Natural Search Blog

Microformats Hit Mainstream!

Microformats LogoOver on SEMClubhouse I’ve written up a post on “Why Use Microformats?” which is a mild criticism of Michael Gray’s recent post on “HCards, Microformats and Address Data does it Matter for SEO“. Essentially, Michael suggests people should prioritize implementation of hCard into local info webpages as a lower-priority, back-burner project. I not only believe that Yahoo’s SearchMonkey developer platform and Google’s new Rich Snippets display are proving that the search engines consider the Microformats protocol to be important, but anything presented as a back-burner or rainy-day project for many major corporations pretty much relegates that work to never be done at all.

With the advent of Rich Snippets in SERPs, I think I can safely declare that Microformats have now hit mainstream! Google is now presenting listings of pages with hReview microformat with slightly more attention-getting “bling”:

Google SERP listing for Yelp with Rich Snippets

This will undoubtedly result in slightly higher clickthrough rates for those listings.

Any day, Google could add in special display treatments for pages that sport hCard or hCalendar microformatting, so companies that haven’t implemented these simple, semantic mark-up protocols will have missed the bus!

Be sure to check out Alan Rimm-Kaufman’s blog post on how Google Rich Snippets may soon give advantage to pages coded with hProduct microformat — internet retailers should pay attention. (As a side note, I previously helped some lucky internet retailer 500 sites optimize their store locators by adding hCard Microformats through GravityStream, back when I still worked for Netconcepts — so, at least a few IR 500 sites have enjoyed Microformatting before!)

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