Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by David Gaskin on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, August 9, 2018).

Structure Data, schema.org, microdata, RDFa, RDFa-lite, etc..

Okay, I`ve looked around but am still pretty confused about this one: Structure Data, Schema.org, microdata, RDFa, RDFa-lite, etc..

I want to optimize my site to include structured data. Google has demonstrated a preference for JSON-LD but I`m still seeing examples of using Schema.org microdata (if that is even the same thing!) to markup HTML in a page.

My question is, should I combine these different types (use a JSON-LD and do some on-page markup) or should it suffice to just have a JSON-LD in the head of my document on the pages with the information I`m marking up.

Does this count as a Dumb SEO Question? 🤔😝

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Michael Martinez: The less you depend on Javascript the better.
  • David Gaskin: I don`t believe it`s executed the same way normal javascript would be, so I believe it`s quite safe to use in regular situations but in many other cases, yes, javascript can wreak havoc.
  • David Gaskin: JSON-LD that is.
  • Michael Martinez: You CAN implement JSON-LD in other programming tools, but it originated as a subset of JSON, which is a Javascript format (notation ... thingee). That said, regardless of how you`re implementing the JSON-LD, be sure you justify its use. Don`t do stuff just because it`s "cool" to do stuff. The server has to execute some code and the client may have to execute some code and every layer of execution adds to the time it takes for the user to enjoy the experience of your site. https://json-ld.org/
  • Tony McCreath: Json-ld is probably easier for machines to parse than microdata, because it is seperated out from the html and uses a stricter syntax. Saying that, parsers tend to be less forgiving, so a single mistake can mean all is lost.
  • Michael Stricker: My understanding is that the JSON-LD is an implementation tool to inject your pages with the data structuring markup of your choice. Various Googlebot versions may or may not always execute that scriptwork, so there is some risk the Schema may occasionally go undetected. There is the speed issue. If your CMS has a more native or extension-based alternative to inject that shit server-side, that’s likely faster and better, though somewhat less flexible and not always an option on lightweight CMSs.
  • Tony McCreath: Most implementations I see just embed the json-ld in a script tag on the page. No complex injection required. If you do add it in a more complex way, then you will probably limit the systems that can see it.
  • Kristine Schachinger: You want to be careful mixing. The json has to match the page exactly and using two could mean mistakes will happen and those not match. Not reading it also would be very rare as Google is telling people that they prefer you move to json.
  • Bill Slawski: Google does state that they recommend JSON these days, and I like it a lot. Try to implement on the appropriate pages on your site rather than all pages.
  • Casey Markee: Uh...yes, Google does recommend JSON-LD as their recommended schema language and has for years.It`s right here at the top of the page:https://developers.google.com/.../intro-structured-dataWhen at all possible, you should be using it. It will certainly will cut down on incorrect implementation in my experience since inline placement is not necessary. ;)Edit: read that as DOES NOT STATE. My bad.
  • Tony McCreath: I`d try to avoid mixing formats (microdata, json-ld, rdfa...). You may have to if systems you want to serve support different formats. If you do, make sure the duplicate identities are as identical as possible.
  • David Gaskin: Here are a few things I`ve learned about working with Structured Data. Most of these things have been mentioned already by a commenter:-JSON-LD is preferred by Google and should ideally go in the head of your document.-The Markup should reflect what is visible on the page being marked up thought its a bit of a gray area currently what will happen if you go overboard and add a bunch of data that isn`t on the page-You can include multiple script blocks in the head for different schemas, for instance, one for @type localBusiness, one for @type Website, and so on.. or you can include everything into one big JSON block.-JSON+LD works with Live Data, so in other words, if Schema.org doesn`t have a schema that suits your needs, you can reference a different schema from RDFa, for instance, using a URL.-Don`t` forget to validate your script with Google`s Structured Data Testing ToolI`m currently trying to tackle how to appropriately inject these scripts into WordPress without a plugin. It seems Structured Data hasn`t yet reached a tipping point in terms of a "must-do" SEO tactic so some documentation is thin. Time will tell just how effective it is!Keep on rockin`

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on G+, Thursday, August 9, 2018).

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