page first as creating a knowledge graph and so would a knowledge graph is some people know it as like the feature in search. But really it’s actually like what makes Google work.
[00:07:26] So it’s the ability for you to sort of connect the dots if you think of like a visual of like how our brain neurons are connected. It can go from like Martha’s the CEO of schema schema is based out of wealth. Wealth is a city in Ontario Ontario is a province in Canada and Canada used to be related to the queen and so you know like the Queen and Martha are obviously like have a connection because we can kind of go through that connecting connectedness and says schema markup based sort of you then sort of describing how you relate to other things in your own content as well as other things on the web therefore sort of taking control of how you’re actually defining your brand and how your brand is then and I’m being understood. And what’s really interesting is that like if you think of a Web site know that could be as simple as like defining your organisation and maybe the locations are sub organisations and those organisations have specific products or offers that they offer those offers are part of a product family or maybe they offer a service and that service is part of an area or a city offered in a specific city and that city is defined in Wikipedia and therefore again you’re using definitions on the Web to be explicit about how all those things are connected. And when we connect those things that’s really where the power of schema markup comes from. Because all of a sudden all of our information is structured and related and now we’re managing our brand for machines instead of just like managing our website.
Matt Weber: [00:08:56] It’s really really right. Exactly. Yes.
Matt Weber: [00:09:01] He talks a lot about the depth of schema and I think a lot of the folks listening to the show have been exposed to schema because they’ve put schema about their address and maybe schema about maybe the author is on the blog. But the connectivity of it and the depth of it is really where the value of schema markup lies. Is that correct.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:09:22] That’s right. It’s where we see like these deeper like these deeper sort of answer engines right. Like wanting to ask questions where they sort of like need to know that you know the semantics of the question or the context of the question. And so when you explain that you’re a law firm and you’re specifically a criminal law firm firm that serves the Houston area you know you know that helps answer like well who is criminal on Houston and says You think of certain types of questions people are asking or the type of services they’re asking from the information providing that deeper web of explanation or of understanding is going to result in more quality results.
Robert O’Haver: [00:10:06] That’s well said. Let’s look at it from the other side. What does Google think about the go across the site and it’s so well structured to understand those relationships. It is a win win situation.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:10:20] So like we’re helping them do their job. But I think there are some really good evidence of like how Google feels about it. You know outside of conversations I’ve had with them said one is like all of their online search documentations developers at Google.com it all talks about markup right.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:10:37] They have like your basic SEO guide.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:10:39] But like all their other documentation mostly talks about like their features and things that they want to do in and we’re also then seeing like just this week they announce the speakable schema markup which is basically where you can tag a portion of your content that is basically like the speakable answer to a topic related to a topic. And I love this one because like they’re actually documenting new features around voice but because it’s also like a very strong indicator that this is a big play in the voice space and Amazon’s done the same thing like in their in their skills around local business. They reference Schema markup as sort of where they’re getting some of that intelligence. And so I would say like Google like Google we’re helping them right. They’re being very clear as to what they’re expecting.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:11:26] They’re part of writing the standards so the schema markup standard actually tells you all the things they might want to know about like for example a public toilet which is like asking my daughter a class. And so you can also use that to then say like well what should I be talking about right. Think about content strategy. And I think we’re just seeing them continue to double down. Google Lens was like a big focus of this year’s Google IO.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:11:50] And you know Google Google Lens is sort of augmented reality kind of version interview I did with Steve McBeath who was the executive sponsor from Microsoft when they first founded schema.org. He was very articulate to say you know Microsoft they are using schemas to connect the virtual world with the real world so that you know what those things are that you’re seeing. And so. So here we go from like hey it’s helping your search engine optimization it’s helping you sort of show up and be understood in voice. And now we’re helping connecting with augmented reality through these sort of things that aren’t out there right. Being Google Lens etc.
