Schema: Localbusiness vs business category tag


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Hey guys,
I was searching this question on Google and actually landed on a thread on here that wasn't answered, so if someone can answer, it would be great!

When placing microdata on your site is it better to use the generic LocalBusiness (LocalBusiness - schema.org) or something more specific like Restraunt (Restaurant - schema.org)?

Is there any best practices between footer vs contact us page, use the same microdata format or different?

Aside from the NAP Properties are there any other properties that should be included like URL or any that should be avoided?

Any best practice advice or direction you can provide here would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

Thanks guys!
 
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Hi Bradley. Well, to answer your question, I always recommend to get as specific as possible with your markups. So if the business is a restaurant, you should use schema.org/Restaurant as your primary schema. Even businesses that don't yet have their own schema type can be marked up with a lot of detail. You can mark up the type of business and even the products and services that they provide by using additional vocabularies and/or by using properties such as "additionalType" or "sameAs". Literally, you can mark up anything and get very detailed with it, too.

To answer your other question about marking up items in your header and footer... you can, but in order to generate a rich snippet, Google requires that you mark up only the main content of the page. And so if you have a separate markup for the NAP on every page, sometimes that might cause a problem. The trick is to nest everything within your main schema, which if you have a WordPress site might take a little tweaking of your template.

And so with the NAP, like I said, you can and should get as specific as you can with your markup. Provide and mark up as much information as possible for search engines. Just be sure that it's all formatted properly and that it meets Google's guidelines if it's the type that qualifies for a rich snippet in the SERPs.

I hope that helps.
 
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To answer your other question about marking up items in your header and footer... you can, but in order to generate a rich snippet, Google requires that you mark up only the main content of the page. And so if you have a separate markup for the NAP on every page, sometimes that might cause a problem. The trick is to nest everything within your main schema, which if you have a WordPress site might take a little tweaking of your template.
David- forgive my lack of understanding but this is also an area I have been trying to gain some clarity on.

When you say that Google requires that you mark up only the main content of the page and that having separate markup for the NAP on every page could cause a problem does that mean having implementing postal address markup and having the NAP in the footer is a problem? Or what do you mean by "only the main content"?

Can having too much microdata for one page become an issue?
 
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Well, it is possible to have too many markups on a page IF they are all separate and independent of each other. So if you mark up the NAP on every page and also mark up other elements such as products or reviews or services, but the markups are not nested properly and they are all separate and independent of each other, then it can cause a problem. Google wants site owners to mark up what is representative of the main content on the page, and when there are several independent markups on a page, they also wouldn't know which markup to display rich snippets for.

But to answer your question more specifically, yes, if the NAP markup is the only markup on the page, then it should be fine. Granted, it's probably not the "main content" on the page, but I don't believe Google would penalize anybody for doing that. But honestly, if it's the only markup on a bunch of your pages, you're missing out on the power of structured data for your site. Now if you have several different markups on the page, it can still work and even generate rich snippets in Google, but the key is to make sure that they are nested and formatted properly. For some sites, that might mean having to tweak the site template to make it all work.

Now keep in mind, though, that structured data vocabularies such as schema.org have their set of standards as to how to mark things up, and Google has their own (stricter) standards for what willl qualify for rich snippets in the SERPs. Bing and Yahoo's standards for rich snippets are also not as strict as Google's. But not all structured data markups qualify for rich snippets in Google anyway. So my advice is if it's a type of markup that Google doesn't display rich snippets for, then don't be overly concerned about it. But if it can qualify and you do want a rich snippet in Google, then you're better off following their guidelines.

I hope this helps and that it makes sense (as it's 1:30 am here right now). lol
 
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David, THANKS!

Great explanation and I totally appreciate you breaking it down.

Excellent post to end the night on.

All the Best!
 
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What I did was use the more specific schema in the footer and the generic LocalBusiness schema on the contact us page. For the sites I have done this on Google Webmaster tools is showing both in the structured data section.

I also started tagging locally specific pages with the City - schema.org tag and I am going to try and nest that tag under the LocalBusiness to see if that gives any boost for local searches.
 
