Matt Cutts States That Schema.org Doesn't Provide Ranking Benefit

In the latest Google Webmaster Help video published on YouTube today, Google’s Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts addressed the following common question:

“Does the use of schema.org markup create a ranking benefit?”

Matt explains that the simple inclusion of schema.org markup on a website will not necessarily provide a ranking benefit for that site. He goes on to suggest that just because Schema.org markup is included it doesn’t mean that the website in question is better/more relevent than any others.

Matt explains that the use of Schema.org markup for things such as recipes (a schema currently supported by Google) can provide a benefit in that the “recipes” search filter on the left side of the search results will draw on the schema defined information.

He certainly doesn’t rule out that schema.org may impact on rankings in the future however I’m not holding my breath.

Aside from what is the obvious with schema.org inclusion – it allows content to be more easily interpreted and thus more likely to be included in the search results – personally I would have thought that the simple inclusion of schema.org would contribute to website quality signals for a ranking benefit. However even if this were to be true, the impact to be had would likely be negligible due to the simplicity of it in isolation as a ranking factor.

View the video and Matt’s responses in full below, or take a look at the 900+ other videos produced by Google on their Webmaster Help YouTube channel here.

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3 Comments

  1. The microdata implementation is just the optimization of your html code it doesn’t provide any ranking benefits. I have been implementing schema codes on many sites, it is just the structure of your data, like author, reviews and many more that provide a benefit in CTR when this appear with your SERP.

  2. Matt is right when he says that inclusion of schema doesn’t make your content valuable to the user. It was all about content quality yesterday, nothing is different today as well.

  3. I agree with the article and comments that schemas won’t provide any ranking benefits. However, I do believe that schemas and microdata can help with rankings in an indirect way. Schemas help a web page stand out more in the SERPs, which leads to more clicks. They also help website owners define certain elements of their page, such as address, type of business, reviews, recipes, and on and on. When search engines such as Google can better understand the elements on a page and the business itself, they are much more likely to rank it better.

    Again, I’m not saying that schemas help rankings directly, but I do think that they can help indirectly. And because they are very simple to implement, using them really should become a habit of all website owners. As was mentioned, who knows how beneficial they may become in the near future. –David

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