Matt Weber: [00:12:30] Let’s let’s take it from a business owner perspective imagine there’s a business owner and he’s got two web development proposals on his desk and one of them includes Schema markup and it’s 25 percent more expensive than the one that doesn’t have Schema markup and he’s trying to figure out how he’s going to put more money back in my pocket. How do I justify the cost. What would you tell them.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:12:52] Absolutely. So we’re seeing from our customer base that when you have Schema markup done properly that you think there is evidence as well.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:13:01] We get the rich snippets you get higher click through rate but we’re also seeing it go continue through that customer journey where were seeing not only getting a higher click through rate but the people who are clicking I would say higher quality traffic and therefore they’re more engaged with the content on your Web site and they’re more likely to convert or actually contact you. And we’re seeing this sort of across different verticals not just sort of like another typical e-commerce space. And so I would say sort of it’s an investment not only in you know do you need quality traffic does the web play a critical role in your business and depending on the type of business they have they may they may sort of vary on on that sort of area like how important it is but it’s also a piece of like how important is it is it that you know they get more leads that are coming directly from the Web site without additional work in the way I also look as if you’re going to invest that first 75 percent to build content and to like update your branding and do social media.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:14:00] Why not make sure that everything that you’re building is also then future proofed for not just like being under set and getting that quality traffic but for other things that might consume them. And so often I find it depends on how forward thinking the business owner is as to whether they’ll make that investment now or later as as one data point that that’s been really interesting in November of this past year so 2017 Gary ilish from Google finally stood on stage stage and said in 2016 if you do anything like make sure you’re looking at structure data and it was the first time he’s been as explicit as that about sort of telling people that this is something that’s not going away and then they repeated it again in March. So it’s been something Google is now becoming very vocal about and I think it’s because it helps them. Does that answer your question.
Matt Weber: [00:14:48] MATT Yeah it does. And also I think Google’s made an investment in their data highlighter in search console. Is that representative of their belief that this is an important topic.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:15:01] You know like my conversations with Google around tools is kind of interesting because like especially with the Google people I’ve talked to in Canada like they’re like well we don’t really invest like the minimum viable product for things to help you with organic search because that’s not where they make money. So I would say like it’s them sort of throwing a bone to say like good luck we want you to adopt this. But I you know and I think search console like we need evidence that they see it and understand it and that sort of encourage it. But I do think like in my conversations with Guha at Google who is the founder of schema.org or like I do think that there is they’re getting feedback we’ve been giving it and others are giving it that like today is so relatively hard like unless you have schema app. It’s actually relatively hard to do at scale and maintain. In fact most people as Bill just don’t maintain it because they see it as like I mean engaged developer once and I never want to go through that pain again. And so this is like one of those things that I think Google invested in it and we might see them actually making bolder moves to show that. But I wouldn’t say that the search console and data highlight are sort of strong indicators of that. I think more the you know we saw 55 updates to schema.org. And to the Google features in 2017 and we’ve seen like continuously quarterly updates to the features and new betas coming out. To me that’s a better indicator that there is here to stay.
Matt Weber: [00:16:23] Gotcha.
Matt Weber: [00:16:23] Good insight told us for our listeners the connection between rich answers and rich snippets.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:16:32] And I’m going to have to mention this AEO thing that we’ve been talking about. So the answer is in search to me answers in search are almost like that. That first step toward the voice. Right. Like it’s sort of like owning the entire experience on the web and sort of giving you the information you need. And I find answers in search really interesting from two standpoints one because it plays as an entrepreneur I’m now always thinking like how do they make money. Like why is this why is this in Google’s best interest. Well if you get your answer in search like you continue to see the ads right where there’ll be display ads or other pieces and say like you’re never leaving that search experience. So from a kind of point of view from Google it’s like I think they’re doing it because they want to earn that customer experience. And we’re seeing that from you know the enhanced experience around searching for flights. Now like How disruptive is Expedia and these other aggregator sites or like job markets. And then the other thing that I think answers are sort of a precursor for is you know it sort of supports the idea that like is your Web site required. And I say that because I’ve always had this hypothesis that like we’re going to move into a time where we all consume information through our Google Lens through our phone through our car through our fridge that maybe I won’t have to go to a Web site anymore. Right. I mean to get the information through that I often call it the modality or the channel that I want that suits me and then be able to make my decisions based on information presented to me. And that’s very disruptive and I don’t think that’s around the corner about Guha I google it I had like you and I were in agreement. My co-founder was like I don’t know like he’s still in a data container so we were having a great debate on that. But I think like answers and search sort of show us that direction it’s like support of us like we’re losing control of the customer experience and Google’s now owning that game. Now the question you asked me was the difference between it and rich results. Rich Rich results are very documented that schema markup directly can influence what rich results are their answers are a bit more nebulous.
[00:18:37] So we like to say that if they understand better they have more confidence to give an answer whether that be in search or invoice but there is no documented proof that schema markup itself is going to guarantee or sort ofheavily contribute to getting that answer. You know the structure of the content whether you have a question and answer we really like questions answer give markup because you’re being explicit at that. Hey this question is a question is this answer the entire speakable schema markup with that it becomes really powerful. So that would be sort of like the context between the two. One is providing an answer based on understanding. And so I assume that they’re using schema markup to help enhance that understanding but there’s no documentation that says that skin markup directly impacts it but.