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@Amber: You're welcome, anytime. Just let me know if you have any more questions or need clarification about anything.

@Jamie: Jamie, I think that if you're going to use schemas on your site (or on your cleints' sites), you should get as specific as possible. Tell search engines as much as you can about the business and what it does. That's especially important on the About Us page in particular. But my personal suggestion is that if you're going to add markups to a page, mark it up well and get as specific as possible. Schema.org/LocalBusiness is a nice generic markup, but you can honestly get much more specific with any type of business. So if you or anyone else has a question about marking up a particular type of business, I'd be glad to try to help.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks so much for all your help David. I just tweeted this:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>David lays down some hardcore Local Schema tips: Localbusiness vs business category tag? <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23seo&src=hash">#seo</a> <a href="http://t.co/7GsHrAkikk">http://t.co/7GsHrAkikk</a></p>— Linda Buquet (@CatalystLocal) <a href="https://twitter.com/CatalystLocal/statuses/424235369005989889">January 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 
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Hey Dave, thanks for the reply! Sorry I got back a little later, been out of the country. I have a few questions:

1. Is it possible to add both a localbusiness and the type of business markup on the same page?

2. What do you mean if it's properly nested?

3. How many different tags can you add onto a single page?

4. If #1 is possible, how would it be structured? Can you provide an example?

5. I'm not big on coding, are there any good resources you recommend?

Thanks a bunch, really do appreciate the help, just trying to wrap my mind around this thing.
 
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Hi Bradley and welcome back. Well, I'll try to tackle your questions one by one...

1. I'm not really sure what you mean by this question, so could you explain a little more about what you're asking or maybe rephrase the question please?

2. Nesting basically refers to including one or several schemas within another. For example, when using a local business schema, within it's two div tags you would nest the postal address schema, like this:

HTML:
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LocalBusiness">
<span itempro="name">Name of Business</span>....
<div itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">
<span itemprop="streetAddress">123 Main St.</span>...
</div>
</div>
Of course, this code is incomplete, but hopefully you can get the idea.

3. Technically, you can add as many schemas on a page as you'd like. However, according to Google's guidelines for rich snippets, they only want you to mark up the "main content" of a page. But I'll let you in on a little secret: you can add dozens of markups on your page and literally mark up everything and still get rich snippets in Google for it. The thing is that you have to know what you're doing and how to do it.

One reason I think that Google's guidelines say that is because they don't want everybody marking up every single thing on their site, because if the structure or format is incorrect, it'll just confuse Google instead of help them. So as a general rule, if you want to get rich snippets in Google, then stick to marking up the main content of the page, whether that's an article, a product, or your business info.

4. Again, I'm not sure if I understand the question, so maybe you could explain a little more please?

5. Good resources? Ha, they are few and far between, I'm afraid to say. Of course, you can go to schema.org and read their docs, and then read up on Google's guidelines for rich snippets for starters. But unfortunately, in order to do markups properly, you do need to have some knowledge about both HTML coding as well as proper markup structure and format. But I'll try to help you and anyone else out as much as I can.

David
 
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Hi David, do you have an example of a page with several markups that you think is done correctly?

Do you see any benefit in using the
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]http://schema.org/Place schema for local information pages. I was considering using this for a real estate site but there is no rich snippet so I am wondering if it is worth it or not. [/FONT]
 
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Jamie, are you referring to marking up real estate listings or using the markups for something else? Do you have an example page that I can look at and maybe give you some ideas and suggestions?
 
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Yes, check out this page. I put some code on there so you could see what I was thinking:

Woodbridge Irvine Real Estate

Thanks!

---------- Post Merged at 12:34 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 12:30 PM ----------

Quick note. I noticed that the video object throws an error when used in the testing tool, but so does the example on this page http://schema.org/VideoObject. Any idea how to fix it or is the Google testing tool incorrect?
 
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David,

Just wanted to say thanks, AGAIN, for taking the time to go even deeper on this subject. You continue to clear up the confusion I have had with rich snippets.

