On November 8th, a week ago, it was announced by R.V. Guha (Google) that e-commerce schemas from the GoodRelations project would be integrated with Schema.org, effective immediately. GoodRelations is the well-known and widely used e-commerce vocabulary that has been developed and maintained by Martin Hepp since 2002. The decision to integrate the GoodRelations vocabulary with Schema.org was made to make it easier for publishers to bring together existing work under a common model that is supported by major search engines, Google, Bing/Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex.
Structured data helps search engines understand what is on the page, provides signals of relevance for search engines, and helps to enhance your search result listings with rich snippets. With this recent integration of GoodRelations and Schema.org, publishers have the opportunity to expose more granular information about their products and services in a way that is supported by major search engines. Publishers using Schema.org can now mark up information to help search engines understand and identify items like product delivery charges, quantity discounts, and product features.
For those e-commerce websites that already utilize GoodRelations, nothing will change, except for the fact that all the major search engines are now supporting its structured data. And for those using Schema.org previously, the type of information that can now be marked up has increased tremendously!
Schema.org Product Type Updates
Some major updates to the Schema.org product type includes:
- The ability to identify a much wider variety of product specific numbers, such as SKUs.
- The ability to identify product relationships. For example, you are now able to identify whether the product is an accessory or spare part for another larger product.
- The ability to identify physical properties of products, such as product dimensions, product appearance, and the condition of the product.
Schema.org Offer Type Updates
The Schema.org offer type saw even more updates with the integration, allowing publishers to expose more about the offer of a product, even if it is not related to a physical product sale. Some of these updates include:
- The ability to provide signals of relevance to search engines through identifying purchase criteria, such as acceptable forms of payment and locations where the offer is valid.
- The ability to identify product warranty promises and the duration of the warranty.
- The ability to identify item availability. For example if the product is in or out of stock, in addition to the start and end date the offer is available, where the product can be found, and the delivery methods available for the product.
- The ability to define if the offering is something other than a simple sale, such as a lease or maintenance agreement.
These are just a few examples of some of the additional information that can now be marked up for those Schema.org users. To explore the full list of all types and properties that can be marked up visit the official Schema.org website.
While there are not currently any rich snippets offered for the expanded data that can now be marked up using GoodRelations vocabulary at this time, it seems as if that is in our very near future and is a driving reason behind the integration. Gain a competitive advantage and get started on marking up your offerings in anticipation of more rich snippets to come! Semantic web is ever evolving, and structured data lies at the heart of it. Get ahead of the game now!
What do you think about the recent integration of GoodRleations and Schema.org? Feel free to comment below or find me on Twitter @lindskeller.