Matt Weber: [00:19:23] That thunder that you heard was all the web developers listen to the show and you see the stakes in the future.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:19:30] Oh yeah. Well we’ve said we’re talking about the future of giving markup right and I wouldn’t be a strategist if I didn’t put out some things that people disagreed with. So my co-founder and I disagree with it. So it’s why I think it’s a fun topic.
Matt Weber: [00:19:42] It really is an interesting theory. You know when you talk about how many devices there are connected to the Internet and how fast that’s exploding the number of devices that there could be a day when we get our information from our refrigerator from our phone from our Google home. And that’s just the way it is. That’s the way we ingested instead of getting it from a vehicle like a Web site.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:20:05] Well think of it today like how do you how do you call a business like do actually go to the business side. Or do you go to Google my business and click on the call button. Right. Right. So like we say like we’re really far away from this but I think if we look at our behavior you know we’re we’re actually not that far right. Like I was I’m speaking at Tech retail in London England and so I’ve been looking for hotels and flights and so forth. And like I’ve maybe been to one hotel site I’ve mostly been you know going through other means of consuming that information making bookings and interacting flights as well like Google told me like did that comparison for me. So things can be very disruptive. There’s still going to be some areas like information we want to consume. But when we think about like are we going to be free. You know we used to read books and newspapers but like when was the last time you had a newspaper delivered to your house.
Matt Weber: [00:20:54] I’m gonna confess and say for me about eight hours ago I can show you a conversation that I had with one of my clients who don’t call tracking phone numbers and he said no no no no I can’t I can’t use call tracking because I don’t want my customers to see a different phone number in case they store that phone number they write it down and call me again. And I asked him I said you know who memorize a phone number anymore. Who does he write that whatever we need the business we use our device to get a hold of the business we don’t use information that way anymore. And he was having a little bit of difficulty with that concept.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:21:31] Well it’s the whole phone like when your phone breaks or you lose your phone. You’re actually like not that upset about losing your phone. But you actually like really hope here storing your contacts online so that they don’t they don’t die with the sim.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:21:42] Right. And I think like we’re seeing Yeah I could go on like similar disruption and like even how he is applications right. We used to have those on our computer and markup and everything’s in the cloud now. So there’s I think there’s a lot going on in disruption with a Schema markup is foundation to talk about managing your brand machines. Oh we didn’t talk about a oh I got to mention that so someone someone from Sam asked me to be on a webinar this weekend. You’re like you want to talk about a show and you know I’ll just be Martha Martha honest right like I was like What the hell’s AEO this thing. And it’s answer engine optimization was the words that they were using and I said Oh that’s that’s fascinating. Like I was like Is that not just like a semantic search marketing like we’re understanding in that context. But again most people don’t understand the semantic tech space right where this all came from and you know I talk about like managing your brand for machines and so it’s like they’re like what the new term are sort of trying out. So maybe I’ll put it out to you and Matt and listener is around like what do we think about this answer engine optimization.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:22:46] And does it capture as sort of the evolution of search engine like I used machine because I’m like you know I really think it’s more than just search voice and coming from Cisco like the Internet of Things is just like you know pounding down the back of my head going on like how are these other things going to understand information and context. What do we think.
Matt Weber: [00:23:04] Yeah I think you’ve just given us a great opportunity to look smarter at parties. We can just ask people hey what do you think about you.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:23:13] Yeah. Or is there a better term to explain. I don’t know yet but I’m going to try it out.
Matt Weber: [00:23:18] Prior to the show if you asked me what do I think about AEO I would have said I think I got their last album they sound pretty good.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:23:25] Though.
Robert O’Haver: [00:23:27] I think they’re just trying to stop using the term search engine optimization.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:23:33] Yeah and I’m all for that because I think search is limiting in the view that a digital marketer needs to think about this right. Like I think we do need to think about well I talk about brand management right. Like what happens to your brand of all these things are owning the customer experience. If you’re just thinking about how your Web site looks and how the content is there you know. So to me that’s like the big change of you know the role of the digital marketing is changing to where we have to manage the context of our data and how it’s being consumed and not just how you know what the look of our brand is and how that where that content lives. And I think that’s a really big change for most digital marketers especially those in the technical SEO side now.
Robert O’Haver: [00:24:17] Guys we have to take a break a quick hold those thoughts. George lives bonds with Major Robert Bohmer family of company Jugo Robert bovver company’s companies dot com for more information on the true value of your home when you log on. Value com.
[00:24:34] Get your questions on Twitter by page search nonliving your question. Now back to you.
Robert O’Haver: [00:24:41] All right. We’re back now that I could sit here for hours and have these conversations with you. It’s fine right. We’re told we go mad. Did you want to add to that.
