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HTML5 – Rich Snippets

March 12th, 2010

HTML5 is the fifth major revision of HTML, the core language of the World Wide Web. The HTML5 specification includes a description of microdata, a new markup standard for specifying structured information within web pages.Google have announced support for microdata for use in rich snippets in addition to our existing support for microformats and RDFa. By using microdata markup in your web pages, you can specify reviews, people profiles, or events information on your web pages that Google may use to improve the presentation of your pages in Google search results.

Here is a simple HTML block showing a section of a review of “L’Amourita Pizza”:

<div>
<h1>Review: L’Amourita Pizza</h1>
Written by Bob Smith
Jan 15, 2010
Rated <b>4.5</b> – Excellent
</div>

Here is the same HTML with microdata added to specify the restaurant being reviewed, the author and date of the review, and the rating:

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://data-vocabulary.org/Review”>
<h1>Review: <span itemprop=”itemreviewed”>L’Amourita Pizza</span></h1>
Written by <span itemprop=”reviewer”>Bob Smith</span>
<time itemprop=”dtreviewed” datetime=”2010-01-15”>Jan 15, 2010</time>
Rated <b itemprop=”rating”>4.5</b> – Excellent
</div>

Microdata has the nice property of balancing richness with simplicity. As you can see, it’s easy to add markup to your pages using a few HTML attributes like itemscope (to define a new item), itemtype (to specify the type of item being described), and itemprop (to specify a property of that item). Once you’ve added markup to a page, you can test it using the rich snippets testing tool to make sure that Google can parse the data on your page.

As with microformats and RDFa, the vocabulary that we support — including which item types and item properties are understood by Google — is specified in our rich snippets documentation as well as on data-vocabulary.org. Marking up your content does not guarantee that rich snippets will show for your site; Google will expand the use of microdata markup gradually to ensure a great user experience.

To get started, here are some helpful links:

Written by Siddhartha Chattopadhyay, Kavi Goel, Ramanathan V. Guha, Pravir Gupta, Othar Hansson

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