My appreciation is through the roof when reading your answers!:D

Best,
Amber
 
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Gosh David you're amazing! Let me try to clarify the questions I asked:

1. I was asking if I could use the "localbusiness" markup along with the "/attorney" markup? In other words, whether I can nest those two markup tags together? I'm sorry if this isn't making any sense, but I'll try to explain what I'm trying to do. I'm a local attorney in the Metro-Detroit area. I want Google to know that I'm both an attorney and tied to the Metro-Detroit area. I figured I can tie those indicators together, hence giving Google the indication that I'm both an attorney and a local business. I'm assuming that I can also get a little more detailed with my markup by clarifying my practice areas through the Schema as well?

2. I guess if it's possible to include both structures (localbusiness and attorney markup), how would I structure the code?

Thanks in advance!

---------- Post Merged at 03:32 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 03:30 PM ----------

To clarify on my last #2 question, how to properly "nest" the two types (or possibly more) different Schemas.

And sorta what Jamie asked, do you have any pages with properly nested Schemas that you recommend as a guide?

Thanks!
 
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Hey bradleymarones, I believe (David, correct me if I'm wrong) but the Attorney schema is actually a type of LocalBusiness. If you were to markup the business as Attorney and then run it through the Google Structured Data Testing Tool checker it would identify it as a LocalBusiness> of ProfessionalService> type Attorney.

You can use this tool to mark it up as attorney but since it is a child element of LocalBusiness you couldn't use both nested inside each other as it would be redundant...I think (David?)

Attorney Schema Generator Using Schema.org | Schema.org Generator For SEO | Rich Snippets & Microdata Generator

One area where I am confused however is the Attorney schema looks to be specific to a "Business" and a not a "Person" I believe there is a property of Attorney "employee" which accepts a "Person" Schema where you could reference the lawyer that works at the law firm. There is also the Person schema which has a property "worksFor" where you can then specify the Organization Schema and another property "jobTitle" where you could indicate what type of attorney you were.

Hopefully that helps a bit and hopefully I was correct on my thoughts (David?)
 
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Jamie, my apologies about not responding sooner. I took a look at your page and I'd probably recommend a couple of different things. First of all, you're right--the VideoObject example that schema.org gives does generate an error message when tested. That's because "video" is not a property of schema.org/MusicGroup. It's also not a property of schema.org/Place, which is why you're getting the same error message.

So what I'd recommend that you do on your page is instead of using schema.org/Place as your primary schema, use schema.org/Article instead. Unless I'm wrong, that page looks like it's essentially an article about the Village of Woodbridge. So I'd recommend using the Article schema and then getting more specific with your markup by using the "about" property, nesting the Place schema within Article. You'll also notice that "video" is an available property of the Article schema, so you shouldn't see that same error message afterwards when you mark up your video with VideoObject. So try marking it up that way and I'll be happy to take a look afterwards. Just don't forget to use the obvious properties like "articleBody" as well.

---------- Post Merged at 12:29 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 12:26 PM ----------

Thanks, Amber, I appreciate it. Glad I could help.

By the way, a couple of my sisters live in the Houston area, too. Small world. :)
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks David et all

I just tweeted:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Schema: Localbusiness vs business? Tons of "Rich Snippets" in this post! ;-) <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23seo&src=hash">#seo</a> <a href="http://t.co/7GsHrAkikk">http://t.co/7GsHrAkikk</a></p>— Linda Buquet (@CatalystLocal) <a href="https://twitter.com/CatalystLocal/statuses/428596491553218560">January 29, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Thanks for the "rich snippets" of knowledge and great insights. :)
 
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@Chris: Yes, you're right. Attorney is just an extension of the LocalBusiness schema, so there's no need to use both. But I would recommend using properties such as "contactPoint", "founder", or "member" to mark up the particular attorney's information. You can get as specific as you'd like with a markup like this, including marking up the practice area and the exact type of services provided.

---------- Post Merged at 12:42 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 12:41 PM ----------

:) Thanks, Linda.
 

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