Matt Weber: [00:24:54] No but I did want to move in a in a mildly different direction and talk a little bit about whether schema can help paid search marketers. What role does schema play for them.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:25:05] Yes. So I wish I had a deeper answer for this. Matt So maybe I’ll be homework for me. So we’ve I’ve talked to a couple googlers actually on this topic where they kept being like yes like we’re using it in ads like there’s an opportunity there. And and we’ve dug into it a little bit but we haven’t seen sort of like direct correlation I should say look I’m not a paper he said right like I’m about to make a T-shirt that says like 100 percent organic. I’m a schema girl all right. I I don’t I don’t pay for ads I earn it through you know being the best content that’s well understood. And so they said that there’s correlation. I don’t have great evidence for it but I think it’s an opportunity that we should explore since there’s already so much budget that goes into paid that how do we make it work faster. What I often talk about people around paid is like wouldn’t it be great if you also invested a portion of that into organics so that you’re actually getting sustainable results from organic search so that you’re not Cassani having to pay. And if you can get a rich result or get you know you know broader rich rich results in all these different you know formations whether it be pricing or stars or managing your knowledge graph on the right hand side for your company what would that mean to actually reduce that cost in paid. So I tend to look at it the paid side is more like you know how do you actually reduce the costs and paid and be smarter about how you use organic and use schema to also influence content strategy.
Matt Weber: [00:26:33] Yeah you know you’d think just from a theory standpoint if schema helps the search engines understand the content and if quality score is partially influenced by whether or not Google understands the content of your landing page if you put it out and wanted to get out you have to think that it would bring some value.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:26:54] Yeah. And I had a client about a year and a half ago do some correlation around quality score and I did have a high impact. We just haven’t tracked it since then. So that’s why I reserve my commentary on it.
Matt Weber: [00:27:07] Well let’s extend that same thought then to local search. And what role does good schema markup play in local search listings and getting different elements of data to display in those listings.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:27:23] Absolutely. So local searches is really really interesting in that there’s so many different parts of local businesses right. So let’s first sort of dissect the different elements that you may want to show up whether it be in the map pack or also sort of through through understanding and organic search results and one of the areas that I think I’ve seen the most schema be really really powerful alien is around services.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:27:46] So a lot of local businesses offer services and you know there’s no there’s no rish result for services today. To me it’s like the saddest thing ever that there’s no services is a subclass of product. So many businesses are services. And so one that we’ve seen work really really well is when they describe the service and they use things called additional type in order to define the service very specifically. So I think the previous example I used was like a lawyer who does criminal law defends using a Wikipedia definition to define that service but then also being able to define the specific area served. And so you know when you think of the Google my business when you go in there and you sort of define your business you can kind of say your service radius and sort of what that is will and schema markup you can be even more explicit about that. You can actually call out the neighborhoods the cities the towns the Boroughs the countries, etc.. that you serve. And so what this has a really powerful you can do this both on for the business local business and what they sort ofas well as the services that you serve. And what we’ve seen specifically around Sarah is as you can also do aggregate reading. And so here is some Mamoru you’re describing the service you’re providing tying it to the local business getting aggregate rating and then getting that rich results for local business. I think you know there’s there’s key pages that they said make sure they have schema a markup on but also that they’re connected and linked because I think so often with local business they’ll create local business schema markup on home page and if they’re using some plugins on WordPress they’ll put it on every single page and skim markupns about sort of being explicit about what the page is about. And so if there’s local business came a mark up on every page Google doesn’t actually know which page to show to describe that local business. John Muellersaid in one of his hangouts you know put unique Schema markup on every page based on the primary topic. So I’ll repeat it here best practice. Don’t put local business or organization markup on every page. It sort of defeats the whole point of doing this contact information is another one especially as we’re starting to see phone numbers answered in search and so making sure that the organization of local business has a contact point that’s well defined. Those tend to not show up like smaller businesses tend to not get a Knowledge Graph on the right hand side. We’re seeing that more for larger businesses larger businesses can then define all their contact points like credit card services customer serviceetc. as well as to find exactly which logo they want shown. So that’s a really really powerful. The services products and then some local businesses are really well known for the people that founded them or work there. And so the the about who is really key is the other piece. So Matt maybe different from your question where you ask like exactly what features are there. So there’s like Rich results around features and you can inform stars and maps but I think more importantly in local business people tend to just do this like kind of smash up you know local business on every page and I see that there’s so much deeper opportunity there especially if you’re trying to be strategic about what services you’re trying to sell.
Matt Weber: [00:30:47] Yeah I think you’ve actually helped a lot of people because Robert tell me if you agree but I see a lot of websites where they’ve put this schema mark up for the location in the footer they put the address and contact information to the footer of the website and they’ve put the schema in markup on that which you’re now telling us is not the best practice correct.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:31:04] Yeah and Yost does it by default by adding it on every page so just turn Yeah we have an app has a free plug and so for those that use WordPress like schema apps structure data plug in it’s free it has a really really robust blog posting article as well as like does all your kind of landing pages automates video markup for YouTube. Yeah. Patel says it’s the best one out there. He can take his word for it or not. But you know feel free to use that. And that really powerful and it of course connects with all of our kind of hosted schema app editors and so forth by them. It’s a really powerful way for local business. You know it gets you a lot of the way there if you have no other resources.
Robert O’Haver: [00:31:42] So to search for it in the plugins you can just take them schema correct them and they’ll find good stuff that’s pretty valuable stuff right there.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:31:51] Yeah I also have a sorry when I think rubber how if you type in local business schema in markup you’ll see the ultimate guide to local business given Mark markup above Google’s results for their developer page. That’s my rich results in my article. There are some really really great guidance of video tutorial. All kinds of like worksheets and stuff so feel free to to use that too.
Robert O’Haver: [00:32:14] I like how she threw that in there above Google.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:32:17] This second result schema may not work. Local business. My result. And then Google like so I haven’t written the blog about like how I am how I’m reading Google with my automated solutions.
Robert O’Haver: [00:32:32] So I mean I can’t see how powerful that is.
Robert O’Haver: [00:32:38] As a local business to be an early adapter at this point you’re not really it really adapted but I guess you would be wouldn’t it.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:32:45] I think there still are. So like people who are building like connected schema markup like those I think are still in like that. If you kind of think of like the adoption phase I think we’re still the early adopter like we’re on the innovators right. That was back in 2013 14 when we first started doing it. But like I do think it’s like people doing it properly. We’re still in the early phases of that. You know I think it really did take Google to stand on stage in November and say like stop ignoring this. This is important. In fact like I was at state of search in Dallas in November it was like my debut in this search conference world and you know here I am saying really obnoxious things like websites are going to go away and like schema can be used for analytics and chat boards and people like what. And a lot of the local marketers there were like you know this schema is a nice to have. Right. So I do so from that standpoint like if those thought leaders are still questioning like I still think we are maybe in the next six to eight months I think he’s still got an opportunity to jump in there.
Matt Weber: [00:33:43] We’re going to pick up on something you just said because chat bots are exploding. Yes. So what role do schema will play with chat bots.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:33:51] All right. We go deep with me here. So so when you do your schema markup properly you build this knowledge graph. So you basically define like how all your content is connected and you can think of this from like an almost like you have this data layer right that’s like schema markup that you’ve created that right now Google is using. But you know in the world of semantic technology like this has companies like connect their data to then be reused across like many different consumers. And so when you’re doing a chat mod initiative Tapout needs to understand like if it’s trying to answer like what product is purple and has glitter on it you know it has to figure out like how is it going to get that answer. Well it needs to structure the data so it can search for purple and it can search for clutter. Well already structuring the data for a search with schema markup. So if you think like if you do it properly and then you have a way to actually like create that graph and export it which is something we do then you can actually hand it to the people who are doing the chat bot initiative and be like hey you know here’s a knowledge graph you can use and save yourself a million bucks like as you develop that out.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:35:00] Now the other piece that’s come up is like well what if you could have chat bot apps that write natively on schema markup. Yeah. So this is something we’re exploring you know because we think it’s a really powerful thing whereas like we need assistance voice is already an assistant. There already is in Schema markup like how far fetched is it just to have a chat byte that rides on it.
Matt Weber: [00:35:24] So there you go I think that’s already in place though I mean some of the chat bots seem to have a depth of conversation that has to be on a foundation of human Markoe.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:35:40] So some of them I think are using other structured data in order to do it. But the companies I’ve talked to and if you’re chat bot company listening to like give me a call like we haven’t found any that are like natively like using schema markup like where there may be using a Knowledge Graph for like building that out. But a lot of them are still trying to do like that natural language processing to structure their data in order to get that understanding. And so I think this is just like this is actually like just great news for the chat bot community to be like hey there is a standard out there that like Google’s driving adoption of you know you should get on that.
Matt Weber: [00:36:15] Got it. Got it.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:36:16] And then analytics are the other application that’s really interesting. And so Mike Arneson back I think was like 2014 wrote a blog for moz’s about sort of like you know how do you understand our awai of your content and like how do you embed your schema markup into your analytics and so Mark Van Berkel my co-founder was like oh we can automate this.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:36:37] So we automated it back in 2014 and still trying to make sure people understand how to do this. But the concept is like if you have a blog for example and you use schema markup you’re you’re defining the author in the categories that the article body. What if you could then take that structure about that article and smash it into your Google Analytics. So today like when you go into Google Analytics you can cut all your data by your cell. You can cut your data by the different audiences rate they sometimes give you by regions or by you know even sort of where they’re coming from but you casually like break it by the content of the article. Right. So wouldn’t it be helpful to know like which of your authors actually drives conversion or like what author and what topic actually results in the time on page or the conversion that you’re looking for or my favorite example like if you sell t shirts like. Wouldn’t it be great to know what color t shirt drives the biggest shopping card. And then it informs your you’re like promotions right. So if purple t shirts for some reason results in the big shopping cart like I want everyone to buy a purple T-shirt and then we can see if that actually happens. The same with your content strategy if you know when Martha writes about Schema strategy that she gets like four times as much revision than if she writes about how to do services skim markup or a how to type a document. All of a sudden we focus Martha on that type of writing. So this is like the untapped of doing skim markup that you know again it’s it’s complicated to do Mainelli like insert but something we’re actually our next release of this metic analytics will allow us to not just work with people who’ve created the Schema markup through schema app but that we can craft any site and then help them sort of import that into google analytics or add another analytics option. So to really do that today. Yes. Yeah and we’re just making it so it’s just even easier based on some customer feedback guy but to me this is where the schema is not just an SEO tactic right. It’s actually you know a way for the marketing team to be smarter and more strategic. And this is where you know I see when I talk about like who’s who were my customers like they’re they’re the people who who get this this future is happening you know they’re they’re the ones you know I talk about like the local businesses who are going to invest in it. They realize it truly is an investment. It’s not something that is just to get like a rich result today but it’s about average results today so that you know when Apple releases their new voice assistant you know that you know they’re already ahead of where they need to be and they’re already thinking about how they can reuse that to help search chat bots assistanceetc. So that’s what I really see it as sort of a change in their practice of like and the role of the marketing team beyond just a CEO to really I call it like you know brand management. Ad I’ve had a machine level or at is at a sort of data content level. Well first of all they are like.
[00:39:44] Everything. I like to talk about like everyone likes to talk about like how to get the right result. I’m like actually came into play jump to the 10000 foot level because let’s understand why you want to really learn this. And I think it’s like the market hasn’t made it easy to learn these concepts and understand like schema markup reads like a foreign language dictionary was created by developers for developers and you know we included training in our service like for anyone who signs up to just learn what is schema.org Oreg and how to understand the tools because we feel like if they can invest like three to four hours to learn that piece like the rest of it is easy. But you know it’s like how do we make it so asking like what is this thing and how is it connected. And I’m actually I recently had a blog post that might go viral on Twitter from 2016. Love it when those happen about how to create a schema a market strategy. So again free resource on the web but it sort of walks you through not just think about like what recipient I mean a guy because like the more important thing is like what’s important for your business and what your customers need to find about your business. Where does that information reside today. How is it related to other things. And then what Google features can you add.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:40:52] Because if you skipped that part about the things that you know Google doesn’t give you a flashy result for but helps you explain you know for example a software as a service that costs us much like is available to solve these problems. You know no one’s going to find my software as a service because I’m just hunting stars and search right. So if you buy into that future peace you know you need to think about strategy differently. So if you put in how to create a schema MicroStrategy there’s a video resource of my co-founder explaining it as well as some step by step and resources there.
Matt Weber: [00:41:21] You know I think we have to come back so I think we’re probably running out of time but we touched on something at the very beginning of the show that I think is the hottest topic which is the newest markups just released because when I travel people ask me how do I make sure that my company is one of the answers that either Siri or Alexa Google home gives I too that’s probably one of my top three questions that I get when I travel the country now. So can we talk through that just a little bit more.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:41:49] Sure. And a I can make sure that I’ll maybe tweet out or share with you there’s I think like a good day section of.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:41:56] By and by Aaron Bradley you know and on sort of like what it means. So it’s called speakable. So if you go to the Google documentation and you look under the features the feature guide you’ll see that there is this new one that has sort of like lab testing beaker beside it called speakable and it’s in Bayda and is limited to publishers in theU.S. today. But you know sort of read specifically what Google says like the speakable property identifies sections within an article or web page that are best suited for audio playback using text to speech. And so they’re trying to do is like you know is there a you know it maybe is the executive summary right or like a couple of key sentences that sort of define what that piece is and what they found interesting when we looking through this. And actually if you scroll to the bottom there’s there’s often examples. And you know one of the things that they tie is you know the voice command is like they give us some examples here like what’s the news about topic. You know it’s dollar sign topic right. What’s the latest on topic play news about topic. So in their troubleshooting examples they’re being very clear about what they think theU.S. cases are for using their speaker Opie’s and they’re targeting publishers right. So maybe it’s like what’s the latest news about you know Canadian female entrepreneurs. There’s a big new funding from our government on that are you know what’s the latest topic on schema app. So what we’ve been looking at and trying to play with is you know how do you use this topic is any topic you know what does that mean and if that indeed is like news or things about a topic you still need to define what that thing is. And so if it’s a news article you might describe like the Scheinman mark up on the news article and give a lot of key pieces but then try to tie that the article is about is this really great property in creative works that allows you to hard line define what the topic is that we really like using a boat and then like tying it to Wickie data or Wikipedia definitions. But then this is then sort of highlighting if the articles about that you know what then is the speakable part. On that topic. And then can you give us some other context around whether it be through a question answer are other markup I know is what you’re looking for. Yes that is it. Yeah. Like today it’s still around publishers and in with like we’re trying to like look across our client base or even see if we can be sort of deemed a publisher in order to do some testing on it. But that’s you know that’s where they’re looking. And what’s also really fine. I mean it’s a really geeky here is that they’re calling out it as like a CSS Selector path in order to kind of call out the type and so path he gets from the experts.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:44:46] I’m OK. OK. So basically like think of it as like an indicator of where something is on a page. Now the reason I know what an access path is because our schema app highlighter which is like this do Google data highlighter on crack. For professionals. Allows you to like really nerd out on like whether you click to highlight elements or you can actually like manually enter and exit path.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:45:12] So it’s interesting because we’re like Oh interesting. They’re actually going to use like context of where the information is on the page in order to pull out the speakable. Interesting like that similar to the technology we use. So that just as you’re for the day gets us thinking on on sort of like you know where where else might they go with this.
Robert O’Haver: [00:45:33] Now tell me if I’m wrong with this will also help with a site that’s trying to be of use you like.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:45:40] And I’m not I don’t know you like big like being able to sort of like maybe define the Canadian standards might be named differently that web accessibility guidelines.
Matt Weber: [00:45:52] So it by sharing the content is accessible for people with these.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:45:57] That’s that’s why I thought it was going to go to you maybe. I think the answer. Like it’s not it’s it’s only defining like a portion of the content that’s like readable. It’s not necessarily defining how the whole content can be understood. And I think it’s sometimes in my web background like some of that’s more around like how the content is structured and how the Web site is structured for translation or understanding for text to speech. So I think it’s more saying if you’re gonna read anything like this I’m prioritizing this for text to speech as an answer. I think it’s more providing context than structure.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:46:33] It’s kind of like how a web page you know define design.
Matt Weber: [00:46:38] All right it’s that time again it’s time for but leave it or leave it on the parts of the show and Martha we’re going to give you three statements that we found on the Internet. That means that means they’ve got to be true. But we’re going to ask you if our listeners should believe it or whether they should leave it. Are you ready. I’m ready. OK here’s statement number one. Search engines are getting smarter. Therefore there will be no need for a schema markup in the future.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:47:12] So I’m going to say leave it. But there’s a fun conversation that goes with it. It was a little bit of it.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:47:23] Well I think part of it is that you know why you know it could be like you know why would we why would we need to eat vegetables if our vitamins get really good and great.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:47:35] I still think that the structure data plays a really foundational role beyond the search engines. Right. And we’ve talked about some of those. So like the search engines are getting smarter. But like why wouldn’t they take this leg up if they can get it right and focus on like the machine learning and the other pieces that they can build on the understanding like there’s so much more that the search engines could prioritize. If people are doing this work for them. So it sort of maybe from my entrepreneurial side where I’m like well you know why would I build something or why would I like ignore something that’s helping me get a job done faster so I can invest in things that are more important.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:48:11] So that’s the reason I say leave it morning that you are the queen of best analogies.
Robert O’Haver: [00:48:21] Is there no way to measure or schema implementation so far.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:48:26] Say my answer like well how do you measure the ROI of SEO marketing qualified leads right. So why is that so different if you then add schema markup as a strategy as part of your search engine optimization. Or your answer engine optimization that you wouldn’t measure it in the same way that you’re measuring the other things.
Matt Weber: [00:48:47] So you would say leave it. That statement is not true.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:48:50] Absolutely because you know we’re seeing it impact people’s business metrics. And to me like people think when people say are a wire or talk about search I feel like everyone’s like you know there’s there’s these three things we’re all going to measure and that’s going to be sort of the truth for us. And what we’re finding is that just isn’t the fact you know what success is for a classified site is very different for what success is from an e-commerce site or what success is from a newspaper site. And so you have to really understand sort of like what does success mean for that business. You know like I like big tech companies where I grew up at Cisco you know they’re not looking for conversion off the Web site right there. They’re looking like they have a brand awareness and search and that people are maybe finding answers to their questions. For once they’ve purchased a networking device. And so that’s why I think like our why people think of it so generically like all the things we do and whether it be a CEO is to drive that business’s version of success and I think Schema markup so different.
Matt Weber: [00:49:49] Good answer. Are you ready for number three. Yes go believe it or leave it. Number three Schema markup will soon be deployed by social media platforms. So social media content can be more effectively searched.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:50:02] So I’ll believe that I’m on board with this one and only because like I find it interesting so the social media platforms have been using Open Graph right. So like oh gee we see everywhere. So you know Facebook has not been using the standard that this other search engines have created which I think is kind of silly because like why would you not. Why wouldn’t you sort of get on board and the collaborative effort that will help drive adoption faster that then helps you do your job better. And so you know I think as consumers of information and needing to kind of share contacts and have to add value. So again as an entrepreneur. Like how are they going to you know survive some of these shifts of people sort of looking for answers looking for information. We’ve seen Twitter in Iran trying to monetize Instagram trying to kind of play in different roles. You know we might you know it’s just becoming the defacto standard. So I would say like is they’re trying to do more machine learning and intelligent offerings for their clients. It would make sense that they would use it because it’s present and it’s hard to drive adoption. You know Google is having a hard time driving adoption. So how is Instagram going to do that on their own.
Matt Weber: [00:51:10] Yeah and you actually bring a unique perspective to this because prior to this show I would have said the answer to that is how can Facebook Mahgoub content. It doesn’t create an in your position you’re saying well it’s easy if you have the right tool you can markup content in an automated way even if you didn’t create it.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:51:27] Absolutely. Or look we’re seeing articles and things on our irae and you know comments ICOM and if you look at the structure to are testing tool on that you know local business guide you’ll see that in our discourse things are marked up as a comment or you know the likes maybe you know there’s no right to ask you a marker for likes but you could say like a rating of 10 likes to think it could kind of stretch that a little bit. So I think there’s there’s ways images like Instagram there’s like tons of things that you’re going to run images videos around like YouTube in other places. Snapchat is a bit different because they tend to go away. But you know Twitter it’s like these statements and maybe about certain comments and yeah and related to a publisher and who’s liked it so you can actually start thinking of like little knowledge graphs or on Twitter and conversations. So we’ll see it again. Is there a need for them to structure information to do something more intelligent.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:52:15] To me the question of like what’s the business value of them understanding and you know I don’t know if server will be the key piece but for sure. Sort of if there is some things that can correlate audience analysis all that’s going to help if they have a bit more context.
Robert O’Haver: [00:52:31] Great. God’s word. We’re just about out of time. MARTIN I don’t normally do this but your company gives the opportunity for small businesses that want to get on board with schema and they’re not programmers obviously to download if they have a word processor isn’t available in Drupal or anything like that.
Robert O’Haver: [00:53:17] Wow that’s awesome. So if you have a word processor go down the app be sure and more Yost’s version just know just turn off the Yost’s organization on every page.
[00:53:28] Like that’s not helping you be X was growth.
Robert O’Haver: [00:53:32] And I’ve had used Volcker on this show he’s going to hate you for saying that but hey we use Yost’s on our Web site.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:53:40] They’re amazing at some things but they even said on their blog posts that like if you want to do more detailed schema like look at schema so we know who each other are in and we know where we play to our strength. So we use Yost’s and we we love them right.
[00:53:55] So Martha if somebody wants to contact you what is your Web site address.
[00:53:59] Sure it’s WTW dot schema app dot com and it’s a c h e m a a p p dot com and then you can find me on Twitter at skim Abdool or directly at Martha Endako nights where you can just google Queen of schema haha.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:54:19] How to manage your brand for the machines. You’ll get to me that local business you’ll find if you look for us you’ll find us nice.
Robert O’Haver: [00:54:27] All right well merci I thank you so much for being on the show guys I’m so happy to be back on the air again. Please tune in this week. We’ll have our guests scheduled here pretty soon.
Matt Weber: [00:54:37] Matt you have anything you want to know it’s great to be back and appreciate your support while we were on hiatus.
Martha Van Berkel: [00:54:43] All right guys thanks for letting me be your first guest back. It’s been a pleasure. Enjoyed it. Thank you. And hopefully we can have you back again.
[00:54:51] See you tomorrow guys like pretty much. All right we’re going to do a correlation RANZCOG about it.
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